All companies, legal entities and other organisations that participate in economic transactions in the Netherlands are registered in the Business Register. In this register, you can see who you are involved with, who is authorised to sign on behalf of the company and whether there is any question of bankruptcy. This provides certainty for doing business.
Business information in the Business Register
The Business Register includes the following information about Dutch companies and legal entities:
- name and address;
- if available: telephone number, fax number, e-mail address, internet address, correspondence address;
- details of branches;
- officers and authorised signatories;
- the receiver, in the case of bankruptcy;
- the number of employees, including the owner and co-working relatives.
Why is this information registered in the Business Register?
Under the Dutch Commercial Registers Act (Handelsregisterwet), the Chamber of Commerce must register this information in the Business Register, with the following objectives:
- Entrepreneurs and private individuals can use the Business Register to find out about business contacts, for example existing or potential customers and suppliers. This fosters legal certainty in commercial transactions.
- The provision of general information about the composition of enterprises and legal entities.
- Government bodies can obtain information about companies and legal entities from the Business Register, and no longer need to ask the entrepreneur for this. This reduces the administrative burden.
Searching in the Business Register
You can search for information in the Business Register using trade name, address or Chamber of Commerce number. Searching is free. Costs are involved if information is ordered, such as an extract or list of addresses.
Private addresses in the Business Register
For one-man businesses, commercial partnerships (vof), limited partnerships (cv) and professional partnerships (maatschappen), the private addresses of the owner and the partners are public, because they are jointly and severally liable for the enterprise. Private addresses of officers of legal entities (e.g. the director of a private limited company) are not public. This information can only be viewed by staff of authorised administrative bodies, attorneys, bailiffs and public notaries. This is regulated by the Dutch Commercial Registers Act (Handelsregisterwet).