Home Business 7 Things You Should Know Before Starting a Business in the Netherlands: Beginners Guide

7 Things You Should Know Before Starting a Business in the Netherlands: Beginners Guide

by Abdus Subhan
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Last modified on March 24th, 2023 at 6:22 pm

Business in the Netherlands

Thinking of starting a company in the Netherlands? There are a few things you should know before you jump in. If you want to start a business in the Netherlands, the first thing you must know is that this place has a strong economy and a well-educated workforce. 

Registering a business in the Netherlands is a great idea. Nonetheless, some unique challenges come with doing business in the Netherlands. 

When you do business in the Netherlands, one of the first things you’ll notice is how direct the Dutch people are. They are sincere and direct in how they talk to each other. 

This can be a little strange for people who come from cultures where indirect communication is more important. But once you get used to it, you’ll find that this straightforwardness can be very refreshing. 

Make sure to refer to the sector-specific information for your industry for additional requirements and details. Alternatively, examine one of the website’s sector-specific checklists.

If you want to start a business in the Netherlands, you should think about a few important things before you do.

Legal and Regulatory Obligations

When registering a business in the Netherlands, you must approach the Dutch Business Registry at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (KVK). Once you are in the Business Register, KVK will give the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration your information (Belastingdienst).

Both private and public limited companies must register with a civil-law notary. The notary will make sure that you are registered with the Dutch Tax Administration. If you do business in the Netherlands but your company is not based there permanently, you may only need to register with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration.

If you plan to sell goods or services that are subject to value-added tax, you will also need to sign up for a VAT number.

The Netherlands has a very business-friendly legal and financial landscape. The country has a low corporate tax rate of 20-25%, and there are many incentives for businesses to invest in research and development. 

Additionally, the Dutch government offers a number of grants and subsidies for businesses that meet certain criteria.  

Art of Communication 

Even though the Netherlands is a cosmopolitan country and a lot of its people speak English well, it is important to know the basics of the Dutch language and culture. 

You can show that you want to be a part of the local business community by learning some basic Dutch phrases and customs. This can help you make connections with local clients and suppliers and show that you are serious about learning the local language.

Culture and Network

When you start doing business in the Netherlands, you should know that  the community has a friendly and welcoming business culture, with a strong emphasis on networking and building relationships. 

Joining local business organizations and attending networking events can be a great way to meet other entrepreneurs and potential customers, as well as to learn more about the local business landscape.

Funding and Taxes

There is a strong startup ecosystem for starting a business in the Netherlands, and entrepreneurs who want to get money for their businesses can use a variety of tools. 

This includes grants and loans from the government as well as access to angel investors and firms that invest in risky businesses. But there can be a lot of competition for funding, so it’s important to have a good business plan and be ready to show potential investors your value proposition and growth potential.

The Netherlands Tax system is pretty complicated, so if you own a business there, it’s important to know all the different taxes you’ll have to pay. This includes taxes on income from businesses, taxes on wages, and the value-added tax. You might also be able to get tax deductions and credits, so it’s important to talk to a tax advisor to make sure you’re taking advantage of all the options.

Conditions of Staying in the Netherlands

If a business owner wants to stay in the Netherlands, they must meet many requirements. If you are not a citizen of Europe, you will usually need to apply for a temporary stay (MVV) and permanent residence permit. If your business is new and innovative, you may have a startup visa.

If you want to start a business in the Netherlands, you will also need a business bank account or to apply for one (IBAN). 

Develop a Business Plan

When developing a business plan, you must consider what legal business structure suits you best. You must ensure you have enough capital or you can choose funding options from the government. 

Ask yourself if  the Dutch market has a need for your product or service. You need to have thought about all of these things before you start if you want to have a chance at being successful. 

Having a good business plan is important if you are thinking you might need some financing assistance for your company. It also forces you to make decisions and make sure you don’t miss anything important. 

Before they give you a loan or invest in your business, banks and other funders often want to see your business plan.

Funding and Finances

There are a lot of groups that can help you look for startup or scale-up funding, or money for your business to start up or grow. 

They will look into the options for you and connect you with possible investors or other sources of funding. Some national and regional Dutch organizations and options are:

  • Seed capital for innovative businesses
  • Business angels (private investors)
  • Funding from venture capital companies
  • Funding from regional development corporations
  • SME Loan Guarantee Scheme

It’s also important to note that the Dutch tend to prefer doing business with people they know and trust. This means that building strong relationships with potential clients or partners is crucial. Take the time to get to know people on a personal level, and focus on building trust and rapport.


Starting a business in the Netherlands is an excellent idea because the country has a stable and helpful environment, a highly educated workforce, and a strong economy. But, it’s essential to research the laws and rules for starting a business in the Netherlands, the market for your product or service, and the competition.

It is also helpful to talk to local business groups or a trusted lawyer or financial advisor for advice and help. Starting a business in the Netherlands can be rewarding and successful if you plan and prepare well.

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