Steps to Take When Launching a Business in the Netherlands

As is the case in other countries, business owners in Netherlands must adhere to government rules. Here, we look at the general requirements you must fulfil to start a business in the Netherlands.

Note that this article provides a rough guideline, and may not be an exhaustive list of all the requirements you need to fulfil. To find more information on the specific business sector in which you want to start a business, you need to research on addition requirements specific to that sector.

Below are the general requirements.

1. Ensure you meet the conditions for living in the Netherlands

As a business owner, if you plan to live in the Netherlands, you need to meet a number of conditions, such as obtaining a residence permit.

2. Choose a legal form

When starting a new business, you first need to choose a legal form, such as one for a private limited company or a sole proprietorship. The form determines such matters as tax obligations and liability.

3. Choose a trade name

You will need to select a trade (company) name in order for your business to be added to the Business Register.

4. Put your name down with the Dutch Tax Administration and Dutch Business Register

All new businesses have to be register with the Dutch Business Register, which will in turn forward those details to the Dutch Tax and Custom Administration. So you need not put down your name separately with them.

5. Register as an employer for social security and payroll taxes

If you plan to have employees, you must first register with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration as an employer.

6. Find out whether you need specific professional qualifications

One thing you must know as you research on how to register a company in Netherlands is that you do not need specific qualifications to start the business. Nevertheless, you might need particular qualifications in order for you to engage in some professions.

7. Review the zoning plan with respect to the location of your business

If you intend to set up your business in a given location, make sure the location is in compliance with the municipal zoning plan. If that is not the case, though, you have the option of requesting for an All-in-one Permit for Physical Aspects (referred to as Omgevingsvergunning) for your plans. Alternatively, you can request the municipality to modify the zoning plan.

8. Take environmental regulations into account

If the environment will be affected by your business operations, you have to present your local municipality with a notification of environmental management. At times, you also need to request for an All-in-one Permit for Physical Aspects.

9. Take into account fire safety requirements for your business premises

It is imperative that you take precautions to ensure fire safety when you take up a business premises. Usually, you need to present your local municipality with a notification of occupancy. At times, you also need to request for an All-in-one Permit for Physical Aspects.

10. Set up your business accounts

Before launching your business, set up your business accounts, which you are required to maintain and retain for seven years.

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