If you want to start a business in the Netherlands, you need to register with the Dutch company register: the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce (KVK) Commercial Register or 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. However, you may 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.
Registering a foreign company: permanent establishment in the Netherlands
If you are a foreign company with a Dutch branch (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
Registering a foreign company: non-permanent establishment in the Netherlands
If you are a foreign company that does not have a permanent establishment in the Netherlands, you do not have to register with the Dutch Commercial Register. However, if you are liable to pay VAT, you do need to register with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration. Please note: Registration is (also) 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 number either from KVK or the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration.
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.
Cessation of 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 or order products, such as KVK extracts, annual financial statements or corporate summaries. You can also request this information by telephone (0900 123 4567 as a cost of €0.70 per minute excl. normal telephone tariffs, the 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.