There are 2 categories of business accommodation you can lease in the Netherlands: small-firm business accommodation and other business accommodation. Each category has its own rules.
Small-firm business accommodation
Small-firm business accommodation (middenstandsbedrijfsruimte) refers to premises that are publicly accessible, and where you sell your products or services directly to your customers. Examples are shops, bars and restaurants, dry cleaners’, garages, camping sites and hotels.
If you lease small-firm business accommodation (you are the lessee), you are entitled to security of tenure and rent protection. You can lease small-firm business premises for a period of 5 plus 5 years. The landlord (lessor) can only terminate the rental contract after the first 5 years if they can prove:
- you did not act as a good tenant
- they or close relatives urgently need the business premises
After the first 5-year period, you can extend the lease for another 5 years. This happens automatically when neither you nor the landlord ends the contract. The contract cannot be terminated by you or the landlord during this new 5-year rental period either. The landlord can only end the rental contract after the 2nd 5 years if:
- they can prove you did not act as a good tenant
- they can prove they or close relatives urgently need the business premises
- you do not agree with a proposed reasonable rental agreement
- the landlord wants to realise a destination on the premises in accordance with a valid zoning plan
- the landlord’s interests on termination of the lease, outweigh your interests on continuation of the lease
As a lessee, you do not need a reason to end the contract after either 5-year period. If you want to end the lease, you must send a registered letter, or have a court bailiff’s writ served. The notice period is at least 1 year.
You can also negotiate a shorter rental period of 2 years or less. If you do so, you do not have rent protection. Do you keep leasing the property after the agreed period? Your contract automatically changes to a 5-year rental period, with rent protection.
The lessor may not increase the rent in the interim period unless you have both agreed to this in the rental contract. After 5 years you can agree on a new rent with the lessor. For example, you may agree on periodical rent increases on the basis of the consumer price index (in Dutch) compiled by Statistics Netherlands (CBS). There is no statutory maximum for the increase in the rent.
Other business accommodation
Other business accommodation are those premises which are not considered small-firm business accommodation. These are offices, factories, and warehouses.
In contrast to small-firm business accommodation, with so-called other business accommodation you are not entitled to security of tenure and rent protection. You mutually arrange the rent and rent increases. The annual rent increase for private homes does not apply to business accommodation.
As a standard, your payment period is also your notice period. If you pay your rent every month, you must also cancel the rent at least 1 month in advance. In the rental contract you can also arrange a different notice period.
When the lessor has given you notice of termination, you do not have to clear the premises immediately. You are given 2 extra months to request the court to extend the clearance period (period after which you should leave the premises). Do you need more time? You can send a request to the court. You must do this within the 2 extra months. If your request is granted, the court can extend the period to 1 year maximum.
If you lease a business accommodation (in Dutch), you can deduct the costs that you incur (for example energy costs, cleaning costs, and fitting-out costs) from the revenues of your company.
You do not have to pay VAT on the rent. This applies to all business accommodation. However, you can arrange with the lessor that he will charge VAT. This may be more favourable for you as a lessee, as you will pay less rent this way. To do so, you must be able to deduct at least 90% of the VAT charged over the rent.