If you have a legal problem, dispute or conflict with an entrepreneur or consumer and you are unable to reach a mutually agreed settlement, you can call in specialist help. In the Netherlands you can, for example, contact the following people and bodies for information and (legal) advice:
A lawyer is a legal advisor and provides legal assistance.
A company lawyer advises on commercial legal matters.
Sector organisations and employers' organisations
Sector organisations and employers' organisations represent the interests of their members. Members can sometimes obtain legal advice from the sector organisation and/or employers' organisation in which they participate.
The aim of disputes committees (geschillencommissies) is to solve disputes without the intervention of a court. Disputes committees have been set up for a large number of sectors. They work together in the Dutch Foundation for Consumer Complaints Boards (De Geschillencommissie). The foundation manages complaints between consumers and business owners, and between business owners. There are consumer-related committees and business-related committees. For this type of extrajudicial dispute resolution, the entrepreneur to whom you may want to file a complaint, must be affiliated to one of the disputes committees.
Debt collection agency or bailiff
If your customer does not pay, you can call in a debt collection agency or a bailiff to collect the debt.
Mediation is a form of dispute settlement which does not involve the court. You reach an agreement with the other party to resolve the dispute with the help of a mediator.
A civil-law notary is authorised to draw up notarial deeds and give legal advice. Use the European Directory of Notaries to find a civil-law notary near you. The Dutch notary register also provides you with information about civil-law notaries, apprentice civil-law notaries and prospective civil-law notaries. The successor archive (opvolgersarchief) (Dutch) tells you which civil-law notary currently holds your deed and which civil-law notary held it previously.
Legal assistance insurer
Legal assistance insurance covers you for legal advice. The conditions of the legal assistance insurance state the disputes for which you are covered by your insurer.