Brexit: 5 reasons to start your UK business in the Netherlands

Now that the Brexit transition period has ended, the UK has officially cut all ties with the EU. The situation has become frantic for the UK service industry regarding their access to the EU market. To circumvent the border issues, many British business owners are considering forming EU-based companies in order to distribute their goods far more freely.

Despite the coronavirus, the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency reported a steady stream of UK businesses expanding to Holland throughout 2020 as a result of Brexit. Over 500 businesses are currently in discussions with the NFIA about expanding to Holland in the coming years.

But why are so many UK businesses choosing to set up an entity in the Netherlands? Why is Holland the top choice by UK businesses over other EU countries? Here are just 5 reasons why setting up an entity in Holland can help your UK business succeed:

1. Escape the “red tape”

The most noticeable impact of Brexit on both the EU and the UK side is the increased presence of customs and border control. Now that the UK has officially left the EU, businesses are forced to comply with plenty of additional paperwork.

According to a CIPS survey, more than half the UK companies trading with the EU have suffered delays due to post-Brexit paperwork. At the moment, the delays prompted by these bureaucratic requirements, combining with extra protocols to deal with Covid-19, can endure for up to six months, up to and including 30 June 2021.

Circumventing these additional bureaucratic burdens is the main reason UK businesses are choosing to set up an entity in the EU. And the Netherlands is the best choice out of all of them.

2. Diversify your workforce

Immigration was an important platform for the Brexit movement – and the result was to introduce immigration procedures that prioritize and invest the people already located and working in the UK. This switch in priorities has concerned a number of UK business owners who are struggling to find the talent and skills they need from the UK alone. In fact, according to research recently completed by the Association of Professional Staffing Companies in the UK, 72% of recruiters operating in the UK are concerned about finding the unique talent they need from the UK alone.

Thankfully, 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.

3. Ship goods into the EU by sea

For any UK business that needs to ship goods in and out of Europe – choosing Holland for your EU entity is a “no-brainer”. The UK and the Netherlands are not only the closest geographically, but they have one of the best land-to-sea logistic connections in the world.

If your business is already anticipating delays thanks to additional border controls, you’re better off shipping via Dutch harbors. This way, you can limit your delays to border control operations – rather than the actual time to ship from point A to point B.

4. Strong network for international businesses

Thanks to the internationally-minded business culture in the Netherlands, starting a business as a UK national in the Netherlands is relatively 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.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed over where to start, Octagon is as good a place as any! Our knowledgeable team can support your business during their expansion to the Netherlands – no local knowledge required.

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.

5. Flexible for all types of businesses

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.

Establish an EU entity for your UK business in Holland

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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