Set your business in the Netherland

An excellent European option for international trade.

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Setting up your business company in the Netherland

Benefits to incorporate a Dutch BV company

1. Increase the reputation of your business

Many countries enact or plan to enact laws protecting their economies from base erosion and profit shifting to tax havens. In this framework, The Netherlands can be seen as a sustainable solution to such changes. The Netherlands offers a beneficial tax regime, a conducive business environment and are among the EU’s most politically stable and pro-business governments.

2. Pay less taxes

The corporate income tax rates are 19% (increased from 15% effective from 1 January 2023) on profits up to EUR 200,000 (reduced from EUR 395,000 effective from 1 January 2023) and 25.8% (increased from 25% effective from 1 January 2022) on the excess.

3. A Dutch BV company is easy to form, control and close down

Planning to Register a Company in Netherland? Opening a Dutch BV company does not require to deposit a minimum paid up share capital anymore. The incorporation of a BV will take approximately one week, assuming correct and timely fulfilment of the due diligence requirements. Furthermore, a Dutch BV without assets and liabilities can be dissolved without formal liquidation. Besides the BV, one can of course also incorporate various other Dutch entities, such as the Dutch NV company, an association, a foundation (3) and a cooperative association (Dutch Coop) or an open or closed Dutch limited partnership (CV).

4. Secure your ownership (money, assets, real estate)

5. Sustainable development of your business

Tax benefits, reasonable transparency and economic and political sustainability are the key factors why 91 out of the 100 largest companies in the world created new business entities in The Netherlands since 2005. (4)

6. Obtain a Dutch residence permit

If a non-EU-resident qualifies as wealthy foreigner in the sense of Dutch immigration law, a residence permit can be obtained for a period of five years. The cumulative conditions are:

  • the foreigner has to invest a minimum amount of € 1.250,000, in a Dutch company based in The Netherlands;
  • this amount is to be deposited into an account with a Dutch bank or a bank of an EU Member State with a branch in The Netherlands under supervision of the Dutch Central Bank (DNB);
  • the investment according to the Dutch National Agency for Entrepreneurs adds value to the Dutch economy;
  • the funds invested are not illegally earned;
  • a valid travel visa/document for crossing borders;
  • sustainable and independent sufficient means of existence;
  • not causing a threat to public order;
  • not causing a threat to national security.

7. Have unique investment possibilities

The Netherlands is called “The Gateway to Europe” because it has the best European business climate, a strong financial sector and a unique geographical location. The Netherlands concluded the largest number of bilateral double taxation and investment treaties great providing a winning position to Set up a company in Netherlands internationally with a high level of protection and financial benefits. Doing business from or meeting in the city of Amsterdam is also very easy due to direct flights from all over the world.

Types of Dutch business entities

The three main types of legal entities that can be set up in the Netherlands are:

Limited Partnership
(Commanditaire Vennootschaap, CV)

A limited partnership is a business run by more than one person. It has two kinds of partners: active and limited. The limited partner tends to be the financial backer for the company, and often enters into a partnership with a sole trader who needs financial backing. The limited partner tends to allow the active partner to make the day-to-day decisions and is only at legally at risk of losing their financial investment if they are not involved in managing the company in any way. Limited partners are not required to register with the Trade Register.

Active partners are liable to third parties and personal assets (including those of a spouse) are not protected from creditors (though a marriage contract can protect spousal assets). It is highly recommended to enter into a partnership agreement when becoming a partner, in order to clarify the duration of the partnership, contribution expectations, profit split, among other things.

For tax purposes, an active partner is usually considered to be a self-employed entrepreneur and is required to pay income tax on their share of profits. A limited partner who has only provided financial backing for the company is not considered a self-employed entrepreneur, and instead has joint entitlement.

Private Limited Liability Company
(Besloten Vennootschaap, BV)

A BV is a private limited liability company and is considered to be a legal entity, which limits the risks to the owner(s). Shareholders are only liable for their own capital contribution. The minimum share capital required to establish a BV used to be EUR 18 000 (before October 01, 2012), but it was reduced to just 1-euro cent. Now it is easy to establish a new business. Shares are allocated based on the capital, and for tax purposes, any person owning more than five percent of shares has a “substantial interest” in the company and is liable for taxes on capital gains or dividends paid. It is necessary for owners to obtain a background check for fraud or bankruptcy from the Ministry of Justice. BVs are often considered to be the best way for a foreign company to establish a subsidiary in the Netherlands.

Company information and proof of incorporation in a foreign country (if applicable) must be filed annually with the Chamber of Commerce (KvK).

Directors of companies registered outside of the Netherlands are legally liable for the actions of the company until all legal requirements are completed.

Public Limited Liability Company
(Naamloze Vennootschaap, NV)

May be a subsidiary of a foreign company. An NV is owned by shareholders and shares may be traded on the public stock market, though shares are not held in any private person’s name. Therefore, owners may choose to remain unidentified. NVs may only be formed if it has at least €45,000 in paid-in capital. It is not a common type of business structure.

The Dutch Limited Partnership
(Commanditaire Venootschaap) CV

The Netherlands is not generally considered a tax haven or low tax jurisdiction, but the country is well regulated. It is considered an open, top tier jurisdiction which welcomes international business and boasts millenary experience in trade, financial services, and more.

The Netherlands is a highly developed member state of the EU, and a jurisdiction with a standard level of taxation. The rate of corporate tax in Netherlands is 25%.

However, Dutch legislation provides the opportunity of registering and using Netherlands entities with a zero rate of tax using a vehicle known as a Commanditaire Venootschaap (CV), similar in its composition to most limited partnerships in other jurisdictions.

The CV is a limited partnership having no less than two partners. One of the partners is a General Partner, while the other partners have the status of Limited Partners.

The legislation by default provides that the operating body of a CV company is the General Partner. However, there are no restrictions to appoint additional persons to the position of director or manager of a CV company. Nonetheless, the General Partner bears the basic responsibility for the commercial activity and for the financial obligations of a CV company.

Dutch CV
A Full Tax-Exempt entity, since:

Basic C.V. requirements

The C.V. consists of at least two partners:

  • A general partner
  • One or more limited partners

The relationship between the partners is established by way of a Limited Partnership Agreement that includes their respective percentage of ownership. The partnership agreement will include a restriction on the inclusion of a new limited partner or the removal of an existing partner.

The general partner is entrusted with the representation of the C.V. in regard to its business activities. By contrast, limited partners may not be involved in the active conduct of the C.V.’s business.

The percentage of ownership held by the general partner can be small or large depending on the agreement reached between the parties. Some C.V.’s are structured with the general partner owning a fraction of the C.V.’s assets (for example 0,001%) and the limited partner holding the remaining 99,999%.

Provided the C.V. is deemed to be non-resident it does not need to maintain books or file accounts or tax returns in the Netherlands. Registration of the C.V. in the relevant Chamber of Commerce is required.

C.V. Administration

Most C.V.s used in international planning for families and companies from countries that place restrictions and impose penalties on the use of no tax or low tax jurisdictions are used for the holding of passive investments, such as a bank or brokerage accounts. In practice, this is achieved as follows:

  • Ensuring that the financial institution with which the account is held will accept the C.V. as an account holder.
  • Satisfying the institution’s due diligence requirements.
  • The appointment by the C.V. of one or more limited attorneys-in-fact to operate the bank account (the beneficial owner can be selected as one of the persons).
  • Financial institution statements will be issued in the name of the C.V.
  • The annual administration of the C.V. will be the responsibility of the general partner who may undertake responsibility for the C.V.’s administration or contract with a specialist administrator, like Atrium, to administer the C.V.
Company type Commanditaire Venootschaap (CV)

Directors / Officers: Netherlands CV companies require a minimum of 2 Partners, who may be natural persons or corporate bodies from any legal jurisdiction. Each Netherlands CV company must file a Register of its Partners with the Netherlands Trade Register (Kamer Van Koophandel).


Shareholders: The legislation on Netherlands CV companies does not consider a status of shareholders.


Secretary: There is no statutory requirement for a Company Secretary to be appointed.


Authorised share capital: No minimum capital requirements; to be decided on the Partnership Agreement.


Company Names: The name of Netherlands CV company must end with the words Commanditaire Venootschaap, or suffix “CV”. Company names containing restricted words such as “Bank”, “Insurance”, “Trust”, etc. will not be permitted unless an appropriate national operating license has been obtained by the company.


Beneficial Ownership Information: Information with regard to ultimate beneficial ownership must be disclosed to the Registered Agent of a company and is held by the agent on a confidential basis.


Filing of Annual Return: An Annual Return must be submitted every 12 months after the date of registration.


Filing of Financial Statements: Depending on the LP residency for tax purposes.


Corporate Taxation: Corporate Tax rate for Netherlands CV companies with non-resident partners is 0%.


Tax Treaties: CV companies are not regarded as residents for tax purposes in Netherlands, and therefore are not entitled to take advantage of Double Tax treaties concluded by Netherlands with other countries.


Timeframe for Incorporation: 3/5 working days.

Dutch Partnership Income Taxation
There are various forms of partnerships in the Netherlands. The most common form of partnerships is the limited partnership (in Dutch: “Commanditaire Vennootschap” or “CV”).

The partnerships referred to above, have the mutual characteristic that they do not have legal personality, meaning that they cannot themselves enter into agreements or own assets. The CV can however under Dutch law have an equity separated from their owners.

A CV has per definition partners with limited liability (the Limited Partners), but also partners with unlimited liability (the General Partners).

For the General Partner the CV is always considered tax transparent, meaning that for the levy of income tax the general partner is in essence treated the same way as partners in a Maatschap or VOF: each partner is taxed for his/her share in the income of the partnership as if it was earned directly.

The tax status of the Limited Partners is dependent on the tax status of the CV.

Register a Company in Netherland – Benefits of the Dutch Limited Liability Partnership (Commanditaire Vennootschaap, CV)
– Legal aspects

A CV is a contract between one or more general partners and one or more limited partners. While a CV agreement can be concluded verbally, in practice a CV is typically set up by means of written agreement (contract), which is preferably executed as a notarial deed by a Dutch civil-law notary. A CV can be set up easily and within a few days. Dutch law does not include requirements as to the contents of the CV-agreement, pursuant to the principle of contractual freedom. Also, there are no requirements with regard to the identity of the partners. Hence, residents as well as non-residents can be partners in a CV, while the partners can be private individuals as well as corporate bodies.

The management of the CV must be performed by the general partner(s). The general partner(s) can be held liable for the debts of the CV. While the general partner is entrusted with the management of the CV, the limited partner is typically the party that provides the funding of the CV. The limited partner may under no circumstances be involved with the management of the CV; violation hereof means that the limited partner also will become liable for any debts and obligations of the CV. It should also be noted that the partners are free to determine their respective interests in the profits of the CV. While no partner may be completely deprived of the profits of the CV, a profit allocation of e.g. 0.001% for the general partner and 99.999% for the limited partner is allowed.

In international structures, it is common that the CV only has one general partner. This general partner is typically a designated corporate entity, often a Dutch foundation, provided and managed by a Dutch fiduciary service provider. This is basically for two reasons:

  1. The CV is not a corporate entity; it cannot hold legal title to assets. Therefore, legal title to the CV-assets is held by the general partner for the risk and account of the CV.
  2. The Dutch Foundation is not an entity designated to conduct a business and, as general partner, will not conduct any other business. Hence liability risks are ruled out as much as possible.
Tax aspects

For Dutch tax purposes, a CV can be either “closed” (i.e. tax transparent) or “open” (i.e. tax non-transparent). Pursuant to Dutch tax legislation, a CV will be considered “closed” if the admission and substitution of limited partners is subject to the unanimous consent of all other partners. Hence, the partners are free to decide whether or not the CV should be tax transparent or not, by including adequate provisions in the CV agreement. Any CV which is not “closed”, is considered “open”. For completeness sake, we note that the Dutch tax treatment of an open CV is very similar to the tax treatment of a Dutch company, i.e. it is liable to Dutch corporate income tax.

Profit distributions by a “closed” CV to its partners are not subject to Dutch withholding taxes. Furthermore, the contribution of assets to a CV does not trigger any (capital) taxes.

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Tax Planning opportunities

The “closed” CV is a highly popular international tax planning tool. This popularity is due the tax transparency of the CV and its highly flexible character. Because the CV is tax transparent, any profits of the CV will for Dutch tax purposes be allocated to the partners in the CV according to their pro rata interest in the CV. When the partners are not tax residents of the Netherlands however, the partners will not be subject to Dutch taxation in respect of their share in the profits of the CV, as long as the partners do not derive Dutch source income through the CV. Dutch source income notably includes an enterprise carried out in the Netherlands, substantial shareholdings in Dutch resident companies and real estate based in the Netherlands.

Below we will outline two very common international tax planning structures in which a CV is used.

CV as a portfolio Investment Holding Company

In this set-up, the “closed” CV is merely used to hold portfolio investments. The limited partner typically has a 99.999% interest in the CV and the general partner has a 0.001% interest in the CV. Both the limited and the general partner are domiciled outside the Netherlands. While the CV is tax transparent for Dutch tax purposes, the CV is considered tax non-transparent from the perspective of the country of residence of the limited partner. Hence, the limited partner is mostly not required to report any income, as long as he does not receive any profit distributions from the CV. As such, a significant tax deferral can be achieved, allowing the profits of the CV to be reinvested for as long as desired. Furthermore, distributed profits could qualify as tax-exempt income under the participation exemption regime at the level of the corporate limited partner.

CV as a Trading Entity

In this set-up, the CV engages in the international trading of goods. The CV (Agent) is instructed by a company (Principal) in a low taxed country, to perform certain specified trading activities for the risk and account of the Principal. The Principal can be a partner in the CV, although this is not required. Any profit realized by the CV from the trading transactions, is not taxed in the Netherlands because of the tax-transparent character of the CV. We have extensive experience with trading structures and can advise on all aspects for the setting up of a proper functioning trading structure. Furthermore, it should be noted that a similar set-up with a “trading” CV is in principle also possible for the international routing of services.

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