Check-list for setting up a business

Setting up your business

When you have decided to start your own business, a new world is opening up, with a wide variety of possibilities to consider. Other than that, you will also need to observe various government and other rules. This checklist will make sure that you have a good overview of all the things you should consider when setting up a business.

Step 1. Check whether you fulfil the conditions for staying in the Netherlands. You may need a permit, depending on your country of origin.

Step 2. Select a legal form and trade name of your enterprise.

Step 3. Come up with a business plan. Banks require a business plan when you take out a loan. Even if you do not need the latter, and financing your enterprise is not a problem, a business plan will definitely help you understand the impact of starting a business. Submitting a business plan is also one of the criteria set for non-EU and non-EEA nationals to be allowed to start their own enterprise in the Netherlands.

Step 4. In order to designate the employment relationship while starting your business, it is important to consider different contracts and use for example the (model) agreements (modelovereenkomsten) the Tax Administration.

Step 5. Register with the Dutch Commercial Register and Dutch Tax Administration. You will then be issued with a VAT-number, so they don’t have to register with the Dutch Tax Administration separately.

Step 6. Register as an employer for payroll taxes and social security. If you intend to hire staff, you will first need to register as an employer with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration.

Step 7. Consult the zoning plan with regard to your business location. If you plan to establish your business at a particular location, this choice of location must be in line with the municipal zoning plan. If this is not the case, however, you can apply for an All-in-one Permit for Physical Aspects (Omgevingsvergunning) to carry out your plans. You can also ask the municipality to change the zoning plan.

Step 8. Create your business accounts. As you often incur expenses before the official launch of your business, make certain to create your business accounts in a timely manner. In the Netherlands, you are legally obliged to maintain accounts and to retain them for 7 years.

Step 9. Check if you need insurance. Before starting up an enterprise, you should evaluate the possible risks in your particular line of business and insure these. An insurance consultant will be glad to provide more detailed information.