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Set up Dutch BV Company

Set up Dutch BV Company

The Dutch BV (Besloten Vennootschap) also known as the private limited liability company (Besloten Vennootschap met beperkte aansprakelijkheid) is the most popular business form in this country. The Dutch BV is the equivalent of the German GmbH and the American limited liability company. Considering the new amendments brought to the Company Law, the incorporation procedure for a Dutch BV has been simplified and the costs related to setting up a company in the Netherland have been reduced. The BV is also the most employed type of structure when starting a business in the Netherlands.

 Quick Facts  
Applicable legislation

Company Law

Minimum number of shareholders


Minimum number of directors


Resident director required (YES/NO)


Local legal address required (YES/NO)


Minimum share capital

0.01 EUR

Local bank account required (YES/NO)


Best uses

– trading activities,

– to register a subsidiary company,

– as a holding company

Liability of the shareholders

Limited liability for the company's debts

Visit required for incorporation (YES/NO)

No, a local agent services can be used

Taxes to be paid

– corporate tax,

– dividend tax,

– VAT,

– employment taxes,

– real estate taxes

Corporate tax rate

– 15% on income of up to 245,000 EUR,

– exceeding amounts are imposed with a rate of 25%


– simplied form (flex BV),

– easy to register,

– multiple uses,

– access to tax incentives

Incorporation support (YES/NO)


Audited financial statements required (YES/NO) Yes 
Specific requirements for the company name  The company's name must adhere to the Company Act's requirements and must end in BV. 

 Simplified form of the BV (if available)

 The flex BV is the simplified form of this type of company.

 Available for registration for natural persons

 A BV can have a natural person as a shareholder.

 Available for registration for companies  A limited liability company can also have other corporations as shareholders.
 Documents required for registration

– Memorandum and Articles of Association;

– information about the shareholders and directors;

– proof of legal address;

– and bank account reference.

 Possibility to be converted into a public company 

 The BV can be changed into a public company upon reaching the minimum share capital for the latter.

 Registration timeframe (approx.)

 It takes 1-2 weeks to register a BV in the Netherlands.

 Licensing requirements (if any)

 Yes, provided that the company will operate in a field that requires a special permit.

 VAT registration required upon creation 

 The company is not required to register for VAT upon incorporation.

 Possibility to be used as a shelf company  The BV can be used as a shelf company for sale. 
 Access to tax minimization tools through the BV 

 The BV can be used for tax minimization purposes.

 Possibility to hire personnel 

 It can hire local and foreign workforce.

 Possibility to transfer foreign employees 

 Foreign employees must obtain intra-company transfer visas for working in a Dutch BV.

 Availability of accounting services for a Dutch BV

We offer accounting services for this type of companies. 

 Other services we offer for a BV in the Netherlands

– payroll and HR support;

– assistance in amending company documents;

– nominee services.

Requirements for incorporating a Dutch BV

In terms of shareholding structures, the BV must have at least one shareholder who can be a natural or a legal person. The new Company Law in the Netherland allows the limited liability company to have one shareholder who can also act as manager. The Company Act only required the founder to issue one share with a voting right. It is necessary for the Dutch BV to have a local address.

Before the Dutch BV is registered, a deed of incorporation and the articles of association must be drafted before a public notary. These documents will be in Dutch and will contain information about the shareholders, the management board, the registered address, and the authorized share capital. The articles of association must also contain a brief description of the Dutch BV’s business activities.

If you are interested in setting up a BV in the Netherlands in 2024, our agents can help you.

The characteristics of the Dutch BV

The Dutch BV is a private limited company in which the assets of the investors are fully protected from the company assets, unlike in the case of the sole proprietorship. The BV has legal personality, it can enter into agreements and it may have registered share, which, however, are not transferable.

The BV in the Netherlands must pay the corporate income tax and it is also subject to other taxes, including a real estate transfer tax, social security taxes for employers and withholding taxes. Double taxation relief is possible under the double tax treaties signed by the Netherlands.

The attorneys at our Dutch law firm specialize in a wide range of issues concerning business and company law. They can assist you during all of the company formation phases as well as answer any particular questions that might help you decide if the BV is the right legal entity for your needs.

The main steps to incorporate a Dutch BV in 2024

The first step related to setting up a company in the Netherlands, such a Dutch BV, is having the company’s statutory documents drafted and notarized. The next steps one must take are:

  • reserve a company name, which must be unique and must comply with the legal requirements imposed by the Commercial Law;
  • submit the deed of incorporation and the articles of association with the Trade Registrar,
  • obtain a registration number with the Commercial Register in the Netherlands,
  • register with the tax authorities (the registration must be done for obtaining a tax identification number and a VAT number),
  • register with the social security authorities and with the pension fund for employment purposes.

We have also prepared a scheme with the main advantages of opening a Dutch BV in 2024:


Opening a bank account for a Dutch BV

When starting a business in the Netherlands, you must also open a company bank account. The minimum capital is deposited into the company’s newly opened bank account. Then, the account can be used for the financial activities of the enterprise. You can rely on our company formation agents for support in setting up a corporate bank account.

The opening of a corporate bank account is mandatory when registering a BV in the Netherlands. However, its opening is not required before the registration of the company, it must be opened in order to prove the economic activity of the business. The bank account need not be opened with a Dutch bank, especially in the case of foreign ownership. If the shareholders decide to set up the account with a local bank, they must appoint a local director for the company and create the account based on the company’s Articles of Association and the Certificate of Registration issued by the Companies Register.

Our Dutch company formation consultants can handle the registration of a BV company remotely on behalf of foreign investors. We can also help you with the procedure of setting up a company in the Netherlands.

Licenses for Dutch BVs

One of the most important steps which must be completed when opening a BV in the Netherlands is applying for certain licenses and permits. Among these licenses we mention the following:

  • the all-in-one business license which is issued by the municipality in the city where the company will operate;
  • import and export licenses which are useful for BVs involved in trading activities;
  • financial licenses which are employed by companies in the financial industry, but also in other fields such as cryptocurrency;
  • other special licenses issued by specific authorities, depending on the BV’s activities – among these food and liquor licenses are necessary for operating in the food and beverages sector.

The flex BV in the Netherlands

Considering the popularity of the private limited liability company, in 2012, the Dutch government decided to simplify the requirements related to the registration of a BV and this is how the Simplified BV Regime came into force.

Also known as the flex BV, this type of company resembles the regular BV with a few exceptions. In order to open a flex BV in the Netherlands, a local or foreign entrepreneur will be subject to fewer requirements among which a reduces share capital for the company. Until then a BV company was subject to a minimum share capital of 18,000 euros, but the flex BV was allowed to be created with a minimum amount of 1 euro.

Under the new legislation, the shareholders of a BV company are allowed to reduce the share capital without publishing the decision in the Official Gazette. They will only be requested to amend the Dutch company’s Articles of Association and notify the Trade Register.

The flex BV remains one of the preferred choices of foreign investors who want to open companies in the Netherlands in 2024.

Uses of a BV company in the Netherlands

The BV company has many advantages, one of the most important being related to the fact that this structure can be employed for various purposes. Among these are:

  • the BV can be used by foreign companies establishing subsidiaries in the Netherlands;
  • shelf companies usually take the form of Dutch BVs thanks to the fast and few incorporation requirements, but also to the hassle-free changes which can be brought to it;
  • the BV can be used for trading purposes by foreign investors starting their businesses in the Netherlands;
  • BV companies can also be used as offshore companies by foreign entrepreneurs.

If you are interested in opening a Dutch private limited liability company, our local representatives can offer more information on the incorporation requirements.

BV incorporation FAQ

Can I incorporate a BV without visiting the Netherlands?

Yes. Foreign investors can incorporate a Dutch BV without a personal visit to the country by employing our company to act on their behalf. This type of formation, however, does imply a slightly different procedure.

Can anyone set up a BV no matter where they are located?

Yes. The Netherlands is very open to foreign investment. Anyone from any country can become a shareholder in a Dutch Limited Company. To become a resident company, however (to have local substance) the investors must comply with certain requirements.

Can I set up an anonymous Dutch BV?

Certain Dutch structures can indeed maintain privacy. In this regard please see your options related to the creation of Dutch Foundation and nominee directors.

Why should I incorporate a Dutch BV?

The main reasons why business people choose the BV entity in the Netherlands are:
1) Tax benefits: Netherlands is a very good option to legally minimize your tax burden when doing business in EU and in the world in general.
2) Good local market: the Netherlands is one of the most prosperous regions in the world offering a local market with very good potential.
3) Excellent Transportation network: the Netherlands has perhaps the most important ports and transportation hubs in Europe.

Can I open a Dutch Bank Account?

Yes, our company can assist you in opening a Dutch bank account and/or bank accounts in other countries worldwide.

Differences between the Dutch BV and the Dutch NV (Joint Stock)

The NV in the Netherlands has generally the same characteristics as the BV, but there are also important differences:

  • the articles of association of a NV doesn’t have to include share transfer restrictions, but for a BV this is a must;
  • the minimum share capital for a NV is EUR 45,000, while for a BV there is no obligation related to this aspect;
  • NV can be listed on the Stock Exchange, unlike BV;
  • BV can issue only registered shares and a NV have the possibility to issue both registered and bearer shares.

NV must have a board of directors and the minimum number is one director regardless of his nationality who will be in charge with the management of the company.

Taxation of a Dutch BV

In order to benefit from double tax treaties signed by the Netherlands with other countries, it is recommended to have the majority of directors as Dutch residents and a business address in that country, which can be obtained traditionally, by opening an office, or by getting a virtual office. We offer you a useful virtual office package with a prestigious business address in Amsterdam and main cities in the Netherlands. 

Companies registered in the Netherlands will pay corporate tax at a standard rate of 25.8%, however, a 15% rate applies to the first EUR245,000, while for income of amounts of more than EUR245,000, a tax of EUR36,750 + the 25% applies. The dividend tax is between 0% and 15%, the VAT ranges between 6% and 21%, and other taxes related to the activities they have. The rates are subject to change, so it is recommended to verify them at the moment you want to incorporate a Dutch BV.

Companies that have a residence in the Netherlands must pay taxes on their income obtained worldwide, while nonresident companies will pay taxes only on certain incomes from the Netherlands. 

For more details about the taxation of a Dutch BV and setting up a company in the Netherlands, you may contact our local specialists in company formation.

We invite you to watch a video about incorporating a Dutch BV in the Netherlands:

Other details about the Dutch BV

Apart from the issues regarding registration, investors should also keep in mind some of the other characteristics or defining traits of the BV company:

  • Shareholders: the BV can be incorporated by only one shareholder who can be an individual or another corporation. 
  • Directors: a minimum of one director is required, and he can also be an individual or a corporation.
  • Shares: the share capital can be denominated in any chosen currency and the shares should have a par value.
  • Registered office: the BV needs to have a registered office in the Netherlands; a virtual office can also be used.
  • Accounting and audit: the company needs to maintain accounting records and prepare the annual statements; the audit is only required in some cases.

The tax year in the Netherlands is generally the same as the calendar year (although companies can use a different time period). The Dutch BV files its annual corporate income tax return annually. Auditing becomes mandatory when the company meets two of the following three criteria: it has total assets of more than 6,000,000 euros, it has at least 50 employees (full-time), or has a net revenue of at least 12 million euros.

Investors should know that they might commence trading even before the BV is fully set up. In this case, they will engage in business operations under a BV in formation, while the civil law notary is still handling the incorporation procedures. For the BV in formation, the abbreviation will be BV io. When operating in this fashion, it is important that investors remember to signal the fact that they are still under incorporation, so that clients or business partners are aware of this aspect. Sole traders who have decided to change their business form to a private limited company while still trading most often use the BV in formation. One of our lawyers in the Netherlands can give investors more details about changing the business form.

The private limited company is a convenient business form, one with a low incorporation capital, a set of simple formation steps and one that allows for a great degree of flexibility while investors retain limited liability, only to the amount of their invested capital in the company.

If this type of company engages in trade activities in the EU or outside of the Union, it will need to obtain an EORI number.

The BV company is one of the best options for foreign investors in the Netherlands

The Netherlands is one of the top foreign investments destinations in Europe and enterprisers who come here from other countries choose the BV company because:

  1. it offers them the same rights as the ones of local enterprisers doing business here;
  2. the share capital requirements are very small – foreigners need 1 euro as a capital for this business form;
  3. it is widely used for tax minimization purposes under the holding company regime in the Netherlands;
  4. it is suitable for both small scale businesses, but also for medium-sized enterprises;
  5. it can also be used by investors who want to establish investment funds in the Netherlands.

Our company registration advisors in the Netherlands can also offer information related to the legislation on foreign direct investments.

The tax benefits offered by a BV company in the Netherlands

The Dutch limited liability company comes with several tax benefits for those looking to pay small taxes in the Netherlands. Even if it subject to the corporate tax, the government offers several deductions and exemption from a taxation point of view.

BV companies can benefit from the following:

  • corporate tax reductions if they engage in research and development (R&D) activities;
  • corporate tax reliefs if they enter the innovation box or innovation credit programs;
  • corporate tax deductions and breaks for the first 3 to 5 years of incorporation;
  • the participation exemption regime if the BV has the Dutch holding company status.

For information on how to file tax returns for a BV in 2024, we invite you to get in touch with our specialists.

Taxation of a BV in 2024

At the level of 2024, the BV is one of the best choices for starting a business in the Netherlands from a taxation point of view. The corporate tax is applied at two rates depending on the profits of the company.  However, Dutch BV can benefit from various tax advantages in 2024, among which tax deductions and exemptions.

The taxation interest rate for corporate income tax and conditional withholding tax (CWHT) will be 5.5% at least, plus the ECB (European Central Bank) interest rate, as of January 1st, 2024. A tax interest rate of 10% will be applied with the current 4.5% ECB interest rate; the current taxation interest rate is fixed at 8%. Also, starting on January 1st, 2024, the taxation interest rate for other taxes will be 7.5%, with a minimum of 4.5% and a maximum of 3% over the ECB interest rate. Starting with the same date, dividend payments made to corporations in certain low-tax jurisdictions will be subject to withholding tax at a rate of 25.8% (equivalent to the standard corporate income tax rate).

Starting a business in the Netherlands in 2024 in the form of a BV is a great idea for those operating in the IT sector who want to work remotely.

Those who want to open a company in the Netherlands can also do that by signing a power of attorney and designating a representative. If you need help with the registration procedure, please contact our company incorporation agents in the Netherlands. Furthermore, we can help foreign investors interested in establishing limited liability companies in other countries, such as Slovakia or Poland.