How to register your business in the Netherlands

One of the most important first steps to establish your business in the Netherlands is to register your business with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koohandel (KvK)). The Chamber of Commerce is the institution in the Netherlands that manages the official business entity registration of every organisation in the country.

Our firm has been assisting foreign businesses in all matters of conducting business in the Netherlands for more than 30 years. We can help your team determine the best entity to register as for your long-term goals, assist in the actual registration process, and help you manage your long-term relationship with the Chamber of Commerce. If you’d like more information about how we can help, please reach out to us. 

In our experience working with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce, there are a few best practices your team should employ to get your business registered and operational, seamlessly.

Register your business ASAP

Registering your business with the Chamber of Commerce should be one of the first things you do after you decide to come to the Netherlands. Most businesses are required by Dutch Law to register as an entity with the Chamber of Commerce — you will not be able to conduct any official business without doing so.

Many organisations in the Netherlands have access to this registry — including banks and other official authorities. If your business cannot be found on the registry by these organisations, it will be impossible to open a bank account or invoice with VAT.

Update the Chamber of Commerce Regularly

It is essential to keep the Chamber of Commerce updated whenever critical information about your business changes. This is publicly accessible information about your business, and it is important to keep your registry up to date. 

These are the types of changes we keep in mind about our clients:

  • Address of your main office in the Netherlands
  • Legal structure of your business (Mergers, take-overs, acquisitions, etc)
  • Company website
  • Contact information (email / telephone) of the Owner, or Board of Directors.
  • Number of employees in the company (total and in the Netherlands – updated quarterly)
  • Names and functions of signatory employees for Dutch operations

Research your business entity 

When you register your business with the Chamber of Commerce, it is important to understand which type of company – or legal entity – your business represents. The Dutch system of legal structures has some similar entities to other countries – for example a ‘BV’ is the Dutch equivalent of the Private Limited (LTD) entity – but in the Netherlands, these entities may have different impacts compared to your home country.

Our experts recommend taking the time to really understand the differing business entities to understand which will support their business best. 

Visit the Chamber of Commerce website (in Dutch)

If you are familiar with the Dutch language or have a robust translation application in your Internet browser, it’s worthwhile to visit the Chamber of Commerce website. Once you know your business entity, you can visit this page – https://www.kvk.nl/inschrijven-en-wijzigen/inschrijven/ and select the situation that fits your business best.

The page you land on will inform you of the forms you will need to complete and notarize in order to successfully register your business. Many situations will provide you with the appropriate forms, but you may be required to make an in-person appointment.

The Chamber of Commerce website is also a great place to stay up to date on important issues for employers. Most of the content is tailored for entrepreneurs and small businesses, but there is great information and webinars in English to help you get acquainted with Dutch labour law.

Find a local partner

The goal of the Dutch Chamber of Commerce is to make business registration and management of your business’ information as straightforward as possible. Unfortunately, starting/expanding a business is rarely straightforward, and it is likely that exceptions from the norm will apply to your business. 

That is why foreign firms and non-Dutch investors choose to contract these official processes with experts in local law. Octagon Professionals is well-equipped to help your team register your business in the Netherlands, and provide you with advice that will set up your business for long-term success. 

If you’d like help registering your business, or anything else during your expansion in the Netherlands, get in touch with us and find out how we can support your growth.