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Dutch legal business structures

What issues should I consider in order to set up and develop a business?

Once you have established that you fulfil the conditions for residence it is good to get well acquainted with the legal requirements for setting up a business in The Netherlands.

Informing yourself about the Dutch economy, business climate, regulations and practices, and the socio-political and cultural environment in which you intend to set up your business is a must. So is market research, for orientation about your future place in the complex business mosaic.

Then comes the concrete phase: developing a business plan and preparing for fulfilling the administrative prerequisites that will turn your business idea into a reality.

A business plan is a requirement for non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals for starting their own business in the Netherlands. Even when legally not required, a business plan is a good idea because it enables you to look at your enterprise in its entirety. No matter how small or big the business, it will help you identify areas of strengths and weaknesses.

Banks require a business plan for granting loans. Even if financing your business is not a problem, a business plan will help to understand the full implications of setting up a business and contribute to its professional and efficient start-up.

There are many issues you will need to consider, among which: checking whether you require specific professional qualification, selecting a legal form for your business, choosing a trade name, taxation and insurance, employment laws, registering at the Chamber of Commerce, finding business premises with the zoning plan in mind, checking environmental and safety regulations related to your business, creating business accounts.

Here are some institutions and organisations that provide useful information for your market research:

Central Bureau of Statistics:

The CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis regularly reports about the Dutch economy and provides forecasts: Only a limited number of publications is also available in English. Most publications are only in Dutch.

Half-yearly Economic Developments and Outlook is published by the Dutch central bank DNB:

If you prefer it, there are also many business consultants and market research firms that can help you on this phase.

What are the fundamental requirements that I will need to comply with in starting a business?

How can I choose the legal form or business structure for my company?

Are there any entities that can give support for starting a business?

How do I terminate/dissolve my company?

What are the steps to start my own business in the Netherlands?