If you want to set up a Dutch business, you will have to register your company with multiple governmental organizations such as the Dutch Chamber of Commerce and the Dutch Tax Authorities as well. It’s best to be prepared for registration, since you will have to provide a lot of documents and information in order for the process to run smoothly. If you want this done well and precise, Intercompany Solutions can take care of the entire process in just a few business days. In this article, we will outline the necessary steps to acquire a Dutch Tax Authorities registration.
Check whether you need to register with the Chamber of Commerce
Registration with the Chamber of Commerce is only necessary if you aspire to be a real entrepreneur according to Dutch law. According to the Chamber of Commerce, you are an entrepreneur if you independently supply goods or services with the intention of making a profit. But this criterion is a bit too crude to be certain, hence the Dutch Chamber of Commerce has listed extra criteria. Below are the criteria you must meet to register.
Criteria of a Dutch company
- You provide services and/or products
- You ask more for these services and/or products than the cost price: a (commercial) price or hourly rate that earns you money
- You do business with people other than just friends or family, and you also compete with entrepreneurs who sell the same or equivalent services or products
Do all 3 of these entrepreneurial criteria apply to you? Then there are a following number of questions that enable you to check whether there is entrepreneurship.
- Do you invest money and/or time in starting or growing your company?
- Do you regularly work in your own company and is it not a one-off job?
- Are you going to work for more than 1 client?
- Do you decide when and how you work?
If you cannot answer all questions with a ‘yes’, then you probably cannot register with the Chamber of Commerce. If all these questions apply to you, then it is possible to register a Dutch company. This will entail several steps, which we have outlined below in detail. If you so wish, Intercompany Solutions can assist you during the entire process of company registration in the Netherlands.
Registration with the Dutch Tax Authorities
After your registration in the Dutch Trade Register, the Chamber of Commerce will pass on your details to the Tax Authorities. You do not have to register your company separately with the tax authorities, as this has already taken place. If the Dutch Tax Authorities include you as a VAT entrepreneur in the administration, you will receive your turnover tax number and your VAT identification number (VAT ID). The Tax and Customs Administration also determines whether you are an entrepreneur for income tax purposes.
Get organized in advance to register your Dutch company
Before you register with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce, you must prepare yourself. Have you thought about the type of company you want to register? Do you have any previous experience in the field you would like to operate in? These are questions you need to ask yourself and, subsequently, prepare for when you have the appointment. This means that you will have to arrange and prepare several documents and information, which are mentioned below.
A company name
You need a company name to register your company with the Chamber of Commerce. A company name must meet a number of rules, namely that it should not give the wrong impression, it cannot be the same as an existing brand or trade name and it should be clear and understandable. The following characters are allowed: @ & – +. However, characters such as ( )? ! * # / may not appear in your company name. We advise thinking about this for a while, because your company name and logo will be like your company’s business card.
Choose a legal form
As a starting entrepreneur, you must choose a legal form, such as a sole proprietorship, general partnership or a Dutch BV which is equivalent to a private limited company. Which legal form best suits your company depends on your personal situation and preferences. For example, this entails how you arrange liability and which option is the most tax advantageous. Intercompany Solutions can help you decide which legal entity suits your ideas and ambitions best.
Check whether your company has to register Ultimate Beneficial Owners
Depending on the legal form of your business, you must also register beneficial owners. Ultimate beneficial owners are persons who, for example, are the ultimate owner of or have control over an organization. If you are setting up a business alone, this will only be you. But if you want to start a business with multiple people in charge, all these people need to be named and identify themselves with proper identification.
Make an appointment online
To finalize your registration, you must visit the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel). During your visit to the Chamber of Commerce, you will immediately receive your Chamber of Commerce number. You can make an appointment online easily. When you fill in the Chamber of Commerce registration form, make sure you have the following information at hand:
- Your personal data
- The contact details of your company
- A company description about your activities and in which industry you will be active
If you register with the Chamber of Commerce, you will receive an SBI code. This code indicates what your exact business activities are. If you are renting an office building, also take the lease of your business premises with you. If you are establishing the company in a commercial building, you should bring the rental agreement or purchase agreement with you. If you register your company at a so-called registration address, then take the contract with you.
When do you have to come by for registration?
The timing of registering your business is very important. In general, you can register your company at any Dutch Chamber of Commerce office at three distinct times:
- No later than one week after you started your business
- One week before starting your business
- Earlier: the definitive registration (with a Chamber of Commerce number) will then take place one week before the start of your company. You do not have to come to the Chamber of Commerce again for this to take effect.
How much does it cost to register with the Chamber of Commerce?
Registration in the Trade Register of the Chamber of Commerce involves a one-off payment of 51,30 euros. You must pay this amount on location with your debit or credit card. You cannot pay in cash. During your registration, you need a valid ID. The Chamber of Commerce cannot complete your registration without proof of identity.
What to do if you cannot travel to the Netherlands?
For foreign entrepreneurs who want to start a Dutch business, it might prove to be very difficult to come to the Netherlands in order to show up for your appointment. Especially during a pandemic, since a lot of borders are closed momentarily. Intercompany Solutions can still take care of the entire registration process for you, without the need for you to travel here. Please contact us directly, if you would like to receive more information about such options.