KVK number: all you need to know

When you register your business in the Dutch Commercial Register (Handelsregister), you are given an 8-digit KVK number. Your KVK number is proof of your registration at the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce. It also proves that you officially have a business.

Finding the KVK number

You can find your KVK number in the following places:
  • letter of welcome
  • KVK extract
  • online Commercial Register (in Dutch)

Check your company name

You can also fill in your company name in this search bar to find your KVK number (leads to a Dutch results page). You can also use this to find or check another company’s KVK number.

Download the KVK Handelsregister app

The KVK Handelsregister app (only available in Dutch) makes it easy to check your customers’ details, for instance the address, phone number and other useful information about your business relations.

When do you receive a KVK number?

You receive your KVK number when you register your company in the Dutch Commercial Register (Handelsregister). If your business is set to become active ( = start operating) within 8 days of the registration date, you receive the KVK number straightaway. If you register for a later starting date, you will receive your KVK number by letter, a week prior to that date. You can pre-register up to 3 months in advance. If you transfer your company, or take over a company, the KVK number will change. A new owner means a new number. You also receive a new KVK number if you change your company’s legal structure.

When do you receive a new KVK number?

If you transfer your company, or if you take over an existing company, you will receive a new KVK number. A company receives a new KVK number if the ownership of the entire business is transferred to a different natural person, cooperation or legal entity. For instance: a general partnership is continued as a sole proprietorship by one of the registered partners. He/she becomes the sole owner. The sole proprietorship is given a new KVK number.

Exceptions

The company does not always get a new KVK number. Some of the exceptions are:
  • If a public limited partnership (nv) is turned into a private limited (bv);
  • If a legal entity in formation (in Dutch: in oprichting or i.o.) becomes a fully fledged legal entity;
  • If the shares of a company are transferred.

Where do you state your KVK number?

The KVK number enables businesses and private individuals to find out with whom they are doing business. They can look up your KVK number in the Commercial Register. For that reason, you are obliged to state your KVK number on:
  • letters
  • orders
  • invoices
  • quotations
  • websites
  • business emails
You do not have to state your KVK number if you are one of the following:
  • an association
  • a foundation without enterprise
  • an owners’ association (vve’s in Dutch)
  • a public body or other governmental organisation
  • a religious community
Nor does the obligation apply to advertising materials. So, you need not state your KVK number on a brochure or leaflet.

When do you use your KVK number?

You need your KVK number for every business purchase, subscription or insurance. You need it to prove that you are making these commitments as a business, and not as an individual. Examples are:
  • purchases from a wholesaler
  • company cars
  • business insurance
  • subscriptions and phone contracts
  • business bank accounts
  • company credits

More than one activity

You are registered as a sole proprietor, but you also want to pursue other activities. You can add activities to your registration. You can also register more than one trade name. When you add activities to your registration, you do not receive a second KVK number.

What is the difference between a VAT (btw) number and a KVK number?

When you register your company with KVK, you receive your KVK number. This is the number on your Commercial Register extract. KVK forwards your details to the Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst). They will send you your VAT identification number (btw-id) and VAT number (btw-nummer) by post within 3 weeks. The btw-id consists of 14 digits. The KVK number has 8 digits. You are obliged to put both numbers on your invoices.

Finding a btw-id

You can find your own btw-id on the correspondence you receive from the Dutch Tax Administration. You can find the btw-id of companies you do business with on the invoices and quotations they send you. You cannot find the btw-id of other companies online. There is no online register of btw-ids. If you want to know a company’s btw-id, you must ask them for it.

Is the KVK number the same as the ‘vestigingsnummer’?

Each branch or office of your company receives a so-called ‘vestigingsnummer’, that consists of 12 digits. This number is also stated on your Commercial Register extract. It is related to your KVK number in that all your vestigingsnummers belong to the same KVK number, but they are not the same. Also, you do not need to state your vestigingsnummer on your correspondence or other business dealings.

Deregister at KVK

If you want to end your company, you must deregister at KVK. Use the checklist for ending your company, so that you do not forget any important steps.

Contact

Do you have any other questions about the KVK number, or about registration at KVK? Do not hesitate to contact us, we are here to help. You can reach us on (+31) 088 585 1585, on working days from 08:30 through 17:30 hours. You can also fill out this online form (this link takes you to Business.gov.nl, but the form will be sent to KVK).

Last updated on 21 April 2021

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