How to start a business

Starting a business

Starting a business in the Netherlands is a relatively straightforward process. Registration is done through the Chamber of Commerce. Their website provides excellent information about when to register a business, different business forms, legal requirements, and more general information and business culture in the Netherlands.

Once you have registered your company successfully at the Chamber of Commerce, they will inform the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration about your new company. There are different kinds of taxes that your company will need to pay. You can read more about taxes for businesses on the Belastingdienst.

Many people who start their own businesses will work as freelancers or self-employed professionals. Freelancers are commonly referred to as ‘zelfstandige zonder personeel’ (zzp’ers). Note that this is not a legal form for a business; you will be registered not as a zzp’er but as a sole trader or ‘eenmanszaak’. More information about freelancing can be found on the Chamber of Commerce website and on the government website.

Apart from the formal side of starting a business, it is valuable to have a supportive network and access to training and expertise in the process. The Chamber of Commerce also offers online webinars and offline seminars at the Groningen branch to support you while you start your business. They also provide an overview of the process in this brochure. Other means of support can be found by accessing the local start-up scene.

The IWCN website also has several pages of information on starting a business.

Hiring staff

There are several things that you should pay attention to when you are going to hire staff. The Dutch government has made a useful overview of what to do when hiring staff.

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