Planning to open a new business facility in a new country can be highly beneficial for your business operation if you research and prepare well.
Some of the most important things to consider when entering a new region are where to locate the business, what are the tax and law regulations, the population and its educational and specialization level and types, market conditions and weather, and in which circumstances you can live and do business in that country.
If you plan to open a business facility in the Netherlands, keep reading the first part of the guide on Doing Business in the Netherlands and find out where you should locate your business.
Why should you locate your business facility in the Netherlands
The Netherlands is a good choice for business facilities as the country has impeccable, fast, and reliable public transport, good infrastructure, and connections through road traffic, as well as one of the biggest ports and airports worldwide.
The Netherlands counts as a smaller country with a total area of 41,450km² (16,038 sq mi), but it has more than 17 million habitants, making it one of the most populated countries in Europe. It’s also one of the countries with the highest GDP and the most stable economy in the world. So it’s reasonable it’s not easy to find an apartment or house to move into during your studies or permanently. On the other hand, those are the reasons starting a new business in the Dutch economy is beneficial. Another motive is that the Dutch are the 3rd most educated nation in the world. We also have universities that have one of the highest closeness of links between universities and the private sector, which makes us the 4th most competitive country in the world.
What are the five major business cities in the Netherlands?
The Netherlands is considered a business center of Europe, so wherever you choose to locate your business facility in this country, you won’t get it wrong. However, five cities are considered business centers by dutch society.
Did you know that the world’s first stock exchange market opened in Amsterdam in 1602? Like four centuries ago, Amsterdam is one of Europe’s top five business cities. Currently, there are more than 450 international companies located in Amsterdam! It’s not surprising that Amsterdam is a very innovative, original, and important spot in the business world where you can improve your network.
Here are some things you should know about this city before you decide it’s the place you want to start your business in:
The capital of the Netherlands has 26 neighborhoods that are divided into seven main districts. Every one of them has its history and characteristics. You can choose between them depending on your needs, preferences, and priorities.
This is the oldest part of the city, and it’s a prominent destination for businesses and offices. The most represented businesses are hotels, banks, restaurants, bars, and coffee shops. It’s extremely well connected with all other parts of the city and the country. Additionally, from Amsterdam Centraal you can catch a high-speed train to other European capitals such as Paris, London, Brussels…
Many offices are located in those gorgeous canal houses we see on social media. Of course, they are completely modernized, and you won’t miss anything for your operations.
Some international companies that chose this location are Heineken, Booking, Netflix, and General Electric.
This is one of the most wanted city areas for settling your business, even though it wasn’t always like that. Zuidost became more popular and wanted when enormous projects hit its ground. Urban renewal in the 1990s and 2000s changed the whole look of this area and made the synthesis of living and working very practical. The city center is within reach thanks to excellent public transport, plus it has a great connection to the highway and the rest of the country.
De Bijenkorf, Adidas, ING group, Tesla, Uber, and McDonald’s already find their spot under the Zuidost light, but the greatest thing is the variety of this district. That’s why you can find office space, even if your company is not as large as those we mentioned.
This is a multicultural town spot with a remarkably artistic and creative vibe. Because of that, it is extremely popular between students, startuppers, and innovators. It has an industrial look with significant green areas (Westergasfabriek and Westerpark).
West is the top choice for graphic designers, advertisement agencies, and game development companies.
This is the farthest district of the Center, but it’s amazingly well-connected and has its own charm and uniqueness. On top of that, the rent prices are lower here. Known for its green oasis and lakes, it hosts many music festivals and sports events and has an exciting nightlife.
Nieuw-west is great for new entrepreneurs that don’t have big capital to pay for an office but still want a remarkable building. IBM chose their office to be in this district.
This is a financial district, and it’s actually a critical office district in the whole Netherlands. It’s trendy between expats and large business names. Rent prices are expectedly high since Zuid has its own train station and a million dollars worth of a view.
The neighborhood is filled with companies like Chanel, Google, Arcadis, and Heinz.
It has an outstanding metro link, which makes it easily accessible. Noord lies on the IJ north side, which gives this district a fantastic view. The Amsterdam Tower and The Eye Film Museum are probably the first association on Noord. Those buildings and the whole industrial-modern style blend make it unique and exciting.
The main offices of HEDA, MTV Networks, and Red Bull Netherlands choose this district for their business location.
The historic part of the town, with 19th-century buildings, is mainly on the water with plenty of green fields. Rapidly growing in the business world, becoming one of the most wanted business districts. Oost can offer something to everyone: shopping, museums, nature and precious offices.
Never mind if your business is big or small, you can absolutely find what you need here and still be 20 minutes of cycling from the Center. Plus, you can have LinkedIn for your first neighbor.
Office rent prices in Amsterdam
Office rent prices firstly depend on the district you decide to go for, better said location, and then comes the size. According to those factors, prices can vary from
150 € to 500 € per square meter.
There are many titles that this city carries, but the two most impressive are “Business City” and “Getaway to Europe.” Rotterdam is known as the biggest European city port, a bridge that can connect you with every part of the world. Sounds pretty practical! It’s also one of the most innovative and inclusive cities, which can bring you a warm welcome with some push and help if you need it in your start-up strategy. Rotterdam is the second largest city in the Netherlands. There are 11 districts it’s split into, but not every each of them is suitable for business operations.
Rotterdam is famous for its innovative and extraordinary architecture, and the City Center abounds with such buildings. City Center is the main neighborhood regarding career and ideal office spaces; it’s the heart of the business in Rotterdam, while the well-known and breathtaking Erasmusbrug and City Hall of Rotterdam are made in a more historical style. The Rotterdam Expat Center is located in this neighborhood in an extravagant building you can’t miss because there you can find every help that you may need.
You can transform various real estate choices into a quality workspace. You can find a flexible, private, or shared coworking space depending on your needs. And, of course, if you’re doing trade and import/export, having a business facility as near as possible to the biggest European port can positively impact your business operations.
This city has the potential that is already used by so many major international companies, such as Unileve, Hunter Douglas, KPN, Deloitte, CGI, EY , Vopak
Office rent prices in Rotterdam
They are more affordable than prices in Amsterdam. Prices usually vary from € 140 to € 200 per square meter.
3. Den Haag
Amsterdam is the country’s official capital, but Hague is the administrative one. This city is the home to more than 200 international government organizations, among others, there are the Supreme court, Council of state of the Netherlands, and States General. The Dutch government and international institutions offer 26% of the jobs in Den Haag, which is higher than any other Dutch city.
It’s also the city of diplomats, judges, and entrepreneurs. One thing they have in common brings them there – they want to make the world a better and safer place. This is the environment and energy you will be surrounded with if you choose Hague as your startup point. Many expats already did that because of the safety and family-friendly oriented policy this city offers.
It’s not surprising that the main industries are Peace and Justice, Global Security, New Energy, IT and tech, and last but not less important – Tourism. Hague is the second most visited city in the Netherlands, right after Amsterdam.
Hague is divided into eight main districts, but as well as in Rotterdam, only the central one is business oriented. Hague is called the brain of the Netherlands, and almost all of his synapsis are expectedly in the Centrum. It’s an urban and busy area, with 20% of the Hague population living here. Usually, young families and professionals find their homes in this district. Known as an internationally friendly city, 56% of the population isn’t born in the Netherlands, and many live precisely in the Centrum. This is the biggest international hotspot, not only of the city yet of the whole Netherlands.
Besides the embassies of many countries and government institutions, over 160 international companies chose the Hague as an ideal place for their business; some of them are: Royall Dutch Shell, APM Terminals, Aegon, Chicago Bridge & Iron Company, NIBC bank, Damco, Siemens, T-mobile, Huawei, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, Saudi Aramco, TotalEnergies, Worley, AT&T
Office rent prices in Den Haag
It’s expected that the prices will vary per district. Offices can be found for the price of roughly between €105 and €170 per square meter. Prices are lower as you move away from the Centrum.
The beating heart of the Netherlands. And, trust me, this heart is green. Utrecht is a city focused on sustainability, health care, and innovations, with abundant nature oases and parks. It’s a smaller city, and you can go wherever you want on walking. You will enjoy every step of it, no doubt. It’s some kind of sweeter packed, little Amsterdam, just more cozy and intimate.
Utrecht is also called the World cycling city. Even though the whole Netherlands is known for bikes, Utrecht is the capital of bikes. Just imagine the standard of living in the most bicycle-friendly city in the world. Their environmental advocacy makes the whole community healthy, innovative, and happy.
You won’t be surprised when you hear that the key industries in Utrecht are healthcare and life sciences, sustainability, the creative industry, and digital media.
Although a smaller city, it is divided into ten charmful city quarters, of which two are business-focused.
Heart of Utrecht, city center! The mix of historical and new-age sustainable buildings. This is where the main train station is located – Utrecht Centraal, the biggest and busiest train station in the Netherlands. Since Utrecht is positioned in the center of the country, you have no more than an hour’s ride to all major cities.
The City Center area is expanding, bringing innovative solutions for minimally urbanized and green neighborhoods. New buildings enable plenty of new office spaces. Investors and startups want to try their luck in Utrecht business waters, especially one from the city’s key industries.
This is where Utrecht university is located. It’s important to mention that this is one of the oldest universities in the country, ranked by the Shanghai Ranking of World Universities 2022. as the Netherlands’ best university and 14th in Europe. Maybe that’s why 46% of the Utrecht population has a university degree and is highly educated. Sounds like a pretty stimulating environment with a quality workforce.
Many companies have already decided to settle their business in one of Europe’s most competitive regions, such as Dutch game garden, Johnson & Johnson, Nintendo, Mitsubishi Electric, Ubisoft, Danone, Toshiba, Symantec, Oracle, Nexus, VodafoneZiggo.
Office rent prices in Utrecht
As in every city, it depends on your chosen area, but office prices are roughly between €110 and €275 per square meter. Expectedly more expensive are central locations.
The city was reborn by the birth of Phillips in 1891. and has kept growing and evolving since then. Today this city is known for its major role in the innovative technology sector, not only in the Netherlands. The city of Phillips has the Eindhoven University of Technology, which creates exceptional professionals. More precisely, it’s ideal ground for your business facility if you are in the high-tech sphere. Still, it’s also allowing you to find competent and educated engineers for your company. See, beautiful and useful.
Eindhoven is in the southern Netherlands, lying in the region Brainport, which has bigger economic growth than other Dutch regions. It’s very well connected with other parts of the country by train, and it has its own city airport – which connects this city with the rest of Europe within an hour.
Eindhoven is divided into seven main districts, and three of them are business oriented.
Like every city center, this district is vibrant, alive, and full of restaurants, shops, and shopping malls. A characteristic of Eindhoven-Centrum is its multicultural international community; somewhere around 56% of the population is multinational. This only speaks about the openness you can find in this district, which is a big plus if you are planning to start your business here.
The Eindhoven University of Technology is located in Centrum, so the focal point of the business and high-tech is right here. You can find office spaces in this district depending on what you like and need, and you’ll always be in the very center of all important events.
Industrialized star of the city, with its own charm. Mostly known as Strijp-S, a place where the old meets the new in an amazing process of transformation. The old Phillips building is now completely functional and continues its purpose through various bars, locals, and offices it has to offer.
The population is mostly Dutch, but if you like that industrial style with a piece of history, don’t let this discourage you. Dutch people are more than happy to welcome foreign startupers and expats. You will feel at home, without a doubt.
High Tech Campus is located in this district, making it important in the high-tech business world, also known as the smartest square km in Europe. It’s actually a stimulating business environment of 260 tech companies and over 12000 engineers and researchers. Sounds amazing!
Who wouldn’t want to be part of the Dutch Silicon Valley? Many international companies, especially those from the technology and logistics fields, find their piece of Eindhoven land: ASML, Lightyear, Phillips (headquarters are now in Amsterdam, but the biggest R&D site is in Eindhoven), Sendcloud, Accenture, Bosch, Shimano
Office rent prices in Eindhoven
Prices depend on location. The office rent in Eindhoven is roughly between €165 and €240 per square meter.
Locate your business facility in the Netherlands
We agree that opening a new brunch or moving the business to the Netherlands completely can be stressful if you’re unfamiliar with European business culture and Dutch bureaucracy, but that can be easily solved with a little bit of help.
Whether you want to expand your company with additional branches or open a brand new one, we’re here to help you with the fight against bureaucracy. Contact us to get the things done.