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Setting up a business in the Netherlands with van oers

Permanent establishment / branch (registation)

Foreign businesses venturing onto the Dutch market have the option of either setting up an establishment or incorporating a local company. Setting up a subsidiary, sometimes called a branch office, is the simpler of the two options: it does not require the services of a civil-law notary, unlike incorporating a company.

How to set up an establishment

  • To comply with Dutch statutory identification rules you need paperwork about both your head office and the head office’s board of directors.
  • Once you have gathered the necessary documents, you go to the Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel, or KvK) and have the head office’s local establishment listed in the commercial register. You will then be assigned a KvK registration number.
  • Next, you register the head office’s local establishment with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration, where you will be issued the necessary tax registration numbers.
  • If you need to, or if you think it will make doing business easier, you can open a Dutch bank account.

Legal position

An establishment does not have separate legal personality: this means that it cannot form contracts. The head office is the actual legal entity, and is the contracting partner in dealings with customers. Similarly, the head office is jointly and severally liable for paying the establishment’s taxes.


For tax purposes, a branch office is treated exactly the same as an incorporated company. Both are subject to the same rules and obligations, specifically:

  • they need to keep records in accordance with the appropriate guidelines
  • they need to file their tax returns on time
  • they need to pay their taxes on time
Setting up a business in the Netherlands with van oers

Advice about setting up an establishment

We can help you gather, translate, fill out and submit all the necessary documents and forms to enable you to complete the procedures. Please complete the form shown on the right if you would like to meet and talk with us or if you have any questions. Van Oers International will contact you within 2 working days.

Edgar van Hassel
Edgar van Hassel | Tax manager
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