Understand the Dutch Market: How Business Works in the Netherlands

Understand the Dutch Market: How Business Works in the Netherlands

Image source: Pixabay.com

When it comes to small businesses, no country is more famous than the Netherlands. Famous for its windmills, wooden shoes, and cheese markets, the Dutch market is a great place to set up shop. 

But how do you compete in this smaller market? The first thing that comes to mind when considering setting up a business in the Netherlands is competition. 

So, if you’re going to be setting up your own business there, how do you make sure that yours stands out from everyone else’s? Understanding the ins and outs of the Dutch market will help you establish your business there with confidence. 

Keep reading to discover everything you need to know before starting a business in the Netherlands.

Essential Factors in How Business Works in the Netherlands

Before a foreigner can successfully register a company in the Netherlands, there are essential factors to consider.

  1. Understand Netherlands Corporate Services

Corporate services in the Netherlands are provided by a number of government agencies. These agencies include the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Competition (ACM), and the Dutch Tax Administration. 

These organizations are an integral part of company formation in the Netherlands. They work to ensure that businesses have access to land and property, permits, licenses, and other resources needed to run a successful business. 

They also provide information about tax laws and regulations that affect businesses operating in the Netherlands.

When looking for corporate services in the Netherlands, it is important to consider your needs and requirements. For example, you may need a lawyer for incorporation or the corporate tax rate in the Netherlands. 

Or you may need a notary for real estate transfers or similar transactions. In addition, if you want to open a bank account for your business or apply for a business license, you’ll need to contact one of these agencies.

  1. Registering Your Business in the Netherlands

To register your business in the Netherlands, you need to submit an application form to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kamer van Koophandel). After that, you will be assigned a KVK number that needs to be displayed on all business documents. 

Netherlands company registration is pretty straightforward and takes roughly a week. Ensure you have your official documents, which include your valid residence permit, for a seamless registration process. 

Understand the Dutch Market: How Business Works in the NetherlandsI

Image source: Pixabay.com

You will have to make an appointment to get your registered KVK number. This can be done online or by calling the Chamber of Commerce and Industry at +31 88 5851585.

  1. Business Support in the Netherlands

The Netherlands’ business support system is one of the most advanced in the world. It was ceated to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation,and it has a number of features that make it attractive to businesses.

  • The first is tax breaks, which can be as much as 30 percent less than what they would pay if they were in another European country.
  • The second is easy access to finance. As one of the most competitive economies in the world, financing is plentiful and cheap. There are investment or loan options readily available. You can also take a loan from a bank or go for one of the many SMEs available.
  • The third is a highly educated workforce. The Netherlands has one of the best-educated workforces in the world, with more than 20 percent of its working-age population having a tertiary degree or higher.

With all these advantages, it’s no wonder that companies are flocking to the Netherlands for both start-ups and expansions.

  1. Business Taxation in the Netherlands

Setting up a business in the Netherlands will come with some taxes. This usually includes income taxes, municipal and environmental taxes, and turnover and profit. You might also be required to pay import levies if you have an international business. 

The amount, however, varies depending on what type of company you set up. For example, if you set up a private limited company or a BV (Besloten Vennootschap), you’ll have to pay 15% corporate tax on your net profit. 

  1. Compliance Services

Compliance services in the Netherlands are designed to help companies comply with local and international regulations. There are a variety of types of compliance services, including auditing, training, consulting, and risk assessment. 

These various compliance services check for compliance against applicable laws or regulations. They also provide knowledge about the best practices for complying with regulatory requirements. 

Risk assessment services assess risks so that companies can better understand the possible consequences of regulatory violations. Compliance services in the Netherlands can help ensure that companies are in compliance with all relevant regulations and minimize the risk of fines or penalties.

Why the Netherlands?

The Netherlands is small, yet it is the 17th largest economy in the world. Moreover, it’s also ranked as the sixth most competitive economy in the world. An important factor that enables The Netherlands to remain among the top performers is its open and flexible market.

Understand the Dutch Market: How Business Works in the Netherlands

Image source: Pixabay.com

The Netherlands is a great place to set up your business as it has a high-standard economy. It’s also a member of the European Union and has a great international reputation.

But it’s not just the reputation of the Netherlands that makes it a good place to set up shop. It also has a great labor market and excellent health and safety standards.

In addition, it has a great education system, excellent internet connectivity, and a low crime rate. There are approximately two million businesses in the Netherlands, and around 540,000 of those are SMEs (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises).

The majority of these SMEs are privately owned, and many are family-run businesses. In addition, more than 480,000 multinational companies have offices in the Netherlands. 

Altogether, these businesses are responsible for creating around 2/3 of the country’s total economic output. As such, it’s obvious that there’s a lot of room in the market for new entrepreneurs.


Starting a business in the Netherlands is a great opportunity. The market is already established and highly regulated, which means that there are plenty of opportunities for growth. 

But before you dive headfirst into the entrepreneurial waters, it’s important to know your market. It’s also important to have a plan and to know how you’re going to start up and operate your business. 

You’ll also want to make sure that you choose the right type of company and that you secure the right type of funding to get your business started. It’s also important to make sure that you’re aware of the tax implications of running your own company in the Netherlands.


  1. What is the Dutch Work Culture Like?

People in the Netherlands have a strong work culture and do not mind working. They put in their time to do a good job. They are generally punctual and dislike lateness. They are also almost formal about work and like to put agreements in writing.

  1. Do the Dutch Work 4 Days a Week?

The Dutch take their weekdays very seriously and believe in putting in the time needed to get optimal work done. They typically work five days a week for about 7 to 8 hours a day. That translates into about 36 to 40 hours weekly.