Set Up an e-commerce Business in the Netherlands
Updated: Jan 8, 2021
Are you set to start an e-commerce business in the Netherlands?
With one of the fastest internet connections in the world, the Netherlands has become a popular hotspot for e-commerce companies of all types and sizes — from small startups to giant e-commerce corporations. In fact, by the end of 2020, the revenue by e-commerce businesses is predicted to reach an astronomical €24 billion!
Some of the key factors of the e-commerce boom in the Netherlands is its world-class tech infrastructure, a highly tech-savvy population, as well as regulations put in place by the Dutch government to support business development in the e-commerce sector.
Regulations for e-commerce businesses in the Netherlands
The Dutch government’s active support of e-commerce businesses has resulted in fairly relaxed regulations for business development in the e-commerce sector. That said, while no special licenses are required to run an e-commerce business in the Netherlands, there are certain rules and regulations that e-commerce businesses, especially online stores, need to adhere to. These include the following:
Compliance with certain laws and regulations specifically related to online businesses.
Information about the company’s business address, company registration number, and VAT number must be displayed.
Personal data protection protocols must be in place to ensure data security.
Terms & conditions concerning payment, delivery, and product guarantees must be displayed on the website at all times.
We are experts in Dutch company formation in the e-commerce sector, and we can offer you great advice about how to set up an e-commerce business in the Netherlands. Call us now!
How do I set up an e-commerce Business company in the Netherlands
The first thing you have to do when starting a Dutch business is to register a Dutch company with the Dutch Trade Register, which must include the mandatory NACE (Nomenclature of Economic Activities) number. For e-commerce businesses, the numbers are as follows (depending on the type of operation): Section G; Division 47; Group 47.9; Class 47.91.
Once registered you need to choose, purchase and register a .nl domain name(.com domain names are also popular) with the SIDN (Stichting Internet Domeinnaamregistratie Nederland). There are certain technical and legal requirements for .nl domain names.
Design, publish and open an online shop for your e-commerce business.
It is recommended that you set up a merchant account with a reputable Dutch financial institution.
When you set up an e-commerce business in the Netherlands, such as a Dutch BV, you must apply for a VAT number.
Frequently asked questions:
Do I require a license to operate an e-commerce business in the Netherlands?
Why is The Netherlands such agood place to start an e-commerce business?
Highly developed tech sector.
The Netherlands has one of the best Internet connections in the world.
With its 17 million tech-savvy residents, The Netherlands is the perfect place to test online concepts.
The Netherlands is considered as Europe’s Silicon Valley, with a reputation for cutting-edge startups.
The .nl domain extension is the third most popular domain in Europe.
Highly educated and skilled information technology professionals.
The relatively small size and central location of the country make it perfect for worldwide shipping (sportswear brands Nike & Adidas both use The Netherlands as their worldwide distribution hubs).
The Dutch government has extensive intellectual property protection laws.
Attractive tax rates that draw a lot of investors to the Dutch e-commerce markets.
The Netherlands has a very stable and resilient business environment.
How long does it take to start an online shop in the Netherlands?
Starting a Dutch company usually takes between 2-5 days.
Can I start an online shop in the Netherlands as a non-Dutch or EU citizen?
Yes. The Dutch government allows foreigners to start a Dutch company or bring their existing business from abroad. However, certain legal conditions apply.