5 Reasons to Start a Business in the Netherlands

The Netherlands is the sixth-largest economy in the European union and has one of the oldest open economies in the world. Across the board, the Netherlands has something to offer for most business type or sector. The country has earned its place on the world stage as an essential player in the world’s trade and knowledge economy. As a result, Forbes magazine has ranked the Netherlands as the number 4 best country for businesses. 

Here are just a few reasons businesses from all over the world are choosing to start their business in the Netherlands. 

Attractive Corporate Tax Scheme 

One of the significant drivers of the Dutch economy is diversity among businesses. To enable this diversity, the Netherlands supports offers several attractive incentive programs that appeal to various types of businesses. To list just a few, the Netherlands provides credit for R&D-related expenses, strict measures to prevent double-taxation between your home business, and financial relief programs for new businesses.  

Additionally, the Netherlands offers a highly competitive corporate tax scheme in Europe: the 2020 Dutch corporate tax rate being relatively low at 16.5% of the taxable income up to and including €200,000, above which the rate is 25%. The rates will further decrease to 15% and 21.7% respectively in 2021.  Continue reading about the corporate tax scheme and trends here.

Flexible for all business types

 No matter what your business goals are, there’s a great reason to achieve them in the Netherlands. To drive the diverse business culture in the Netherlands, there is something to be offered for any business type. 

Headquarters: Establishing your headquarters in the Netherlands provides your business with access to the competitive corporate tax rate and other key qualities that makes the country essential for businesses. Including the international orientation of the country, highly educated workforce, geographic access to the rest of Europe, and ideal business climate. 

Start-ups: As one of the most innovative countries in Europe, the community of start-ups in the Netherlands is robust and cooperative. Entrepreneurs get to take advantage of financial relief schemes for new businesses, world-class incubators and R&D facilities, and a path to a residence permit. 

Research and Development: World-class research and facilities will provide R&D units with a competitive edge. In 2019, the Netherlands was the top producer of IP receipts and foreign direct investment outflow. 

Logistics: Considered to be the “trade hub of Europe,” the Netherlands provides great access by land and sea to other countries within Europe. As a result, there are more distributions centers in the Netherlands than in all neighboring countries combined. 


Ideal Business Climate

Businesses frequently choose to move to the Netherlands thanks to its international orientation and otherwise ideal business climate for a variety of multinationals and new businesses. 

90% of Dutch people are fluent in English and even more are multilingual in other languages. As a result, the country maintains a strong international orientation and is very accepting of foreign business. 

The location of the Netherlands is ideal for businesses seeking to enter to European market. Nestled between Germany, France, and just across the pond from the UK, conducting business with European neighbors will be simple. Additionally, the country is located right on the coast and enables businesses access and proximity to top-ranked ports. 

Likewise, the Netherlands is a highly developed country with first-class infrastructure and robust support for internationals expanding in country. No matter where you’re coming from, the Netherlands will meet (or exceed!) your expectations.

Highly Skilled Talent Pool

The Netherlands is a knowledge-based economy who invests in developing highly skilled local talent while attracting top talent from abroad. The country is home to some of the top universities in Europe and offers several attractive incentives for highly skilled foreign employees. To learn more about how the Netherlands attracts highly skilled talent, read the article on our blog here.

As a result of the Netherlands’ high quality education and incentives for highly skilled employees, the Dutch labour force is considered to be one of the most skilled and educated in the world.

Strong network for International support

Thanks to the internationally-minded business culture in the Netherlands, starting a business as a foreigner in the Netherlands is simple. There is an entire market of firms that will supplement your business with the local knowledge and insight you need to get started. From relocation experts who find employee housing, to recruitment and talent specialists, corporate tax advisors, immigration specialists, and payroll solutions… Foreign businesses have the luxury of choice. 

As the one-stop-shop for starting your business in the Netherlands, we’ve created a list of helpful resources for working and living in the Netherlands


Expand your business to the Netherlands 

Octagon Professionals is considered the “one-stop-shop” for foreign businesses and expats looking to establish in the Netherlands. No matter what your business needs to achieve in the Netherlands, our firm can help guide you in the right direction or provide most of the services you need to succeed in-house.  

To learn more about how Octagon Professionals can help you set up operations in the Netherlands, schedule a consultation with one of our experts.

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