The Dutch Dream of opening a Business in Amsterdam
Do you have the inspiration to open a company in Europe? When choosing a business location there are different aspects to consider. The Netherlands has enticing business conditions. The country has a healthy economy, is located in a region of Europe with wealthy consumers and as an open economy with good logistics it can be used to connect with the rest of Europa.
What to expect from the Netherlands?
What can you expect from the business landscape and life in the Netherlands? The way the Lowlands and in particular its capital, Amsterdam, are brought into the news could give you a wrong picture. The Netherlands is indeed a progressive country. At the same time, it can be more traditional than you might expect. Please note that also in a small sized country as the Netherlands opinions between individuals or regions can differ strongly. In this respect it is not different to other countries. In this blog I would therefore like to focus on the practical matters newcomers will encounter.
The benefits of opening a Dutch business
The tax treaty between the Netherlands and Australia contains favourable conditions. Also, the Netherlands is easily accessible for Australian companies, which can even bring their own personnel in case they are highly educated. Expats have several benefits. A 30% facility can cut their personal income taxation with 35%, a foreign driver’s licence can be converted and there is the choice to include in, or exclude foreign income from, the Dutch personal income tax return. Partners can also enter the labour market or start a business because they also get a work visa.
Process of opening a Dutch business
The level of bureaucracy for starting businesses is acceptable in the Netherlands. Dutch company formation can be processed in a week time by a company formation agent like Abilities Trust. All without governmental approvals, stamp duties or capital requirements. Registration with the Chamber of Commerce costs less than a day and a VAT number is most often issued automatically. Also, an EORI number can be obtained in a day.
Support with starting a business and moving over
Many regions in the Netherlands provide support to incoming companies with finding the right advisory firms, business partners, requests for work and residence permits for staff coming over and other relevant matters such as offering plots of land for production facilities and searching for housing for personnel. The expat centres, divided over the Netherlands, can in one stop process work visa requests and register expats at the municipality.
Taxes in the Netherlands
The corporate income tax rates in the Netherlands are lower than in Australia. The tax returns are assessed by the Dutch tax authorities on a yearly basis. The personal income tax has progressive system similar to Australia. In the Netherlands the rates are substantially higher than in Australia. There is relief as the large majority of the expats are eligible for a 30% facility for a period of five years. The 30% facility requalifies the upper 30% of your personal income to expense compensation for additional costs for living abroad. The facility will bring your Dutch personal income tax to a level similar to Australia.
A multilingual nation
The language shall not give you any problems. Most Dutch people’s command of the English language is adequate. In case your business activities are also focusing on the whole of Europe, it is also not a problem to find Spanish, French, German, Italian or even Polish speaking personnel. The struggle is to learn Dutch when you decide to stay in the Netherlands for an extended period. Often Dutch will switch conversations with you to English, which limits your opportunities to get fluent in Dutch.
Education in the Netherlands
The education in the Netherlands is at a good level and there is not much difference in the level of individual schools and further education. Private education is not common in the Netherlands. The large majority of the pupils and students in the Netherlands attend solely public schooling. International schools where the language of instruction is English are an exemption. Under the 30% facility the tuition fee of international schools attended by children of expats can be reimbursed by the employer without having the remuneration qualified as personal income.
Your stay in the Netherlands will be outstanding
Infrastructure and public transportation are at a high level, permitting day trips to cities as Brussels, Paris, Frankfurt and London, limiting the time to travel to and from work and allow you to both choose for a life in the city or relish the quiet life in the suburb. The general quality of life is favourable in the Netherlands.
Setting up a Company in the Netherlands
To conclude, the Netherlands is almost any year in the top five of the publication of the Happiness report of the United Nations based on respondent valuation of their own lives. What stops you from moving over and opening your business in the Netherlands?
John Wilson is a branding and website design expert. He boasts over 10 years of digital marketing experience. He loves to share his expertise and insights on all things digital marketing by keeping this blog up to date.