How to start your own business in the Netherlands

What are the requirements for starting a business in the Netherlands? What legal structures are there? Which taxes do I have to pay? Do I need a permit? How do I set up a branch office for my business?

Setting up a business in the Netherlands takes some doing. How do you prepare? You can use a checklist that outlines the main steps to take. 

At a glance, these are the steps:

  1. Check whether you fulfil the conditions for staying in the Netherlands 
  2. Write a business plan 
  3. Different starting points 
  4. Select a legal business structure (rechtsvorm) 
  5. Select a trade name for your company 
  6. Register with the Dutch Commercial Register and Dutch Tax Administration
  7. Register as an employer for payroll taxes and social security 
  8. Check whether you need professional qualifications 
  9. Consult the zoning plan for your business location
  10. Be aware of Dutch environmental regulations 
  11. Take fire safety measures for your business premises 
  12. Report a home business 
  13. Apply for an All-in-one Permit for Physical Aspects for building activities 
  14. Describe your business’s general terms and conditions 
  15. Create your business accounts 
  16. Check whether you need insurance 
  17. Personal data processing 
  18. Support from Dutch government organisations

Read all about the steps for setting up a business in the Netherlands in the checklist How to start a business in the Netherlands on Business.gov.nl.

Last updated on 21 April 2021

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