It is not easy to start a business in the Netherlands. Do not misunderstand me, I am sure that the government and authorities over there make it as easy as they possibly can, but if you want to start a business in the Netherlands from outside the country, you are going to need a lot of time, a lot of patience, or a lot of help. There are a lot of different choices to be made, there are countless forms that must be filled in and there are meetings and interviews to be arranged and completed. I imagine that starting a business in the Netherlands is significantly easier for people living in the Netherlands and who speak Dutch, but that is not my situation at all. For me, there were different advantages to starting a business in the Netherlands. These included:
- Low taxation;
- The availability of a highly-trained workforce;
- Excellent communication with the European Union, the United Kingdom and other economies;
- Proximity to Great Britain.
All of these factors meant that I was prepared to go through any and all administration necessary for starting a business in the Netherlands, despite the complicated route that I could see coming up ahead of me. I arranged lawyers and accountants to help me, I contacted associates based in the Netherlands, and I got to work starting a Besloten Vennootschap, the Dutch equivalent of a Limited Liability Company here in Great Britain. Little did I realise that, despite all my preparations, I could have made starting a business in the Netherlands much easier for myself, and have saved myself a lot of time, money and effort.
Starting a business in the Netherlands the right way
I did not regret starting a business in the Netherlands, and I doubt that I ever will. What I do regret is the method that I chose for starting a business in the Netherlands. We spent months going backwards and forwards with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce, filling in forms time and time again until we got all of the details right. We missed deadlines due to distance and due to language confusion. We expected to have the process finished in less than a month and it took more than half a year. Costs spiralled and I ended up working less on other projects than I should have done while trying working on starting a business in the Netherlands. What I should have done is hire experts. There is a company called Intercompany solutions, based in Rotterdam and Amsterdam, that specialise in helping people like me with starting a business in the Netherlands. They know the process, they have done it enough times to know each step intimately and they get the work done with minimal fuss, meaning that you can get on with other preparations without having to worry about what is happening. Their website, intercompanysolutions.com, provides all the background information that you need, and their agents are friendly, efficient and effective. Unfortunately I discovered all of this too late for myself, but I am happy to pass on what I have heard from other in my position to help you avoid the pitfalls and the stress that I went through in the last year.
Do not mess around, hire an expert
So I recommend that you learn from my experience, save yourself time, effort and money, invest up-front in someone who really knows what they are doing, like Intercompany Solutions, and make starting a business in the Netherlands quick, efficient and painless.