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The Kingdom of the Netherlands finds its origin in the aftermath of Napoleon’s defeat in 1813. In that year the Netherlands regained its freedom and the Sovereign Principality of the Netherlands was proclaimed with William Prince of Orange and Nassau as sovereign. Reunification with the Southern Netherlands, (roughly equivalent to what is now Belgium and Luxembourg) was decided in 1814. In March 1815 the Sovereign Prince adopted the style of a King of the Netherlands and the Kingdom had come into being. The King of the Netherlands was also Grand Duke of Luxembourg, a province of the Kingdom that was at the same time a Grand Duchy of the German Confederation.

In 1830, Belgium seceded from the Kingdom, a step that was only recognised by the Netherlands in 1839. At that point Luxembourg became a fully independent country in a personal union with the Netherlands. Luxembourg also lost more than half of its territory to Belgium. To compensate the German Confederation for that loss, the remainder of the Dutch province of Limburg received the same status that Luxembourg had enjoyed before, as a Dutch Province that at the same time formed a Duchy of the German Confederation. That status was reversed when the German Confederation ceased to be in 1867 and at that point Limburg reverted to its former status as an ordinary Dutch province, although the King of the Netherlands continues to use the additional title of Duke of Limburg to this day.

The origin of the administrative reform of 1954 was the 1931 Westminster Statute and the 1941 Atlantic Charter (stat-
ing the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live, and the desire for a permanent
system of general security), which was signed by the Netherlands on January 1, 1942. Changes were proposed in the
December 7, 1942 radio speech by Queen Wilhelmina. In this speech the Queen, on behalf of the Dutch government
in exile in London, expressed a desire to review the relations between the Netherlands and its colonies after the end
of the war. After the liberation, the government would be calling a conference to agree on a settlement in which the
overseas territories could participate in the administration of the Kingdom on the basis of equality. Initially, this speech
had propaganda purposes; the Dutch government had the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) in mind, and was hoping
to appease public opinion in the United States, which had become skeptical towards colonialism.

After Indonesia became independent, a federal construction was considered too heavy as the economies of Suriname
and the Netherlands Antilles were insignificant compared to those of the Netherlands. In the Charter, as it came about
in 1954, Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles each got a Minister Plenipotentiary based in the Netherlands, who had
the right to participate in Dutch cabinet meetings when it discussed affairs that applied to the Kingdom as a whole,
when these affairs pertained directly to Suriname and/or the Netherlands Antilles. Delegates of Suriname and the
Netherlands Antilles could participate in sessions of the First and Second Chamber of the States-General. An overseas
member could be added to the Council of State when appropriate. According to the Charter, Suriname and the Neth-
erlands Antilles were also allowed to alter their Basic Laws (Staatsregeling). The right of the two autonomous countries
to leave the Kingdom unilaterally was not recognised; yet it was stipulated the Charter could be dissolved by mutual

Before the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands was proclaimed in 1954, Suriname, Netherlands New Guinea, and the “Netherlands Antilles”, formerly “Colony of Curaηao and subordinates” (Kolonie Curaηao en Onderhorige Eilanden) were colonies of the Netherlands.

Suriname was a constituent country within the Kingdom from 1954 to 1975, while the Netherlands Antilles were a
constituent country from 1954 until 2010. Suriname has since become an independent republic, and the Netherlands
Antilles were dissolved into the constituent countries Aruba (since 1986), Curaηao and Sint Maarten (since 2010), and
the special municipalities of the Netherlands proper, Bonaire, Saba, and Saint Eustatius. Netherlands New Guinea was
a dependent territory of the Kingdom until 1962, but was not an autonomous country, and was not mentioned in the

In 1955, Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard visited Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles. The visit was a great success. The royal couple was enthusiastically welcomed by the local population and the trip was widely reported in the Dutch press. Several other royal visits were to follow.

In 1969, an unorganised strike on the Antillian island of Curaηao resulted in serious disturbances and looting, during which a part of the historic city centre of Willemstad was destroyed by fire. Order was restored by Dutch marines. The same year in Suriname saw serious political instability with the Surinamese prime minister, Jopie Pengel, threatening to request military support to break a teacher strike.


Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, the reigning monarch of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.


In 1973, a new Dutch cabinet under Labour leader Joop den Uyl assumed power. In the government policy statement
the cabinet declared a wish to determine a date for the independence of Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles with
the government of those nations. The Antillean government was non-committal; the same held for the Surinamese
Sedney cabinet (1969-1973). The Suriname 1973 elections brought the National Party Combination (Nationale Partij
Kombinatie) to power, with Henck Arron as its prime minister. The new government declared in its policy statement that
Suriname would be independent before 1976. This was remarkable, as independence had not been an issue during the
election campaign. The Den Uyl-government in The Hague now had a willing partner in Paramaribo to realise its plans


The Netherlands has become a world-class player in financial services, one that is eager to benefit from the growing
trend of globalisation of the financial sector. This globalisation is likely to result in an increased clustering of knowledge
and expertise of sub-sectors in the financial industry. The Netherlands is well positioned to play a pivotal role in some
of these rapidly growing sub-sectors, including retirement management, financial logistics and financial sustainability

Innovation and international orientation, combined with Dutch companies’ ability to negotiate their way across borders without stumbling over conflicting tax laws and legislation or cultural contrasts, is what sets the Netherlands apart from other financial centres. Attracted by these and other unique characteristics, more and more globally oriented professional and financial service providers are choosing to set up business in the country. Together they form a unique and richly diverse cluster, which is adding value at all levels, more so than in most other European financial centres.
A Competitive Climate

The best breeding ground for a sector that is sensitive to the vagaries of the economic cycle is a competitive and politically stable business climate. In the most recent list of top countries worldwide for business establishment, drawn up by the Economist Intelligence Unit each year, the Netherlands is in the top five. An international outlook and openness to foreign investment is firmly ingrained in the Dutch culture.



The Netherlands is an excellent platform for investments or expansion within Europe.


Geographically, The Netherlands offer a far better strategic location compared to the other favorite business partner: the United Kingdom. If a substantial part of your customers are non-British, the costs and time of transportation from the U.K. to the European continent are a major disadvantage compared to The Netherlands.
Logistic experts

The Dutch are noted for their expertise in logistics, resulting in the efficient handling and distribution of goods and a modern Dutch logistic network.


A major part of the Dutch populace is fluent in several languages. At the same time, the costs of labor are relatively low.


The Dutch political and economic tradition is characterized by a long history of stability. The general attitude of The Netherlands towards trade is liberal. Dutch customs operation represents the standard for most other European countries, while Dutch regulations and investment services are among the most effective and efficient in Europe.


The Netherlands features well-developed, sophisticated financial and legal infrastructures. Its participation exemption,
the tax treaty network, and the tax ruling make the Dutch holding company one of the most popular in the world.

Advantages of the Jurisdiction of the Netherlands


The following are the advantages of starting a Business in the Netherlands:


•   The Dutch government and local authorities offer incentives to foreign investors considering company formation

•   EU funds are also available.

•   Amsterdam is one of the world’s top financial centres and most international banks have offices there.

•   Real Estate: No capital gains tax is levied on the profits realized on the sale of Dutch real estate owned by a non-
      resident individual unless the non-resident is engaged in a trade or business in Holland and the real estate is one
      of the capital assets of the business.

•   Reasonable formation and maintenance costs and fees.

•   Complete business privacy and confidentiality.

•   BCs may engage in any lawful business in any country and may carry on transactions in whatever currencies they

•   Registered or Bearer shares, at owner’s option.

•   Directors and/or officers can be either corporate entities or natural persons.

•   Shareholders and /or directors may hold their meetings in any country and they may attend such meetings by

•   Dividend Income from Shares in a Dutch Registered Company: any dividend income received by a non-resident
      corporation through its shareholding in a Dutch registered corporation is free from assessment of corporate in-
      come tax unless the non resident company has a “substantial interest” in the Dutch registered corporation.

•   Well developed professional infrastructure.

•   Three-tier system will be introduced, with the 20% rate applying to income up to EUR40,000, 23% on income
above EUR40,000 and not exceeding EUR200,000 and 25.5% above EUR200,000.

•   The Government has established a new programme allowing for multi-year work permits of up to four years dura-
      tion and relaxed residency rules.

•   There are free trade zones at both the port and the airport.

Placing an order for the formation of a company

In December 1999 the Netherlands Antilles adopted new legislation under the heading of The New Fiscal Framework (NFF). This legislation was intended to avert inclusion on the OECD’s threatened ‘black-list’ of errant offshore jurisdictions in 2000. The NFF involved the abolition of the distinction between offshore and onshore companies. The formation of a Netherlands International Business Company can take place by using an order form which can be provided by the Registry Agent.

You can also buy a ready-made company from the list available. A ready-made company normally has an open configuration (its directors are not yet appointed and the shares are not yet issued). Therefore the final configuration of a shelf company is made at a later stage.

The Registry Agent will check the name availability of the company (whether there is no company under such name already). In the Netherlands the law requires that all financial service providers know the identity of their client so the actual contact details must be indicated at the Registry Agent.   This information remains confidential.


Requirements for the Registration of an IBC:


•   Director: Minimum of one Director. Corporations are permitted. Directors can be of any nationality.

•   Secretary: A secretary is not required.

•   Shareholder: Minimum of one shareholder. The shares are privately registered and not freely transferable.

•   Shares & Capital: The standard share capital is €18,000 divided into 18,000 shares of € 1,00 each.

•   Name of the Company: Must end with one of the following suffixes: Private Limited company - Besloten vennoot-
      schap: BV or Public Limited company -   Naamloze Vennootschap: NV.

•   Registered address: This must be in the country of incorporation.


Required Documents to register the company:


•   Notarized copy of your Passport.

•   Notarized Copy of utility bill for address verification less than 3 months old

•   Application documents.

•   When all the details are confirmed and the payment for the relevant fees received, the Registry Agent will prepare
      the Memorandum and the Article of Association of the new International Business Company. These will be filed
      with the the Commercial Register at the local Chamber of Commerce and obtain a company registration number.


Corporate documents of an IBC:


•   Original certification of incorporation of IBC

•   Memorandum and article of Association

•   First minutes and Corporate Resolutions containing the appointment of directors, allocation of shares, share cer-
      tificates, copies if the Registry of Directors and the Registry of shareholders need them.

•   Share transfer forms, trust declarations, appointments of representative (power of attorney) and the Corporate

The Netherlands economy is well known for stable industrial business relations, the food industry being the predominant industrial activity. However many other industrial sectors are valuable. The country has moderate unemployment and inflation and an important role as a European transportation hub. Ranking as one of the most attractive countries for foreign investment, the Netherlands has been the recipient of millions of foreign traders. The economic growth of the country has been spectacular in the last decades. 






Time zone

GMT + 1 hours.






Schiphol (Amsterdam), Rotterdam, Eindhoven and Maastrich.


Dutch, many speak English.



Political system

Democracy, two houses of representatives.

International dialling code


Legal system

Civil code.

Centre’s expertise


Personal income tax

Max 52%.

Corporate income tax

The first € 200,000 of taxable income is taxed at 20%, the excess profit at 25.0%.

Exchange restrictions


Tax treaties



Permitted currencies


Minimum authorised capital

€18, 000.

Minimum share issue

€18, 000.


Shelf companies


Timescale for new entities

Two-three weeks.

Incorporation fees

€3, 000.

Annual fees

€3, 000.


Minimum number


Residency requirements


Corporate directors






Solely if one shareholder company

Bearer shares

Yes, for NV companies.

Minimum number


Public share registry

No, at office of company, not for public

Meetings / frequency



Annual return


Audit requirements

Depending on size.


Registered office

Seat or place of residence

Domicile issues

Company naming restrictions

Minor restrictions


We act on our experience and intelligence