Setting up a company in the Netherlands2017-02-02T15:47:31+00:00

Setting up a company in the Netherlands

investing Netherlands

Reasons to establish a Dutch company

Setting up a company in the Netherlands can be very lucrative for both companies and individuals. Below, we have outlined several reasons that should be considered when thinking about starting a Dutch company. MFFA Tax Advice can assist you during the whole process of the establishment and the many years ahead, regarding all tax and related legal and accounting matters.

Reasons for setting up a business in the Netherlands

  • Infrastructure and location: Gateway further into Europe via world class main ports Rotterdam Harbor, Schiphol Airport, via train, boat or highway.
  • Highly educated workforce: Knowledge and language skills are world class in a variety of fields.
  • International business environment: Many multinational enterprises have their headquarters in the Netherlands
  • Political stability: The Dutch political landscape is predictable and often initiates projects to further enhance the business climate.

Download our free brochure “Doing business in the Netherlands”.

Fiscal reasons for setting up a company in Holland

Apart from the above reasons, there are also fiscal reasons to set up a company in the Netherlands. Fiscal reasons are one of the most important factors for European, US and Asian companies for coming to the Netherlands. Some fiscal advantages when establishing your business in Holland are:

  • The Dutch participation exemption for incoming dividends and capital gains;
  • Clarity and certainty in advance with the Dutch tax authorities on future tax positions (Dutch ruling policy) and the willingness to cooperate and support;
  • The Dutch Cooperation (Dutch Coop) outgoing dividends from the Dutch Coop are not subject to dividend withholding tax;
  • Innovation Box (R&D) resulting in a tax rate of 5% (effective);
  • Article 23 VAT license: This tax facility avoids immediate payment of VAT upon importation (VAT deferral);
  • 30% tax ruling which is an attractive instrument for employers to attract high qualified/skilled personnel;
  • The Netherlands concluded many tax agreements with a large group of countries (avoidance of double taxation)

Setting up a business in the Netherlands does require some necessary steps in order to start your Dutch operations. Besides the practical aspects such as a business address (office space, warehouse, etc.) and a proper name, other aspects concerning legal and tax matters have to be taken care of. Contact MFFA Tax Advice for a reliable partner for your starting or expanding company.

Frequently asked questions concerning setting up a company in the Netherlands

We receive frequently asked questions from businesses wishing to start a company in the Netherlands, such as:

Before we set up the company, we will provide you with a step-by-step plan of approach of the whole incorporation (depending of your requirements). Consequently, we will start the whole set up such as opening a bank account, arrange business address, check availability trade name, housing, notary (if applicable), chamber of commerce, registration Dutch tax authorities (wage tax number, VAT and CIT number) etc. Usually, it takes around 2-3 weeks to finalize the whole incorporation and formation of a Dutch company (opening a Dutch BV).
The differences in performing a business through a branch (permanent establishment) and a Dutch BV are:

      • The incorporation costs for a branch in the Netherlands are lower then for a Dutch BV;
      • Regarding the liability: The foreign company who formed the permanent establishment is liable for the obligations. The Dutch BV is a legal entity, as a result the shareholder is liable to the extent of its capital contribution;
      • For the reputation of a company a Dutch BV looks better to the outside world then performing through a branch
      • Different local tax regulations may apply for a branch than for a Dutch BV (for example receiving licenses etc.)
      • For wage tax, corporate income tax and VAT the same rules apply for both. With respect to dividend a branch is in principle free of withholding tax.

Feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss if a branch or a subsidiary is better for your business in the Netherlands.

We can support and assist you with the following services when the company is formed:

      • Tax structuring (so determine the best tax structure in combination with all the entities)
      • Implementation and registration of the company at the Dutch tax authorities and chamber of commerce;
      • Having the business address on our company address
      • Relocation services for the employees (finding a house or business address, arrange a work permit for non-EU, arrange employment contract etc.);
      • Implement and maintain a payroll administration / wage tax obligations (application 30% ruling)
      • Assignments / secondments in the Netherlands
      • Tax compliance services
      • Applications of subsidies
      • VAT advice
      • Accountancy services

Are you setting up a company in the Netherlands?

Do you want more information about starting your company in the Netherlands? Or do you want a proposal how much the incorporation / maintenance cost will be? Please feel free to contact us through the contact form. You can also call us from within The Netherlands at (0)85 0030140 or call us from abroad at +31 (0)20 2615615.


  1. Alen 20/02/2017 at 16:59 - Reply


    Please could you tell me whether you have any ready-made (shelf) companies available?

    Kind Regards,

    • Folkert Mijlof 24/02/2017 at 15:30 - Reply

      It is not common anymore to buy or take over a ready-made shelf company in the Netherlands since several “dead bodies” can pop up (i.e. liabilities to suppliers and tax authorities). The best is to set up a new Dutch BV company

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