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Company Register Netherlands

Updated on 4 June 2024

If you want to establish a company overseas, you will have to take into account that your newly found company will be officially registered in the country you choose. In every country, there is a company register that holds all data regarding active and inactive businesses within that specific country. In the Netherlands, this trade register is overseen and updated by the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (‘Kamer van Koophandel’ in Dutch). In general, all companies, legal entities and organizations that participate in economic activity are registered in the trade register. This way, every entrepreneur can check important information about any company, such as who they are dealing with, who within a certain company is authorized to sign documents, and whether there has been a bankruptcy. This ensures that you have legal certainty when doing business. The company register is a public register, which is consulted by both natural persons and legal entities millions of times every year.

The Dutch Chamber of Commerce records a very wide variety of data in the trade register, such as the names, contact details and other personal information regarding officials within the company. Each registration receives a unique Chamber of Commerce number. Almost all the data is public, so you can find out whether a company of your interest exists, who is responsible and where the company is located. This also applies to the data of deregistered companies and organizations in connection with liability and any debts incurred in the past. Some data is only available to authorized persons, such as lawyers, notaries, bailiffs or judicial services. The exact nature of this restricted data is determined in the Dutch Trade Register Act, but in general, you should be able to access all relevant data regarding your specific query.

The publicly available data includes:

  • The name of the company or organization
  • All contact details of the company, such as an address, telephone number, fax number, e-mail address and internet address
  • Branch office data
  • Information regarding all officials and authorized signatories
  • The trustee in case of bankruptcy
  • The number of employees within the company

The UBO (Ultimate Beneficial Owner) register is part of the Trade Register, you can read more about this topic in this article we published earlier. Please be informed, though, that since November 22, 2022, this specific data has been temporarily unavailable to the public due to a ruling by the European Court of Justice1.

All Dutch companies are registered in the Netherlands’ trade register

Thus, all companies established in The Netherlands must be included in the company register of the Netherlands. When starting a business in the Netherlands, one of the first official steps you should take is to enlist your business in this register. Not only do the Dutch authorities use this register to keep track of all Dutch businesses, for example, for statistical purposes, but this database can also help individuals look up business names, the activities associated with a business, the accompanying registration numbers, and extensive accounting information. This means you can easily find out if a company you are engaging with in business is legitimate and legally capable of conducting business.

The Dutch Trade Register can also help you find out if someone is an authorized signatory for a certain company. In general, if your business isn’t registered in the trade register, you cannot conduct business with your company at all. The Dutch business register includes both Dutch companies and branches and subsidiaries of international companies operating in the country. These must all be included in the trade register.

The available information for each company includes (but is not necessarily limited to) the name and address of the business, a working telephone number to contact the company, the current number of employees, and certain details about the company’s representatives. You can also look up the company’s financial background, such as any bankruptcies that may have occurred during the history of the business. Most of the information found on the website of the Dutch Chamber of Commerce is free of charge, yet financial statements, documents that have been filed on behalf of the company, the history of the company, and corporate relationships are amongst the many additional pieces of information that can be purchased.

Why it’s important to look up the details of other companies

If you consider working with other companies or buying supplies from others, it is always wise to check whether a company is legitimate. Only businesses that are registered in the Dutch trade register are considered legitimate. Because they are registered, you can look up the information we have discussed above and, by doing so, find out more details about a certain company. In some cases, companies have dealt with bankruptcy and might have outstanding debts or other problems that might also negatively impact their own businesses. It is also important that you find out whether someone is doing business legally and is not involved in shady or illegal practices. When you partner up with a company that is involved in illegal activities, this can have serious consequences for the legitimacy of your own company. Furthermore, investigating someone’s past is an integral part of due diligence. If you want to do business with healthy companies, always make sure you have the most recent information available. This will save you from possible problems in the future.

Searching the Dutch company register online

If you want to request data from the trade register, you can easily do this online. Anyone can search for companies and organizations in the trade register by trade name, address or Chamber of Commerce number. The searching itself is free, as is the basic data the Chamber of Commerce provides for free. If you want more detailed information, such as an extract from the trade register or annual accounts, then keep in mind that some fees might be charged. These are generally minimal, though, so you won’t have to invest a lot to obtain the necessary information. Whether you are a Dutch-born citizen or a citizen of another country who is looking to establish a new business, in both cases, the Netherlands can suit you very well. Due to the bilingual capabilities of most residents, the Dutch Company Register is also set up with a bilingual website. English and Dutch versions of the site are available for ease of use by people even beyond the borders of the Netherlands. This adds to the user-friendly interface of the site, which makes information easily accessible in both languages. Another key feature of the website is the ease of payment for any additional information you may want to obtain. Online payment is available by using your credit card or iDEAL, and you can also choose to use the direct debit option from your bank account.

The Netherlands Chamber of Commerce regulates the national trade register, which is a register of all active companies in the Netherlands. This is handy in many cases, as it’s very easy to look up all sorts of information about Dutch companies. For example, for every new company registration in the Netherlands, the first step an entrepreneur will have to perform is a name check. Is the preferred name of the new Dutch company already taken? A quick search in the company register in the Netherlands will show if the name is available. Our firm can assist you with registering a name for your Dutch company. According to Dutch law, every legal entity will have to deposit annual account information with the Trade Register. The Dutch Chamber of Commerce’s function is to register this information. All annual accounts of Dutch companies are kept up to date by the Dutch Trade Register. You can find out details about potential business partners or companies that you consider competitors. This can provide you with very useful information that you can utilize for various goals, such as writing up a business plan, looking for investors or simply creating a forecast of the future for your business.

Intercompany Solutions: company register services in the Netherlands

Registering your new Dutch company is a task that you should preferably outsource to professionals in this specific field. Are you currently looking for local experts who have extensive knowledge regarding the corporate register of the Netherlands to help you incorporate a Dutch BV? Then you have found yourself at the right address. Our firm has the appropriate expertise to assist with your company's establishment in the company register of the Netherlands. Any entity providing goods or services to clients and generating profit from this activity is defined as a business. If you would like to make a new entry in the Netherlands’ company register or register a branch or subsidiary company that is already established abroad, rest assured that our experts can provide you with the necessary assistance.

Intercompany Solutions can help you with every step in the process of setting up your new business. We can also help you with applying for local banking, financial and local representative services if you are working out of the country. Once your business is up and running, we can also be of service when it comes to bookkeeping and taxation. Leaving the heavy lifting to us allows you to focus on the more important aspects of the business. Our full-service package consists of services such as:

  • Registering your business in the company register of the Netherlands, which generally takes between 3-5 business days. In some cases, we can speed up the procedure to 1-2 business days.
  • We can assist you in the administrative process of setting up a company and provide extra legal, financial and other services as needed.
  • We can also register а subsidiary or branch office of your international company in the trade register of the Netherlands. Thus, your branch will be able to easily do business in the EU by obtaining an EORI number, a value-added tax number, and an account at a Dutch or other European bank.
  • We can assist with opening a Dutch business bank account
  • Obtaining the registration and VAT number for your company
  • Financial services, such as taking care of your periodic tax returns

Requirements for the registration of a company in the Netherlands

There are a few requirements to open a Dutch business, which are equal for every entrepreneur:

The company needs a unique company name
The notary deed needs to be officially translated or provided in English
1 euro minimum share capital
The Dutch tax office prefers to see that your firm has ties to the Netherlands.
You need a Dutch registration address

A unique company name

One of the first things you will have to take care of is coming up with a new and unique company name. Once a certain name is already in use, it is generally protected by intellectual property and copyright laws. Needless to say, the current owner of a company with the name you desire won’t like it when you just copy the name. So, try to figure out something entirely unique that still fits well with your company’s goals and your personal ambitions.

Official translation of the notary deed

Since you will open a company in the Netherlands, you will also have to incorporate the company with the assistance of a Dutch notary. This means that the incorporation deed will be drafted in the Dutch language in most cases. You might need this deed of incorporation yourself, though, so it needs to be translated into English as well. Intercompany Solutions always provides you with an English translation, as this is a part of the total registration package we offer. It is also already included in the pricing.

Minimum share capital

The current minimum share capital to start a Dutch BV is 1 euro, which is normally divided into a certain amount of shares. In the past, the minimum share capital used to be 18,000 euros. Since the introduction of the so-called Flex-BV, however, this amount has been lowered to 1 euro. This has made the incorporation of a Dutch BV much easier and more attainable for entrepreneurs all over the world, seeing that not everyone has a start-up capital of 18,000 euros.

Ties to the Netherlands

In general, the Dutch government prefers that your business be tied to the Netherlands in some way or another. If you start a Dutch company, you should make sure that you do business with other Dutch companies or sell or buy products from Dutch natural persons. Another way to create ties with the country is to hire local personnel or move to the Netherlands yourself as a company owner. The authorities would like to see that the Netherlands also profits from your business being established here, as opposed to only you.

A Dutch registration address for your company

Last, but certainly not least, your company will need an official Dutch registration address in order to be registered. You can either hire an office space or opt for a virtual business address. There are many companies offering business addresses that often also digitally scan and save all your business communications. You can look for such services online, we advise that you choose an address in a well-known Dutch city, as this will do wonders for your general business image.

How can you protect your privacy?

Being listed in the trade register obviously offers many benefits, since you are operating a legitimate Dutch business and are thus able to trade freely within the entire EU. Nonetheless, it also means that your data is open to the public. One of the main purposes of the trade register is to obtain legal certainty, but other companies can also use the data that is stored for direct marketing purposes. This can become very annoying, especially if you receive a lot of telephone calls and emails. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do about your data being public, but there are ways to limit the possibility of others contacting you. For example, you can use a non-mailing indicator or put your contact details on so-called ‘no contact’ lists. This way, others legally won’t be able to contact you. Private data, however, such as your private address, is restricted from viewing by the public. Private addresses of officers of legal entities (for example, the director of a BV) have not been public since 2008. The private addresses of the owner, partners and partners of any sole proprietorship, general partnership, CV, or partnership have no longer been public since January 1, 2022. Only employees of administrative bodies, lawyers, notaries and bailiffs can view this data if they have authorization to do so. Nonetheless, the Dutch Chamber of Commerce can only protect your business address in very exceptional situations2.

Incorporating a Dutch BV company in the Dutch Business Register

The most popular company type for foreign entrepreneurs in the Netherlands is the Dutch BV company. The Dutch BV is comparable to a private limited liability company. The BV has its own legal rights, and the owners and directors are not liable for the actions of the BV itself. The current type of BV company may be formed with as little as a €1 share capital deposit. The BV company is nowadays also known as ”Flex BV”, which has to do with the regulations that came into effect on October 1, 2012. This change made it much easier to establish a Dutch BV, especially for people with a low amount of starting capital.

The process of becoming registered can be fairly simple with the help of an expert on the subject, such as Intercompany Solutions. What you will need up front is as follows:

  • The deed of incorporation
  • All involved shareholders' details
  • Details about the company’s managers
  • A bank reference about the deposited share capital
  • Authorization for Intercompany Solutions to act on your behalf, if you are not able to travel to the Netherlands

Once all of this information is gathered and submitted, you will be issued an access code. Only people with access codes are able to view the information contained in the Dutch Trade Register. A Netherlands company registration is finalized by an official registration in the Netherlands Trade Register. This means you will receive your own unique registration number that is linked to your Dutch business. For representation purposes, you will be seen as a company in the Netherlands, and with the Netherlands’ excellent reputation, this will allow you to do business in Europe much easier and with less legal and administrative hassle. A company registration in the Netherlands may be performed from anywhere globally, which means you can set up a Dutch business at any given time. Our service is to guarantee a smooth company registration procedure in the Netherlands and assist you with everything involved with starting your new business. We can also assist you with obtaining a Dutch VAT number and applying for a Dutch company bank account.

To register a BV, you might need a Netherlands incorporation agent to assist you with this rather complicated matter, especially if you don’t have any experience doing this. Such an incorporation agent is specialized in working with foreign entrepreneurs and the particularities of forming a Dutch BV as a foreigner. The incorporation agent has to perform due diligence on the client, identify them and prepare the incorporation forms. The incorporation forms will be certified by a notary public and published in the company register of the Netherlands. When the company register has the information for the new BV company, they will publish this immediately on the website of the Dutch Trade Register.

The BV is fully incorporated when the notary has passed the deed, the company register has published the information, and the shareholders have paid up the share capital to the BV company bank account. Intercompany Solutions can assist you during every step of this entire process, since we have many years of experience with the incorporation of foreign firms in the Netherlands. Simply contact us for professional personal advice or a direct quote.

Video explainers on starting a Dutch company

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What Intercompany Solutions can do for you

We have assisted hundreds of foreign entrepreneurs from over 50 different nationalities during the past few years. Our clients range from small, one-person startups to multinational corporations. Our processes are specifically aimed at foreign entrepreneurs, since we know the most practical ways to assist with your company registration from multiple years of hands-on experience.

Next to the company registration procedure, we can assist you with the full package of services tied to company registration in the Netherlands:

  • Opening of a local bank account
  • Administration services
  • Application for VAT or EORI number
  • Tax services
  • Startup assistance
  • Media
  • General business advice

Opening a Dutch corporate bank account

To apply for a bank account for your firm, you first need to have your company incorporated. After incorporation, you may pay the share capital to a bank account, that you open after the incorporation, to complete the process. Your bank account can be used right away for business transactions. We can assist you with the application for a business bank account in the Netherlands, since we work together with several banks.

Administration services

Next to opening a bank account, we can also assist your company with several administrative services. For example, we offer extensive secretarial services that can aid you in minimizing your workload. If you don’t have to take care of most administrative matters, you have much more time to focus on your core business and other necessary tasks, such as operational activities, acquisition and marketing.

Application for a VAT or EORI number

Next to having to register your company at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce, you will also have to apply for a Dutch VAT number. A VAT number is always necessary, since you will have to pay taxes and VAT that you billed to the tax authorities. Also, if you plan to do business internationally, you will need an Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number. This is a registration and identification number for all companies that trade goods into and out of the EU. Intercompany Solutions can arrange both for you.

Tax services

We offer a variety of services that are aimed at assisting you with periodical and yearly tax returns. These services are also linked to our administrative services, but you can choose whether you would like to make use of these services and which ones have your preference. Keep in mind, that it is very important that you take care of all financial matters meticulously. This will save you a lot of potential trouble and money in the future.

Start-up assistance

If you are thinking about starting an entirely new company, it is wise to seek assistance from an experienced party. Intercompany Solutions has helped hundreds of start-ups in the Netherlands, which generally turn out to be very successful after their establishment. We can help you with many issues, such as finding a good location for your company, your business plan and linking you to possibly interested third parties. Please feel free to contact us for more information.

Media coverage

If you would like more exposure for your company, getting media coverage is a great way to achieve this. Marketing and promotion can often stagnate after a while, which is why it’s important to showcase your company to a broader audience. We work with multiple companies that have contacts in this field, offering you the possibility of achieving a larger amount of exposure for your business.

General business advice

Next to all the practical services listed above, we also offer a variety of extra services that may help your business move forward. These services range from administrative tasks to helping you set up contracts with partners and employees. We have an experienced team of legal, fiscal and general specialists that can answer every possible query for you, and also point you in the right direction.

Why the Netherlands is an interesting country to register your new business

The Netherlands has always been at the forefront of innovation, cooperation and unique concepts that fuel a very vibrant yet stable corporate climate. In addition to housing many excellent universities that actively cooperate with all sectors, the Dutch are also incredibly open to new entrepreneurs who can shed some new light on any given situation. Especially foreign investors and potential business owners are welcome here due to the diversity and challenging perspectives they provide. This open mindset has been a Dutch trait since early history, supporting an excellent business atmosphere that always stimulates growth and evolution. We will shortly outline some interesting factors below that generally benefit entrepreneurs who choose to establish a Dutch company.

The Netherlands provides a very competitive business climate

Forbes magazine currently ranks the Netherlands 4th in the world as the "best country for doing business’’. Next to that, the World Economic Forum mentions the Netherlands as the 4th most competitive and innovative economy in the world. The Netherlands is therefore one of the most convenient locations to start a business in the European Union. Not only is the business climate inviting, but the Dutch also offer a very competitive corporate tax rate, as we have already mentioned. This allows you to expand your business in multiple ways and generate more profits in a relatively short timeframe.

The Netherlands is a core member of the European Union

Since the Dutch golden age during the 17th century, the Netherlands has been a highly successful trading country. Due to this national tradition, the Netherlands has established excellent relations with a vast array of foreign countries, both within and outside the EU. The Netherlands is also a founding member of the EU. The EU makes it easy and convenient for a company in a member state to do business with any EU country, mainly because of the existence of the European Single Market. The Netherlands is seen as one of the most stable, reputable and trusted EU countries.

The Netherlands has an excellent and strategically positioned location

The harbor of Rotterdam is one of the world’s largest harbors, and currently the largest in Europe. Only a few Asian ports are larger, meaning that an incredible amount of goods goes through Rotterdam on a yearly basis. Next to that, the airport of Amsterdam (Schiphol) is the 3rd busiest airport in the world according to Airports Council International, which means that there is a very high amount of international passenger traffic. A fun detail is the fact that Rotterdam and Amsterdam are located within an hours’ drive from each other. Logically, these facts are very positive for anyone looking to expand their business to the Netherlands.

The Dutch speak your language

The Dutch have a very high proficiency of the English language, with one of the highest percentages of the populations that speak English as a secondary language. The amount of Dutch people who speak English is above 90%, plus the Netherlands holds the prime position in the world regarding English proficiency as a second language. The Dutch are also schooled in German, French and Spanish. The Dutch universities are renowned for their quality and educational standards, making the Dutch economy a powerful one, despite the relatively small size of the country.

Associations and memberships

We are constantly improving our standards of quality to deliver impeccable services. 

Media

Intercompany Solutions CEO Bjorn Wagemakers and client Brian Mckenzie are featured in a report for The National (CBC News) ‘Dutch Economy braces for the worst with Brexit’, in a visit to our notary public on 12 February 2019.

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Need assistance?

Intercompany Solutions is a well-known brand in the Netherlands, as well as abroad, as a trusted incorporating agent in the Netherlands. We are constantly looking for opportunities to share our solutions with foreign entrepreneurs.

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Contact us directly.

Our company formation specialists will be eager to assist you with a free initial consultation, to answer all questions you may have about doing business in the Netherlands.

Frequently Asked Questions about Company Registration and the Dutch Trade Register

Can non-residents form a company in the Netherlands?

Yes, it is absolutely possible for non-Dutch residents to establish a company in the Netherlands. It is actually even promoted, as the Dutch are drawn to a high amount of diversity and appreciate alternate viewpoints, innovative new solutions and different ways of solving existing problems. Foreign entrepreneurs are therefore encouraged to try their luck in the Netherlands businesswise, since this benefits the national and international business climate and economic position of the country. It also positively influences international trade and the image of the Netherlands as an inclusive country.

What do non-residents need for Netherlands company formation?

If you want to establish a Dutch company, you will need some basic documents and data to start the process. The first important necessity is a unique and original company name, which resonates with your overall goals and ambitions. You will also need one or more founders of the company, since a company cannot establish itself. Next to these two basics, there is also a chance you might need permits, depending on the nature of the business you wish to incorporate. If you want to physically move to the Netherlands as an individual, you might also need a permit or visa, this depends on your country of origin. Intercompany Solutions can assist you professionally with all these matters.

When can non-residents start a company in the Netherlands?

You can start a company in the Netherlands at any given point in time, provided you already have all the necessary data and documents for company formation. If you want to establish a company that deals with seasonal goods or services, it is generally smart to incorporate the company within a timeframe before your goods and services will be needed, as this will give you enough time to settle in and start all preparatory activities.

When should one consider forming a company in the Netherlands?

Starting a Dutch company can be interesting for you in several ways. If you are looking to expand your current business internationally or if you want to start a new internationally oriented business, then the Netherlands is a perfect option due to its strategic position for international trade. The country is also a highly acclaimed member state of the European Union, which makes it possible for you to reap all the benefits of doing business within the EU and its Single Market. Next to that, the Netherlands has a very vibrant business climate, a stable economy and many interesting opportunities for foreign investors and entrepreneurs. The population is almost entirely bilingual, making it very easy for you to find suitable staff and freelancers. Lastly, the country is very welcoming towards foreigners, making you and your company feel welcome from the start.

How much does Netherlands company formation cost?

The costs for company formation are not standardized, as every company is different and thus will require a variety of actions for incorporation. In general, you will need to take into account that there are registration fees, costs for a notary, possible translation costs for the deed of incorporation, the costs of opening a Dutch bank account, and the fee for our services. If your company requires certain permits, then these costs also need to be added. If you want to move to the Netherlands yourself, you will also have to add possible fees for a work permit or visa. Furthermore, if you require further assistance, there will be extra costs for additional services. We offer a standard start-up package of 1499 euros without any hidden fees or costs for standard procedures. Please contact us for a personalized quote if you want to be absolutely sure regarding the costs of Dutch company registration.

Which documents are needed for non-residents in Netherlands company formation?

Once you decide to set up a Dutch company, you will need to deliver some standard documents to us. This entails a valid form of identification, your preferred company name, and the details of all shareholders to be involved in the company. Next to that, you will need a deed of incorporation drafted by a notary if you wish to set up a Dutch BV. If you also want to open a bank account, some additional documents might also be necessary. We will inform you about this prior to the application.

Do I need to physically travel to the Netherlands to establish a Dutch business?

A personal visit is not needed, but it may be helpful. It depends on the specific case and your preferences. In most cases, we can handle the entire registration procedure for you remotely. You will have to visit the notary in your home country, though, to legalize the necessary documents and maybe also translate them. Only in very rare cases is it necessary for you to physically travel here, and also in the case when you wish to immigrate to the Netherlands.

Which type of company do I need?

For most foreign entrepreneurs, the Dutch BV is the most suitable type of company. Of course, this depends on several factors, such as the preferred type of business, the amount of profit you intend to generate, whether or not you will be working with partners, if you want to go public, and the nature of the business. Some sectors have very specific business types, such as general practitioners, which work together under one roof. But in almost all cases, our clients choose to establish a Dutch BV. You can read more extensive information about the Dutch BV in this article.

How can I get my company registered in the Dutch Trade Register?

The company formation procedure that Intercompany Solutions follows is specifically aimed at registering your company officially in the Dutch trade register. All steps involved are necessary in order to obtain a Dutch Chamber of Commerce number. Thus, enabling us to assist you with the incorporation of your Dutch company always leads to your company being registered in the trade register.

Where can I get assistance with Dutch company formation?

There are many companies that offer assistance with Dutch company formation. Intercompany Solutions is one of these companies. We offer you a very wide variety of expertise that we have built up over the years, combining extensive knowledge with practical experience. This enables us to take care of business very rapidly since we are personally acquainted with all the important players and organizations within the field.

Sources:

[1] https://www.kvk.nl/over-het-handelsregister/geregistreerd-in-het-handelsregister/

[2] https://www.kvk.nl/over-het-handelsregister/geregistreerd-in-het-handelsregister/

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