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Starting a company in the construction sector in the Netherlands

In recent years, the construction sector has been the fastest-growing sector for independent entrepreneurs. In 2018, there was a growth of over 7%, and the following year saw a growth of 5.3%, according to the senior sector analysts.

At the same time, there is a shortage of construction workers, a gap that self-employed entrepreneurs are currently diving into. After the crisis of 2008, many construction workers lost their jobs, but now they have the job of sorting them out as self-employed people.

The Netherlands is now widely regarded as one of the healthiest economies in Europe, according to recent surveys despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Amsterdam is now perhaps the most popular European city for establishing a new company, as well as large corporations keen to set up regional headquarters serving the entire European area means that the construction industry has been transformed into one of the most extensively developed parts of the Netherlands’ economy. It is also a welcoming country for international investors in the construction sector in other regions of the country.

At ICS, we have registration agents who can provide up-to-date information and advice on all you need to know to establish a construction company.

The Civil Code – The Environmental Licensing Law

The Construction Law regulations fall under the remit of the Netherlands’ Civil Code, although there is also additional legislation with which construction companies are required to comply. One of the most relevant is the Environmental Licensing Law. This sets out the rules for a construction company in the Netherlands to comply with on building sites. The law encompasses the following:

The actual building of the property;
Any exemptions for the area planning;
Demolition of current sites;
Building on green spaces.

Dutch law is complex so contact ICS to help you navigate your way through the Environmental Licensing Law and the registration process of your construction company.

Registering your construction company in the Netherlands

You will need to register your company with the Dutch Companies Registrar. You might need to apply for certain licenses which will permit you to carry out construction works. For large construction projects this is highly recommended. For independent contractors, most construction workers do not need a license but simply a safety certificate. This is a 1-day course proving you understand safety at the construction site.

Organisations and businesses in the Dutch construction sector can apply for the all-in-one license for material features which may include:

The construction license;
The environmental license;
The exemption for zone planning;
The nature conservation permit;
The renovation license.

You should be aware that extra licenses and permits may be required depending on the nature of the work involved.

Contractors and independent workers generally do not need to apply for any licenses.

For help in establishing a company in the construction sector, please feel free to contact our ICS representatives in the Netherlands.

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