The Netherlands is a small country, but it has an ideal geographic position that is perfect for the economy and business. Germany and Denmark are the Netherlands closest neighbors. Being positioned on the North sea, and being the owner of EU membership makes the Netherlands a serious economic player.
Not to mention that the Netherlands is one of the top 25 economies of the world, being ranked 17th with a GDP of $1.03 trillion.
Whether you are thinking about moving your business or about starting up a completely new one in the Netherlands, you may ask yourself:
Is the Netherlands a good place for business?
The facts speak in the favor of the Netherlands:
The Netherlands belongs to northwestern Europe. It’s bounded by economically and politically important countries like Germany and Belgium. The northern border is surrounded by the Northern Sea, the maritime border with the United Kingdom.
The Netherlands and the UK have exceptionally strong relations. They are important business partners one to another.
Plus, as a member of the EU, it is extremely well connected with other European countries, which has various benefits for business.
For example, intra-EU trade accounts for 66% of the Netherlands’ exports where the the majority of exported goods goes to:
- Germany 23%
- Belgium 10%
- France 9%,
while outside the EU export is focused on:
- United States 8%
- United Kingdom 4%
So, if you’re searching for a location in Europe that’ll help you manage export procedures easier, you’re looking in the right country. Location of the Netherlands is strategic and extremely beneficial for international businesses.
The Netherlands has been considered an economically stable country in the last few centuries.
Even after the global crisis caused by COVID-19 and its following consequences, the country managed to recover. It still maintains and justifies its esteemed reputation.
For example GDP in 2021. grew by 4.9 %, which is higher than the pre-pandemic level, and in 2022. GDP returned to its pre-pandemic trend.
This is a reliable indicator of the control that the Netherlands has on its economy, even in times of crisis.
The Netherlands has one of the lowest tax rates in Europe. Currently, rates for international investors are:
- 15% for the first €395,000 of taxable profits
- 25.8% for taxable profits exceeding €395,000
You should also be familiar with the term Innovation box. This is a specific type of benefit that the Dutch government created to encourage new business ideas. It represents corporate tax returns.
List all innovations you and your company make. Instead of the regular 25%, you will pay only 9% on the profit made from the innovation box!
The Netherlands is home to the major city port in Europe and the world’s third busiest airport – Schiphol airport. Those spots are key to the connection with the whole world.
To be more precious, it’s not important whether you choose water, air, or ground you will have access to above 160 million consumers within 24 hours.
Highly developed public transport effectively connects all parts of the country, and nothing is left out. For relatively small money, you can travel fast and safely between cities (train), villages (bus), and within cities (metro or tram).
If you want to use this option, there is an OV-chipkaart for all listed types of transport.
Dutch is the official language in the Netherlands. 90-93% of them speak English, even 71% speak German, and at least 29% know French. This is a multilingual community! We all know that language connects people and business partners, as well.
A wide range of business sectors
Many industry branches are very well developed in the Netherlands. This enables a wide range of possibilities to start a business.
The main business sectors in the Netherlands:
- Agri-food industry
- Chemical industry
- Informational technology (IT)
- High-tech systems and materials (HTSM)
- Creative Industry
- Logistics industry
- Energy industry
- Life science and health industry
- Water industry
The Netherlands is one of the most densely populated countries in Europe, with a population of 17,7 million people on a surface of 41.850 km².
Dutch people are highly educated, as the Netherlands is the third worldwide country for level of education! That means a very well-qualified workforce.
Now that you are familiar with the benefits of doing business in this extremely business-friendly country, let’s pass on practical advice on renting a workspace.
Guide for renting office in the Netherlands
Renting a workspace in the Netherlands can be a little tricky, if you aren’t familiar with laws and some basic rules.
This is especially complicated when you are an ex-pat and everything is new for you.
To make your life a little bit easier follow these principal tips that will be very helpful if you need to rent office space.
Dutch Civil Code
The Dutch are extremely well informed about the Law. Everything they do is done strictly by the rules. That’s why having a local consultant who is familiar with Dutch law is an amazing idea. This way you’ll have someone to help you learn and understand better your rights and obligations.
On the other hand, if you want to do this on your own, we advise you to check Dutch Civil Code. You need to know your rights and the law because that protects you and keeps the target mark out of your back.
Dutch Civil Code was reformed in 1992. It contains a decisive paragraph about the law of property, obligations, and contracts. You can find those paragraphs in Book 5, 6 and 7.
Types of property
Real estate is considered a real property, which means it’s attached to the land. In the Netherlands there’s five types of the property, and your business registration and business type will influence where you’ll be able to locate your business facility.
The groups are the following:
- Residential real estate ☞ homes, townhouses, multifamily residences
- Commercial real estate ☞ offices, shopping centers, stores
- Industrial real estate ☞ storage, manufacturing and distribution places
- Land ☞ farms, ranches, orchards
- Special purposes ☞ government buildings, libraries, parks, schools
Commercial real estate
This is the type of property used entirely for business-related purposes. If you are searching the office space, now you know there is no reason to waste time on all advertisements. Just straightforwardly go for commercial real estate ones. This will save you time and energy.
Office spaces are one of the main types of commercial real estate. Based on age, look, location, soundness, and conveniences of the building, office spaces are divided into 3 categories:
- Class A office space:
☞ real estate of the highest quality
☞ new or recently renovated
☞ usually based in major cities
☞ often leased by big companies
☞ high rental price
2. Class B office space:
☞ well-preserved older buildings
☞ usually based in favorable locations
☞ average rental price
- Class C office space:
☞ >20 years old buildings
☞ usually based in distant locations
☞ popular between start-ups
☞ low rental price
A legal contract that prescribes the terms under which one party agrees to rent the real estate owned by another party.
The lease is beneficial for both sides, and even though it can be verbal, advice is to have it written and signed by the landlord and tenant both. This way you are protected from unforeseen and unannounced occasions.
Yet, a commercial lease is the least strictly regulated type of lease under Dutch law. This means more freedom and flexibility in negotiation about terms and obligations. Sounds like a double-edged sword kind of situation.
If you want to get more positive sides of it, be sure to determine precisely the following items in your lease contract:
- The rent amount
- Responsibilities of both parties
- Duration of the lease
- Consequences for breaking the contract
- VAT (value-added tax) doubts
- Rent due date
- Correct commercial property address
- Sign of landlord and yours
Pro Bono tip: prices of facilities in the Netherlands are prescribed by the law and they’re calculated with a specific point system. Points depend on their size, location and whether it’s self-contained or not. If you have any doubts about being charged more than you should based on the average market price, or you just want to check what the real rent price is for the office space you are leasing, turn to the Rent Tribunal.
The working environment is crucial for the employee’s motivation and satisfaction. That’s why choosing the best option for your office space can be the key to your business success. You can pick between:
Traditional office space
Old school business space you see in the movies. The whole office building belongs to one company. This includes everything you may need, such as reception, boardroom, and private offices.
The benefits of places like this are peace and privacy, but it comes with fancy prices. That’s why usually only the biggest corporations and business names choose this kind of office space.
Lately, more flexible types of offices have come up on the scene. We are talking about them beneath.
Private office space
More affordable than the traditional one, but still exclusive. It’s located within the shared office space, just intended for one company only. Think about that like you rented the floor in one of the commercial office spaces. The size of these properties can be various, you can choose depending on your needs.
Community is available for motivation, but there is also privacy if you need quiet time to focus.
The cost-reducing benefit is the cherry on top.
It’s a type of private office space, only with all services you may need including.
You still have the private office, just don’t need to worry about the reception, mail and telephone parts of the job.
Plus, those kinds of offices are convenient for businesses of all sizes. Sounds delightful!
Two or more businesses share a rented office. Usually, the tenant who is primarily leasing the office rents their unused space.
Those kinds of deals often include furnishings and equipment. This is beneficial for both sides because it drastically lowers expenses.
When it comes to shared space, sometimes instead of a lease agreement you can find a license agreement.
The second one has less security for the tenant, but it’s ideal for short-term occasions. Unlike the lease agreement, which is usually signed for 5 years or more.
Implies desk or desks rented in the existing office space. This type of office, besides desk and chair, brings you internet and meeting room access. Usually, there are cafes and gyms included in the objects themselves, so you can completely enjoy the community you are part of.
The main benefit of a coworking desk, besides its affordable price, is the people. Plenty of open-minded employees from various types of business branches. This type of environment can only motivate you and expand your horizons.
Now that you know how, you are probably asking where to begin with your business. Find tips in the next paragraphs!
Where is a good place for startups in the Netherlands?
The Netherlands is ranked as the fourth-best country in the world for start-ups. The Dutch government has concessions for new individuals and start-up companies.
If you decide to do this, it won’t be the easiest step you will make, but it will be a step you won’t need to make alone. There are countless benefits and shortcuts that can make this trip as easy as possible.
Excellent opportunities for start-ups lie in the heart of the following cities:
Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Hague, Utrecht and Eindhoven.
You can find more information about the best business locations in the Netherlands here.