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Advice about publishing annual accounts in the Netherlands

If you operate a business in the Netherlands, there is a strong chance that you will need to submit your annual financial accounts with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (KVK). You must do so if you are responsible for:

A public limited company (NV);
A private limited company (BV);
A mutual insurance association;
A cooperative association;
A general or limited partnership (VOF or CV resp.) where all the managing directors are foreign nationals;
A foundation that is responsible for one or several companies with a certain amount of turnover.

What are the annual account publishing requirements?

The Dutch authorities take the publishing of annual accounts very seriously and it is essential to meet the deadline. Your annual accounts must be submitted to the Chamber of Commerce (KVK) within 8 working days after they have been formally adopted. If you have been able to adopt the annual accounts in time, it is possible to offer your provisional accounts. Your accountant or auditor will be able to advise you about the deadline as this varies according to the legal set-up of your company, but it will definitely be within a year from the start of the financial year. If you miss the deadline, you will probably have to pay a fine. There is also the chance that you may be held personally liable for company debt in the event of bankruptcy – even if your company is structured to prevent this occurrence.

The way in which you publish your annual accounts largely depends on the size category of your company – micro, small, medium or large. If your company is classed as small or micro you are advised to file your own accounts online which is a straightforward process. If you use an intermediary, they must use the Standard Business Reporting software (SBR) when submitting returns online.

These accounts are public records. If you are interested in viewing any businesses annual accounts, you can order them online via the Chamber of Commerce.

Foreign legal entities

Foreign legal entities are also obliged to submit their annual accounts in the Netherlands:

If they are from countries not part of the EU with a branch in the Netherlands if they are required to submit yearly accounts in the country of domicile.
Foreign legal entities that may be registered in their country of origin but do not have an active relationship with that country and solely operate in the Netherlands.

Circumstances when you do not need to file your annual accounts
There are several situations where you don’t need to submit your annual accounts. This mainly applies to daughter companies (subsidiaries) and small private limited companies for the purposes of pensions or annuities. Nonetheless, you will be obliged to publish a declaration of consent or an accountant’s report. In extraordinary circumstances, such as bankruptcy, theft or fire, you can ask for an exception to the obligation to file your annual accounts.

Contact our accounting and tax specialists for more information.

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