manual doing business in the netherlands

Manual: Doing business in the Netherlands

Manual: Doing business in the Netherlands

20 April, 2021

Do you want to know more about setting up a business in the Netherlands? We published a manual on this topic to guide you through the investment environment in the Netherlands. ‘Doing Business in the Netherlands’ is published by Joanknecht, as a member of the SRA network. 

This manual offers practical information about the country and how to set up a business, adopt the ideal legal form, the subsidy schemes, the tax system, labour law and much more.


The Netherlands is an open economy, carried along by international economic trends. International economic or financial crises and the Brexit process mainly affect the Dutch economy through exports, as a result of a reduction in world trade. However, these have a relatively limited direct real impact on Dutch exports. For this year it is still difficult to estimate how far Brexit will really affect Dutch exports and hence the Dutch economy. At the same time we can see that because of Brexit international companies are settling or expanding their existing operations in the Netherlands in view of their EU interests.

The worldwide Corona pandemic is also affecting the Netherlands. Partly due to various financial support measures from the Dutch government, the Dutch economy generally seems to be resisting the worldwide effect of the Corona pandemic relatively well.

For many companies and certainly companies operating internationally it can also be said that the financial situation of these companies (profitability and solvency) is on average in good health. This underlines the attractive investment climate in the Netherlands.


Most of the major industries in the Netherlands are situated in the country’s western regions. The Port of Rotterdam is one of the biggest ports in the world. The railway line, the ‘Betuweroute’, ensures fast and efficient transport from the port to the European hinterland, including Central and Eastern Europe and even China. Utrecht is a central traffic junction and Schiphol is also home to the main Dutch airport which is also one of the world’s biggest hub-airports. The Low Lands, as the Netherlands is also known, play an extremely important role in the functioning of the transport artery. In the southeast of the Netherlands, most technology and innovation industries are concentrated in the Brainport region around the city of Eindhoven.

Right to establish a business

Foreign companies wishing to set up shop in the Netherlands can set up the existing foreign legal entity through a representative office or establishment in the country without the need to convert it into a Dutch legal entity. They will however be required to deal with both international and Dutch law. All foreign companies with establishments in the Netherlands must be registered with the Chamber of Commerce.

Want to know more? Read the complete manual. For more detailed information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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