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Government information for entrepreneurs

Public limited company (NV)

This information is provided by

Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK | Statistics Netherlands organisation, CBS

The Dutch 'NV'

A public limited company, or in Dutch a naamloze venootschap (NV), is a company whose equity is divided into shares in a similar way to that of private limited company(besloten vennootschap,BV).

The main difference between a BV and an NV is usually the size: an NV tends to be a larger company, with several directors.

Shares

As of 1 July 2019, both legal structures are only allowed to issue registered shares. NVs will no longer be allowed to issue bearer shares. Public limited companies that have issued bearer shares, must adjust their statutes before 1 January 2020. Owners of bearer shares can have their shares exchanged for registered ones until 1 January 2021.

You can still trade shares via a bank or another intermediary that manages security accounts for their (registered) clients. In that case, it is the duty of the intermediary to keep track of the identity of the owners of the shares. Any bearer shares issued outside this construction have to be converted to registered shares.

Setting up a public limited company

Virtually the same criteria apply to setting up a public limited company (NV) as to setting up a private limited company (BV). One difference is the initial minimum share capital required for an NV. This is set at €45,000.

Getting a Legal Entity Identifier (LEI)

Every company that owns shares and wants to trade on the stock exchange, must have a LEI or Legal Entity Identifier. This unique number is used by the financial authorities to track global transactions and ensure they are above board. You can purchase a LEI from the Chamber of CommerceExternal link if you are registered in the Commercial Register.

Filing annual financial statements

Both BVs and NVs have to issue and file their annual reports and accounts with the Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel, KVK). The size and scale of your company determines exactly how this should be carried out.

Liability

The same rules apply to an NV concerning liability, tax, social security and continuity as apply to a BV. The same rules also apply to an 'NV in formation' (NV in oprichting or NV io) as apply to a BV in formation.

Supervisory or single-tier board

The regulatory role within a BV is often filled by a 'supervisory board' (Raad van Commissarissen). You can also opt for a single-tier board.

Statistics: public limited companies

Number of public limited companies.

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK

This information is provided by

Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK
Statistics Netherlands organisation, CBS