Starting a business

General guide for starting a business in the Netherlands
When you have decided to start a business, then you need to register it with the KvK (Kamer van Koophandel), the Dutch Chamber of Commerce, which will enter it in the Dutch Trade Register. Registration should happen from one week before you start doing business to one week after. To register your business you will need to be registered with your local municipality, otherwise you must provide authenticated proof of your residential address abroad.Owners of a new business in the Netherlands must observe various government and other rules. This guide tells you which general obligations you must fulfil when starting a business.You will find specific guides for certain sectors and subjects on the list of guides on this website. Also, we have listed the most important rules and regulations for self-employed professionals (zzp’ers), student entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs under the age of 18.How to register?
If you start up a sole proprietorship, a general partnership (vof), limited partnership (cv) or a partnership (maatschap), you must register with the Dutch Commercial Register in person. First book an appointment with KvK online no sooner than one week before and no later than one week after the start of your business. When you visit the Chamber of Commerce (KvK) remember to take a valid ID with you. It is important that you have the right information with you for your registration. The Dutch Tax and Customs Administration provide a handy form ‘Voorbereiding gemeenschappelijke inschrijving startende onderneming’ (in Dutch) to help you. You do not need to fill in the form or send it, just use it as a guide. When you register with the Chamber of Commerce as a sole proprietor or a (limited or general) partnership, your registration with the Tax and Customs Administration is automatically incorporated. You do not have to register with the tax authorities separately.When you set up a legal entity, such as a private limited company (bv) or a foundation (stichting), a civil-law notary will arrange for the legal entity to be entered into the Dutch Commercial Register. Please note: if you are starting a business as a limited company or foundation, then you do need to register with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration separately. You can find the registration form on their website.

KVK Number and VAT number
You will be issued a KVK number after registering in the Dutch Commercial Register. All legal entities and alliances will also be given a Legal Person and Alliance 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.

Registration with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration
Registration with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration happens automatically when you register your business with the Dutch Commercial Register. The latter is necessary if your company has a permanent establishment in the Netherlands. If you represent a foreign company that is not registered in the Dutch Commercial Register (i.e. no permanent establishment in the Netherlands), while performing services in the Netherlands that involve VAT, you must register at the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration yourself. If you want to know which form you need to complete, please use the Registration of Foreign Businesses (RBO) aid.
When you start your own company a lot of things will look. In this overview you will find the 10 most important steps. Some of these steps can be performed simultaneously.
Starting as a Freelancer
Check whether you have thought of everything. Download the Checklist 10-Step Plan Start .

1. Investigate your options and test your qualities
You want to start a business. But what kind of company? What will you make or sell? Which services are you going to provide? And is doing business really something for you? See what the possibilities are for your future company, write a business plan and test your entrepreneurship skills.

Make your dream concrete
Writing a business plan
Do the entrepreneur test

2. Explore the market and determine your strategy
Find out where you are better or different than your competitors and determine how you enter the market with your product or service. What makes your company different? Where can you distinguish yourself? Who are your customers and what do they want? Do market research and determine your strategy for the coming years.

What is going on in your sector?
Everything about market research
Discover where customers and competitors are

3. Make a financial plan and see if you need financing
To get your business off the ground you need money. With a financial plan you map how much you need and where you get it from. You will also gain insight into the opportunities of your company. This way you can assess or undertake beforehand that you are profitable.

Tip : Also read the Moneybook for Entrepreneurs with practical tips for managing your finances.

Create a financial plan
How do you get money?

4. Consider your company name
You need a company name for your Chamber of Commerce registration. A good company name is recognizable, lingers and makes clear what you have to offer. First check whether your company name does not yet exist.

Think up and find your company name
Register your domain name
Register the company name as a brand name

5. Choose a legal form
Your company needs a legal jacket: a legal form. The legal form determines, among other things, your liability, but also what taxes you have to pay and whether you receive tax benefits. Which legal form fits best with your company?
Choose a legal form for your company.

6. Ensure that your administration meets the requirements
Set up and keep an administration. There are definitely nicer things to think of. But as an entrepreneur you are legally obliged. Make sure that your administration meets the requirements. For example, you must clearly show how much VAT you have to pay or how much VAT you will receive.

Requirements for your administration
Entrepreneur tax
Everything about VAT

7. Identify the risks for your company
Identify your business risks , limit them as much as possible or cover them as well as possible. For example, with liability insurance and occupational disability insurance. Do not forget your pension. And with terms and conditions you immediately make clear which rights and obligations you and your customers have back and forth.

Terms and Conditions
Insurance for your company
Build up pension

8. Check whether your company meets all requirements
There are no special diplomas for entrepreneurs. However, you must take into account the following of specific courses or courses for the course that you do. Sometimes you, as an entrepreneur, also have to meet certain professional requirements. You can also deal with requirements for your business premises. For example if you have a home business. Is it allowed according to the zoning plan? Can you establish your business anywhere? Do you have a separate business premises, is that fire safe and do you meet the environmental requirements? Your municipality can help you with this.

Home business
Professional requirements and diplomas
Laws and rules

9. Register your company at the Chamber of Commerce and arrange the registration with the Tax Authorities
Ready for the official start of your business? Then you register your company with the Chamber of Commerce. With this you also arrange your registration with the tax authorities and your VAT number.

Register at the Chamber of Commerce

10. Look for customers, plan for the future and recognize fraud
How do you get to customers? Many entrepreneurs find customers through their network. But what else can you do in your search for customers? How do you get more sales? And how do you recognize company fraud?

11. Watch the Video for more details on Business Setup

The ‘Entrepreneurs, Freelancers & Leaders Meetup’

This evening will be all about professional networking, and growing your network in the region to build a business!
When: Thursday 28 March 2024, 19:00 – 21:00
Where: M by Muziekgebouw (Heuvel 140, Eindhoven)

Register to attend: