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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).
What's the difference between an NV and a BV? An NV issues registered shares, but also bearer shares, that can be freely traded on the stock exchange (issued in bearer form), whereas a BV can only issue registered shares transferable by a civil-law notary.
BVs also no longer require a minimum share capital (only a nominal deposit of €0.01), whereas NVs do (€45,000).
Note: From 1 January 2020, public limited companies will no longer be allowed to issue bearer shares. Public limited companies that have issued bearer shares, must adjust their statutes prior to that date. Owners of bearer shares can have their shares exchanged for registered ones until 1 January 2021.
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 Commerce 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.
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.