If you have a business abroad and want to do business in the Netherlands, you may need to register with the Netherlands company register: the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce (KVK) Commercial Register (Handelsregister). The KVK charges a one-time registration fee of €50.-. It will also automatically pass on your details to the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration. If your company does not have a permanent establishment here, you probably only need to register with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration. The following information helps you decide what you need to do and how to go about it.
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Permanent establishment in the Netherlands
If you are a foreign company with a Dutch branch, this is called having a permanent establishment. You must register with the Dutch Commercial Register. You can either register personally or by using Message Box. The forms you need to use, are:
- Registration non-legal entity company (form 6)
- Registration official of a legal entity (form 11)
- Registration authorised representative business agent (form 13)
You can use the English forms as an example, but be sure to submit (and sign) the Dutch-language forms. You must also submit the following documents (in Dutch, English, German or French):
- Proof of company registration from the country where it was founded (not older than 1 month)
- Certified copy of the Memorandum of Association
- Certified copy of the Articles of Association
- Certificate of incumbency, which clearly shows the appointed Board of Directors
The Netherlands Chamber of Commerce charges you a one-time fee of €50 for registration. If you have any questions relating to your registration, please read Foreign company registration, contact the KVK or call +31 88 585 2222.
Non-permanent establishment in the Netherlands
If your foreign company does not have a permanent establishment in the Netherlands, you do not have to register with the Dutch Commercial Register, but you can - for instance if your customers ask for a KVK number. If you are liable to pay VAT, you do need to register with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration.
Registration in the Dutch Commercial Register is mandatory for foreign businesses without a Dutch branch that provide workers on a paid basis in or to the Netherlands. Examples of these companies are temporary employment agencies, payroll companies and jobs pools based outside the Netherlands but active in the Netherlands. If you want to know which form you need to complete, find out by using the Registration of Foreign Businesses (RBO) aid.
Registering temporary employment agencies and other suppliers of workers
If your organisation supplies workers in the Netherlands, you must state this explicitly on the registration form for the Dutch Commercial Register. This also applies to foreign companies offering their employment services without a Dutch branch and so-called '06-vans' (mobile employment agencies). Failing to do so may result in high administrative fines. If you hire staff from a supplier who is not listed in the Dutch Commercial Register, you may be fined as well. You should therefore always check whether the supplier has been registered correctly. You can use the Waadi check (in Dutch) offered by KVK for this purpose. The term 'Waadi' is derived from the relevant legislation (Wet allocatie arbeidskrachten door intermediairs).
RSIN, KVK and VAT numbers
You will be issued a KVK number after registering in the Dutch Commercial Register. All legal entities and partnerships will also be given a Legal Person and Partnership Information Number (Rechtspersonen en Samenwerkingsverbanden Informatienummer, RSIN). If your business consists of more than one branch, each of them will be given a unique branch number consisting of 12 digits. You will automatically receive your VAT-ID and your VAT number from the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration.
Starting a business in the Netherlands from abroad
Perhaps you want to start a business in the Netherlands from abroad, for instance if you want to hire a family member to run the company for you. This company will be independent, so not a branch of an existing foreign company. To find out how to go about setting up such a company, read our article
You must notify the KVK within one week if your business details change, for example the address, officers or directors, branch details or trade name (or if the trade name is added to). If your business has been taken over by a new owner, partnership or legal entity, it will receive a new KVK number.
Ending a business
If your business ceases trading, you must deregister from the Dutch Commercial Register. You can either send or hand in the deregistration form together with a copy of your identity document to the KVK office in your region. The KVK will pass your deregistration on to the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration.
Consulting the Dutch Commercial Register
The Dutch Commercial Register contains information about registered businesses, foundations and associations. You can consult the Register (in Dutch) or order products, such as KVK extracts, annual financial statements or corporate summaries. You can also request this information by telephone: dial +31 900 123 4567. This costs €0.70 per minute on top of your normal telephone charges. Tthe recorded menu message is in Dutch.
Protecting your data with the non-mailing indicator
Your details listed in the Dutch Commercial Register are publicly available. By activating the non-mailing indicator (in Dutch), you indicate that your data are not available for direct marketing purposes.
Online registration procedure via Message Box
You also can apply to register with the Dutch Commercial Register by using Message Box. To do so you will need a level-4 electronic signature (STORK) or sign in using a PKI certificate (Public Key Infrastructure). Message Box is a secure email system that enables you as an entrepreneur to exchange digital messages with Dutch government agencies.
Statistics: foreign companies in the Netherlands
The number of companies in the Netherlands with foreign control has increased over the past years.