Company Formation Netherlands



Business License in the Netherlands

Updated on Monday 29th May 2023

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Business License in the Netherlands
While not all types of activities require business licenses in the Netherlands, there are sectors in which such permits are available. Among these, the financial sector is one of the most highly-regulated. Applying for such a license implies respecting certain steps, however, the most important is the documentation that must be filed with the authority issuing it.
If you need to apply for a trade license in the Netherlands and need support, our local specialists are at your disposal.

Procedures before obtaining a business license in the Netherlands

Before reaching the stage of applying for a Dutch trade license, a business must pass through other stages, such as:
  • - obtaining a tax identification number;
  • - registering for VAT (if necessary or relevant for the licensing phase);
  • - registering for employment purposes;
  • - securing specialized workforce (such is the case of HoReCa businesses).
Also, when the entrepreneur has not incorporated a business, this step is mandatory before applying for any license.
If you need support in starting a business in the Netherlands, you can rely on our local agents who are at your disposal with complete company registration solutions.

What are the sectors that require trade licenses in the Netherlands?

Setting up a company in the Netherlands is quite simple, as most enterprises do not require special licenses. However, there are a few that do, and among them, we mention the following:
  • - financial businesses that include banks and insurance agencies;
  • - financial service providers such as investment management companies;
  • - restaurants, bars, cafes, hotels and other tourism related entities;
  • - trading companies for import and export activities (additionally, these must also apply for EORI numbers or use EORI numbers obtained in other EU states);
  • - transport licenses are also available for businesses operating in this sector.
Other than these, a general Dutch business license is the all-in-one permit. It must be obtained by all enterprises that want to use, build or renovate the spaces used for their operations. 
Feel free to address any questions on the available trade permits to our Dutch company formation advisors.

How to obtain special Dutch business licenses

Securing a Dutch trade license depends on the authority issuing it. For this purpose, one must prepare various documents and file them within a pre-established period of time. Also, it is important to note that the issuance of such permits can range from a few weeks and up to several months, based on the complexity of the authorization procedure.
When applying for a Dutch business permit it is important to ask for specialized support in order to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the authorization file. This is also one of the services you will find in our portfolio, so do not hesitate to contact us for assistance.

What to consider when applying for business permits in the Netherlands?

Among the general aspects to take into account when applying for business licenses in the Netherlands are:
  • - making sure you respect the procedure, as imposed by the issuing authority;
  • - ensuring you have all the documents required;
  • - knowing that some licenses need to be renewed.
All these aspects can be left in the care of our agents who can help you.

Companies by industry in the Netherlands

According to data presented by this magazine, at the beginning of this year:
  • - there were more than 1.837 million companies registered in the Netherlands;
  • - out of these, 757,620 were operating in the services sector;
  • - 688,022 had as main object of activity finance, insurance, and real estate;
  • - 100,428 companies were operating in the retail trade sector.
If you need assistance in applying for a business license in the Netherlands, please contact us!


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