Why hundreds of British trading businesses establish a company in the Netherlands

1 марта 2021, 09:12 |
Until the last moment before the Brexit the exit details were negotiated with the EU. A deal was concluded, though how it would work out in practice was unclear.

Soon after the Brexit it became clear that in particular the import into the EU had become very difficult for British trading companies because of transport problems and administrative hassle.

It leads both to anger and desperation among entrepreneurs with businesses dependent from import into the EU. Over 700 British based companies, in particular those that have their products produced in Asia, already decided to establish a subsidiary or branch office in the EU to solve their problem. Because of the logistical facilities, proximity to the UK and the language most of them establish a hub in the Netherlands.

Robert Bron of ABiLiTieS, specialized in company formation in the Netherlands , confirms that his company has in meantime assisted approximately 40 trading companies with setting up a Dutch company or registering a branch office. We ask him the experiences with the set-up of the new businesses and what entrepreneurs shall be aware of.


Shall you start a Dutch branch or company?

He says that entrepreneurs often are in two minds in regard the choice for a branch or company. There are not many differences between those two forms. Both will be required to prepare and publish annual accounts. The same applies for filing VAT and corporate income tax returns. In practice bank accounts for a company are often opened quicker and gives less hassle than for a branch office. This together with the advantages of simplicity and reduced liability of a company, makes that most entrepreneurs set up a company. A BV, a private limited liability company, is hereby the most common legal form.


How fast and easy is the incorporation?

A BV can be set up and registered for you in a week. The same applies for a registered address, which could exist of a virtual address . The full process can be executed remotely. So, it is not required that you visit the Netherlands. The formation and registration of a BV costs around EUR 1250, ex. VAT and all documents will be provided with an English translation .


How to obtain a Dutch VAT and EORI number?

A company that is being registered with the trade register with activities that are VATable receives a VAT number. The VAT number is issued two weeks after registration. The VAT number is only issued if there is a certain level of Dutch presence. You shall hereby think of a warehouse, clients and services provider. In case there is doubt from the side of the Dutch tax authorities, a questionnaire shall be completed after which it is decided if a VAT number is issued. The EORI number can be activated by means of a request via email or simply by first use at a Dutch border.


Is it easy to open a bank account?

You will be able to open a bank account with almost any bank in case of Dutch employees. In case your business in the Netherlands does not comprise much more than a virtual office, it is wiser to try to open a bank account with an online bank. Keep in mind that any bank in the SEPA zone, which comprises of the EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and yes, also Great Britain, will suffice as it keeps the transfer costs low.

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