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Business Formation


Legal Entities in the Netherlands

Know the common legal entities in the Netherlands and know the in and outs of business formation

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There are basically three options to enter a new market. You can decide to either register a local entity, register your current company as a legal branch overseas, or you can consider our eBranch.

If your business consists of two or more partners then the legal business entity you may want to set up in the Netherlands is a Dutch VOF. This type of company structure is usually not suitable if you are interested in engaging in international business activities. That being said, a General Partnership may be ideal for a local joint venture or partnership or investing in assets in Holland.

You do not need to have a local partner or director if you are interested in registering your company as this type of legal entity in the Netherlands. As well, there are no requirements for minimum share capital. You can find additional resources and information to help you register as a Dutch General Partnership via your ShelfCo dashboard.

This legal entity differentiates between managing partners and silent partners in your business. The former manage your company’s business operations in the Netherlands while the latter are usually investors with little say in how you run your company. Managing partners have unlimited liability while silent partners have limited liability under Dutch corporate law.

While it is not necessary, it is a good idea to draw up a detailed Partnership Agreement when forming this type of company. This document will outline roles and responsibilities of the various partners who comprise this legal entity as well as the terms of the partnership. Further guidance on setting up a Dutch CV is available in ShelfCo’s library of company formation resources.

This type of legal entity is for professional partnerships such as accountants, lawyers and architects who are looking to register as a company in the Netherlands. A Professional Partnership does not operate as a regular business in that each partner is treated as an independent entrepreneur under Dutch corporate law

A Professional Partnership in the Netherlands can hire staff and is governed by other provisions under the umbrella partnership. This type of legal entity does not require any startup capital and as independent practitioners each partner retains and services their own customers. Visit your ShelfCo dashboard for additional guidance on Professional Partnerships in the Netherlands

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