Start Your Company’s Headquarters in the Netherlands

There are many reasons why the Netherlands is a great place to start your company’s headquarters. The Netherlands has a number of tax advantages for international companies, which can help reduce your costs and increase your profits. Additionally, the Netherlands has an excellent infrastructure, with Schiphol Airport and the Port of Rotterdam being two of the best-equipped transportation hubs in Europe. There are also plenty of highly-skilled workers available in the Netherlands, making it an attractive location for businesses of all sizes. In fact, many large and small companies choose to base their European operations in the Netherlands.

Are you looking to start your company’s headquarters? Then consider the Netherlands. It has many advantages, including:

  • Tax exemptions for international companies
  • Excellent infrastructure and transport links through Schiphol Airport and Port of Rotterdam
  • A large pool of highly skilled workers, both local and international expats
  • Easy access to surrounding countries and markets

Tax advantages for your headquarters in the Netherlands

Netherlands is a very attractive place to set up an office or headquarters because it offers tax benefits to foreign corporations. This includes participation exemption on dividends from subsidiaries (i.e., if you own less than 50 percent but at least five percent) as well as other forms of income such as interest payments from abroad (which are exempt when received by Dutch resident companies). Furthermore, there are no withholding taxes levied on outbound dividends, which can be a big cost savings for companies.

The headquarters will often take a large chunk of the corporate tax bill, which is very advantageous:

SME tariff19% (up to €200.000)19% (up to €200.000)
Standard tariff25,8% (profits exceeding €200.000)25,8% (profits exceeding €200.000)
Innovation Box9% on profits derived from qualifying innovative activities9% on profits derived from qualifying innovative activities

Netherlands has many advantages that make it an attractive choice for businesses of all sizes. Tax incentives are available through various programs such as WBSO (RDA), KIA / MIA (Dutch Innovation box) & EIA (Energy Investment Allowance). Netherlands has also introduced an R&D Tax Credit to encourage research activities in areas such as artificial intelligence, blockchain technology and health care innovation. The so-called Innovation Box makes it possible to get a large corporate tax reduction (9%).

Netherlands offers tax incentives, good infrastructure, and education system that are advantageous for companies looking to set up their headquarters in Netherlands. Find out more on the Dutch tax incentives in this guide.

Your Company’s Global Hub

According to the DHL Global Connectedness Index, the Netherlands is the most globally connected country in the world. This makes it an ideal location for companies looking to expand their operations into new markets. The Netherlands has a well-developed transport infrastructure, with excellent road, rail and air links. The country is also home to Europe’s largest port, the Port of Rotterdam. This makes it easy for companies to import and export goods.

Another example of how connected Holland really is, can be seen in its role in the internet. That is because the Netherlands is home to one of the world’s largest internet hubs, AMS-IX. AMS-IX ( Amsterdam Internet Exchange) is a neutral and independent internet exchange point, or IXP, that connects more than 700 carriers, content providers, and data center operators from over 80 countries.

The Netherlands became a hotspot for internet traffic in the 1990s, when companies such as Microsoft and Google began establishing data centers in the country. In order to meet the increasing demand for bandwidth, a group of Dutch internet service providers formed AMS-IX in 1994.

A stable and diversified economy

The Netherlands has a very stable economy, which makes it a safe place to do business. The country has weathered the financial crisis of 2008 better than most other countries. If you’re looking for a stable country in which to base your company’s headquarters, then the Netherlands should be at the top of your list.

What kind of companies set up their (regional) headquarters in the Netherlands?

All sorts of companies! From logistics and transport to pharmaceutical and biotech and companies. Some notable companies that have their headquarters in the Netherlands include: Philips, Heineken, ING Group, KLM, AkzoNobel, DSM but also Google,, Cisco and Netflix.

Top-notch digital infrastructure

The Netherlands has a well-developed digital infrastructure, with high-speed broadband available in most areas. This makes it easy for your employees to stay connected and get their work done. Additionally, the Netherlands is a leader in renewable energy, with many sustainable energy projects underway. This makes it an attractive place to do business from an environmental standpoint.

Euler diagram of European countries and the various supranational organizations they are a member of
The Netherlands is a member of nearly every international organization you can think of

The Dutch Talent Pool

One of the Netherlands’ major advantages is its large pool of highly skilled workers. The Netherlands has a well-developed education system, with many universities and colleges that produce top-quality graduates. Additionally, the Netherlands is a multicultural country, with a large number of international workers. This makes it easy to find the right employees for your company, no matter what your needs may be.

The Netherlands also offers a number of programs that make it easy for businesses to attract and retain top talent. These include:

  • A generous system of tax deductions for employee expenses, among them the so-called 30 percent ruling.
  • A more competitive personal income tax rate than other countries in Western and Northern Europe.
  • A flexible labor market that makes it easy to hire and fire employees
  • Netherlands also has excellent education system that is renowned for its top-quality universities. Students from all over the world come to study in Netherlands, thanks to its many programs in English as well as its diverse range of subjects.
  • The Netherlands has advantageous residency permit and visa program for highly-skilled migrants and is part of the EU Blue Card system, which makes it easier to attract talent from outside of Europe.

The Netherlands is an Investment Hub in Europe and the World

The Netherlands is a popular destination for foreign direct investment (FDI). Albeit a small country, the Netherlands is one of the world’s largest recipients of FDI!

The Netherlands’ attractiveness as a destination for FDI is due to a number of factors, including its strong economy, favorable tax laws, and excellent infrastructure. The Netherlands also has a well-educated workforce and is home to some of the world’s leading companies, making it an ideal location for companies looking to expand into new markets.

If you are interested in raising capital for your company through your Dutch headquarters, read more information in this guide.

More data comparing the Netherlands to the rest of Europe, can be found in this article.

Easy access to surrounding countries

Another reason the Netherlands is a great place to start your company’s headquarters is that it has easy access to surrounding countries. The Netherlands is located in the heart of Europe, making it easy to get to any other European country. Additionally, the Netherlands has excellent transport links, with Schiphol Airport and the Port of Rotterdam being two of the best-equipped transportation hubs in Europe. A few examples of getting around Europe from the Netherlands:

  • It takes about three hours and 45 minutes to travel from Amsterdam to Paris by train. A plane only takes 1.25 hours.
  • From Amsterdam to London by train takes just over 4 hours. By plane from Schiphol Airport to Heathrow takes just over 1 hour.
  • It takes about 6 hours and 30 minutes to take the train from Amsterdam to Berlin and just under 90 minutes by plane.

Through Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, most other major cities in Europe such as Copenhagen, Milano, Madrid, Stockholm and Oslo are within a few hours reach.

Why the BV private limited is ideal for international companies

When setting up a company, one of the most important decisions you will have to make is what type of legal entity to choose. There are many different types of legal entities, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

One of the best options for companies looking to expand into new markets is a Dutch BV (besloten vennootschap). A Dutch BV is a private limited company that is specifically designed for international businesses. It offers a number of advantages, including:

  • A Dutch BV is easy to manage, with minimal reporting requirements and no minimum share capital requirement.
  • Usually a lower tax burden than other types of Netherlands companies.
  • Easy to connect to daughter entities in the Netherlands, Europe and all over the world.

By setting up a headquarters in the Netherlands, with daughter companies in other (European) countries, you among other things avoid paying double corporation tax and dividend tax. Read more on the BV holding structure on this page.

Headquarters in the Netherlands legal structure

Need more reasons?

The Netherlands is quickly becoming known as Europe’s Silicon Valley. This is thanks to the Netherlands’ excellent digital infrastructure, highly-skilled talent pool and generous tax incentives. In addition, the Netherlands offers a great education system, healthcare services and an overall high quality of living. If you are in need of some more proof why the Netherlands is best among its peers in Europe, please read this article.

Contact us today to get a free quote and to find out more about how we can help you get started in the Netherlands!

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