DOING BUSINESS IN EUROPE


Doing business in the EU

Doing Business in Europe: Acquiring a business address in the Netherlands

When a company decides to enter the European market one of the first steps is to acquire a business address. Having a business address in the Netherlands if a company is interested in expanding into the European market is a huge asset. This allows locals to recognize and trust your business. To register a business in the Netherlands a business address is required by the Chamber of Commerce and the Tax Administration. A business address will give the company the opportunity to register a private company ( BV.) in the Netherlands.

To acquire a registration address from a Business Center that provides Virtual Offices is a cost-effective option. Virtual offices are already professionally set up and staffed to allow a company to move right in and hit the ground running with their operations. The service provides a postal address, receives the post and provides the option that the post can be e-mailed to the company in pdf format. There is also the possibility to rent a workspace and meeting rooms as needed.

However according to the Dutch Chamber of Commerce and the Tax Administration is a Virtual Address, not an accepted business address. A post box address is also due to the favourable Dutch tax dispensation not allowed as an official business address.

When a company use the address of a multi-company business centre and the lease agreement states that the company has less than 40 hours a week access to an office the Chamber of Commerce may de-register the company.

Using a virtual address may not be a problem  in the beginning , until the company receives the following letter: ‘Ambtshalve wijziging’ (‘official change’) or ‘Buitendienst’ (‘sales force’), ‘uw onderneming zal worden uitgeschreven uit het handelsregister’ (‘your company will be unsubscribed from the commercial register’). In the letter, they refer to Article 38 Handelsregisterwet (Commercial Registers Act), and that the Chamber of Commerce is investigating the company with the so-called ‘Bureau Economische Handhaving’ (‘Office Economical Guard’) or the Dutch Tax Administration.

The Dutch Chamber of Commerce and Tax Administration is lately very active in checking registration addresses.

A virtual office can still be an excellent starting point for a company if the following requirements are adhered to:

  • The rental contract must include a workplace where an employee of the company can work permanently if he/she wishes. This means it is more than just a mailbox, the company can actually make use of a desk, telephone, internet, printer and a cabinet on a permanent basis.
  • There is a reception desk where someone presents himself on behalf of the company.

There are in the Netherland several companies and Business Centers that offer packages where can acquire an address of registration and a workplace that complies with the mentioned conditions.

 

 

Andre Beukes LLM

Andre Beukes LLM

André Beukes is an EU Management Consultant to international companies doing business in Europe. He provides clients with practical business support that makes a real difference doing business in the EU. “Put simply, I am here to help you meet your challenges. I believe in the importance of doing things correctly, meaning risks are reduced and problems are avoided.”

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