Registering your business

You can voluntarily list your company in the Handelsregister if it's already listed in another country, if it has no offices in the Netherlands or if it supplies staff to the Netherlands.

You should do this between one week before and one week after the start of operations.

Registration with the KvK or your civil-law notary also registers your business with the Tax and Customs Administration [Dutch: Belastingdienst]. The KvK will forward your details to the Belastingdienst on your behalf.

You can find the registration forms of different legal forms here, so that you have an idea of which kind of information you need to provide when you register your company.

Who can register your business?

It's very important that the registration forms submitted to the KvK have been signed by the right person. The following persons may submit registration forms depending on your company's legal form:
  • Owner of the sole proprietorship [Dutch: eenmanszaak]
  • Partners of a general partnership [Dutch: vennootschap onder firma (VOF)]
  • General partners of a limited partnership [Dutch: commanditaire vennootschap (CV)]
  • A civil-law notary will usually oversee the registration of a private limited company [Dutch: besloten vennootschap (BV)].
The persons who are legally obliged to register a business and sign the registration forms can be held accountable if it has not been registered properly. Under special circumstances, other individuals may be authorised and/or obliged to register the business. The KvK can advise you about these special circumstances.

How do I register my business?

Go to the KvK in person with valid personal identification. A director living abroad doesn't have to appear in person. He or she can send the relevant documents instead. Use the form applicable for your chosen legal form when registering your business.

All forms are in Dutch and also have to be completed in Dutch. This is a statutory requirement. All forms are available in English to help you complete their Dutch counterparts.

What other documents do I need?

  • You'll need a registration form. This form will state whether you have to provide any other documents, e.g. a rental or franchise agreement. If you're starting a business at a location that isn't your home, e.g. in rented premises, then you'll also have to present the lease to confirm the business address.
  • You'll also need a valid ID, e.g. a passport or driving license.
These documents may be submitted in English, French, German or, of course, Dutch. Copies or transcripts need to be certified as true copies. The KvK may ask for a document that proves the authenticity of a foreign public deed, e.g. by means of an Apostille.

Registration is not free of charge. You'll be charged a one-time fee of €50 when registering your business.

After registration

Once you've registered your business, you'll receive a unique eight-digit registration number. This is your company registration number, which is referred to as a KvK nummer in the Netherlands. You have to include this number on all outgoing correspondence.

Once you've registered the business, it's your responsibility, as an owner or partner, to keep all information up to date. The managing director authorised to act on the behalf of a private limited company (BV) is responsible for keeping the BV's information up to date.

Not all forms are available in English. For assistance in these matters, please call the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce on +31 (0)88 585 1585 (select Option 3).


Contact Netherlands Chamber of Commerce
Call +31 88 585 2222
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