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The Netherlands is a country in Northwestern Europe, constituting the major portion of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It is a parliamentary democratic constitutional monarchy. The Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east. The capital is Amsterdam and the seat of government is The Hague.

Being one of the first parliamentary democracies, the Netherlands was a modern country from its inception. Among other affiliations the country is a founding member of the European Union (EU), NATO, OECD, WTO, and has signed the Kyoto protocol. With Belgium and Luxembourg it forms the Benelux economic union. The country is host to five international courts: the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Court and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. The first four are situated in The Hague as is the EU's criminal intelligence agency Europol. This has led to the city being dubbed "the world's legal capital".

The Netherlands has a very capitalist market-based economy, ranking 12th of 157 countries according to the Index of Economic Freedom.

Languages: Official - Danish, spoken - English, French and German.


Companies  

There are four major kinds of business entity, and they are as follows:

  • public limited company (NV) 
  • private limited company (BV)
  • partnerships
  • branches


The main features of an NV company

  • the minimum share capital for an NV company is €45,000 
  • at least 20% of the authorised share capital must be issued
  • suitable for companies wishing to raise capital publicly
  • no nationality requirement for shareholders
  • audited accounts must be filed with Chamber of Commerce


The main features of a BV company

  • the minimum share capital for a BV company is €18,000
  • shareholders’ liability is restricted to capital contribution
  • the most common form of business enterprise in The Netherlands
  • no nationality requirement for shareholders
  • audited accounts must be filed with Chamber of Commerce


The main features of a partnership

  • available as a general, professional or limited partnership
  • general partnerships have unlimited liability
  • in professional partnership, each partner is liable for own debts
  • limited partnerships have limited liability


The main features of a branch

  • popular format for foreign companies opening up in The Netherlands 
  • foreign parent responsible for all liabilities of Dutch branch
  • branch required to register with Chamber of Commerce
  • minimum of one director; no formal accounting requirements

 

Taxation

The Netherlands has a liberal tax regime including generous participation exemption – dividends received and capital gains realised are exempt from Dutch corporate income tax. There’s also an extensive network of double-taxation treaties.

Agreements on avoidance of double taxation were signed with the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Great Britain, Hungary, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Israel, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Malta, Morocco, Netherlands Antilles, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Russia, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Suriname, Thailand, Turkey, Philippines, Finland, France, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Sweden, Sri Lanka, South Africa, South Korea Japan.


Accounting records and audits:
are required.

Meetings of Directors: may be anywhere.

Total annual shareholders' meeting: may be anywhere.