Dutch Law & Compliance: Must Knows for Operating Your Business in the Netherlands

Thinking of expanding business operations to the Netherlands? There are many steps involved in this process that must be considered beforehand, such as understanding Dutch law and compliance. Searching for 'uitbesteden functionaris gegevensbescherming' could be the dream start you need when looking at operating your business in the Netherlands. This is one of the first steps you should consider when moving your business overseas. It means to outsource your data protection officer, and although this might not seem like it is the most important part of the process when operating a business in a different country, it is a vital component alongside other factors like staffing your business well, registering with the relevant tax and licensing organisations, and taking advantage of the fantastic trade location that the Netherlands offers any business, no matter the size, scope, or industry!

Why the Netherlands?

Hundreds of business owners and entrepreneurs have made the move to the Netherlands in recent years. It is one of the most attractive countries for businesses anywhere in the world, and with good reason. If you are looking to migrate your business fully to the Netherlands making it your Headquarters, you wish to expand your business overseas and are looking for the right opportunity, or you are starting a business from scratch and want to choose the right location to suit your business idea, the Netherlands will always be high on the list.

The location of the Netherlands as a country is an important and enticing factor. It sits in the perfect location that allows easy trade access to all parts of Europe via road and rail, the UK and Ireland to the West via the sea, and is an international transport hub for flights travelling to all parts of the globe. Opening a business here makes it easier to receive supplies and materials from other parts of Europe and access to a wide market of potential customers for your products and services.

The Netherlands has a highly educated and skilled workforce with an exceptional working culture, a country that has migrants from all over the world, a vibrant, multi-cultural lifestyle with many different languages that you can plug into as a business. The work ethic is generally high here, with the workforce a key factor in attracting new business to the country. Easy migrant visa applications have made it easier for both the workforce and businesses to relocate here, and with the choice of well-developed cities such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and The Hague (to name just three), and an incredibly stable economy when compared with other European countries, it is no wonder that the Netherlands has become such a hotbed of new business and business expansion from other countries. The tax system is also favourable in the Netherlands, another way to attract good business.

How to move your business to the Netherlands

Once you’ve seen the benefits of operating your business in the Netherlands there are other considerations you must make in order to make that dream a reality. Working through these different steps will ensure that a business is operating within Dutch Law and Compliance, including the correct business structure and compliance with AVG (or Dutch GDPR).

The first thing to do is to check whether you can legally move your company to the Netherlands. It isn’t as straightforward as it once was for a UK or EU company to set up shop in the Netherlands, but it is still possible. You should also check what types of licences and registration your business type will need to operate. Choosing the business structure once you have checked the legality is the next step. The choices are as follows:

· A sole trader (eenmanszaak)

· A professional or public partnership (maatschap)

· Commercial partnership (vennootschap onder firma)

· Limited partnership (commanditaire vennootschap)

If your company is an incorporation there are additional structures available as well. There are, of course, different benefits and tax incentives linked to each type of business structure, but the best fit will depend on the entrepreneur or company in question, the size and scope of it, and the industry it is in.

Compliance with Dutch law and the tax system is also vital, so that you do not fall foul of any regulations. Regulations such as the Dutch interpretation of GDPR, country specific labour laws, and company registration requirements should be looked at prior to your business opening in the Netherlands. A native speaker with expertise in different areas of Dutch business law and compliance will help you with this process if you are unsure of this yourself.

One of the main things you should know about ensuring compliance with Dutch law when operating your business in the Netherlands is understanding how GDPR is legislated for. Outsourcing a data protection officer will go some way to helping you meet all compliance and regulations. It ensures that you have a Dutch speaking representative that understands the local language, culture, customers, and most importantly Dutch law and business compliance. If you are expanding or moving your business to the Netherlands, this could be the crucial component to make it a successful move. Without this expertise or knowledge on Dutch law or following AVG, there could be consequences in the form of hefty fines for failing to comply.

All the best on your journey in expanding or starting your business in the Netherlands. If you’re also looking to recruit new talent for your company in the Netherlands, then let us know!

About the Author:

Abbi Russell

Abbi lives a life of swashbuckling adventure in digital marketing - Writing about how the internet of things integrates into our everyday lives, including the processes, pitfalls and regulations around our personal data, as well as how companies use this information for better or worse.

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