Starting a business in The Netherlands

KVK Eindhoven

Do you have the urge to start your own business in the Netherlands? And quite wondering where to start? Then you might want to read further…

Dutch society adapts and welcomes internationals in many ways. While the information available in English is slowly and steadily increasing, the KVK (Chamber of Commerce) is also on par. The KVK has a section in English and a few webinars in English as well. Some time ago, the KVK piloted a “starting a business ” workshop in English. And below are some excerpts from the programme.

Preliminary preparation for starting a business.

Business Plan

About 50% of the entrepreneurs fall out of business after 3 to 5 years because they are not well prepared. So it is a good idea to have a good Business plan before you even think of registering your business.  You can read all about a business plan here. SWOT analysis or SWOT matrix is a strategic planning technique for entrepreneurs claimed to have originated from Stanford Research Institute. For a free Business plan template visit this site.

How good are you as a potential entrepreneur?

It is good to take a look in the mirror and analyse your qualities, skills, knowledge and motivation. Indeed, the KvK website has a tool called Kracht meting that tests and measures your strength to 1500 other prospective entrepreneurs. Besides, knowing the Dutch language could be handy for entrepreneurs. Furthermore, it is good to weigh whether you are going to be a full-time business person or part-time or are you are going to be a franchise? Or are you starting a business from receiving unemployment benefit etc?

Which legal form of Business do you choose?

You must invest some time in deciding whether your business would be a one-man business (Eenmanszaak) or a general partnership (VOF) or a private limited company (BV) or a public limited company. You can find more information here. If you expect profits more than 100,000 euros then the BV model is an effective option. The main advantage of a BV is that it’s an autonomous entity. This means that the BV is largely speaking liable for any debt, rather than you as an individual.

Location for your business establishment

Depending on where you establish your business in a physical sense you might need to take some licences. You might want to consider whether you are going to operate your business from your home in which case you might need to check with the Zoning Plan. You may also choose to work in a flexible workspace or a business premise etc.


In the Netherlands, business insurances are not obligatory however it is safe to consider a few voluntary insurances based on the need of your business. For example, professional indemnity insurance, company liability insurance, legal assistance insurance, etc. Information on insurances beforehand is a wise prerequisite.

How to name your business?

Selecting a Trade name and securing the same domain name is another remarkable endeavour. You have to register the trade with the KVK but it is crucial to secure the domain name in advance. In the Netherlands, a company name is officially called a ‘trade name’. Trade names are protected in the Trade Name Act. Please do not choose a company name with a brand name from another company (or names that resemble the same). You can not use another person’s name. Not even if the person gives permission for it. You can only use your own name as your company name.  In case, you need a trademark then you have to register the same with the KvK.

Indeed, the next part is registering with the KVK  and the formalities regarding the same are a breeze. Of course, you would need the necessary documents. Moreover, the upcoming Starters week in March could be a good opportunity to hone your business acumen.

For Eindhoven news: Beena Arunraj


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