Doing business with the Netherlands
The Netherlands has a lot to offer. These pages will give you an introduction and a list of useful resources and links.
1. Why doing business with the Netherlands?
- A strategic location in Europe
The Netherlands provides a strategic location to serve markets within Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The central geographical position of the Netherlands, combined with accessibility and an excellent infrastructure, are only some of the reasons why numerous European, American and Asian companies have established their facilities in the Netherlands.
- A superior logistics and technology infrastructure
The Port of Rotterdam is Europe's largest and most important seaport, while Schiphol Airport is ranked as Europe's best airport for both cargo and passenger transport. The Netherlands is also classified as one of the most ‘wired’ countries in the world; a dynamic force in electronic commerce, communications and outsourcing. More than a decade of investment in high-speed internet, cable and digital communication systems, as well as the rapid adoption of state-of-the-art computer and cell phone technology, have created an ideal base for companies seeking to take advantage of modern technology.
- A conducive innovation environment
The Netherlands' open innovation approach and well organized public-private partnerships offer a favorable environment for companies looking for business acceleration. Together with a mind-set of creativity, collaboration and reliability - and a top scientific sector - the Netherlands is able to guarantee the most important drivers in 'innovation location' choices for foreign investors.
- An international business environment
The Netherlands, long Europe's trading crossroads, is an obvious choice to locate a pan-European operation - whether it is a European headquarters, a shared services center, a customer care center, a distribution and logistics operation, or an R&D facility. The country’s pro-business environment creates a gateway to Europe that helps international companies succeed throughout the continent. An international outlook and openness to foreign investment is firmly ingrained in the Dutch culture, and this has yielded a wealth of world-class business partners who know how to deal with global business challenges in today's economy.
- A solid workforce
The Netherlands features one of the most highly educated, flexible and motivated workforces in Europe. Dutch professionals are also among the most multilingual in the world, enabling them to successfully operate in companies across any industry, serving customers throughout the continent. What's more, Dutch law offers employers a range of contract possibilities to flexibly procure employees.
- A competitive fiscal climate
The Dutch tax system has a number of features that may be very beneficial in international tax planning. These include a corporate income tax rate of 20 percent on the first Euro 200,000 and 25 percent for taxable profits exceeding Euro 200,000. In addition, the Dutch ruling practice provides clarity and certainty in advance on future tax positions. Furthermore, in respect of R&D, companies can benefit from the innovation box resulting in an effective corporate tax rate of only 5 percent, as well as an R&D allowance (WBSO) taking the form of wage tax and social security contribution deductions.
- An attractive quality of life
The Netherlands is proud to have a high standard of living, whilst maintaining an affordable life for its residents. The costs of living, housing, education and cultural activities are lower than in most Western-European countries. Furthermore, all sorts of cultural and leisure activities are open to both Dutch citizens and visitors alike. Whether it's spending a leisurely afternoon on the beach, enjoying culinary delights or going to one of the cities' acclaimed theaters or opera houses, the new expatriate is soon made to feel that the Netherlands is a most welcoming and entertaining country.
2. Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency
For foreign companies wishing to establish their business in the Netherlands and to take advantage of the Dutch business environment as a strategic base to cover Europe, the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) is the first port of call.
The NFIA was established for the specific purpose of helping and advising such companies by providing them with advice, information and practical assistance, quickly and on a confidential basis, as well as providing them access to a broad network of business partners and government institutions, all free of charge.
Founded 35 years ago, the NFIA is an operational unit of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs. Throughout the years it has supported thousands of companies from all over the world to successfully establish their business in the Netherlands.
NFIA support starts in the country of origin. To that end, the NFIA has offices in Europe (HQ in The Hague, London, Istanbul), the US (New York, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco), Asia (Tokyo, Osaka, Taipei, Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Seoul, Delhi, Mumbai, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur), the Middle East (Dubai, Tel Aviv) and Brazil (São Paulo). In addition, the NFIA closely cooperates with Dutch embassies, consulates-general and other organizations that represent the Dutch government around the world.
Foreign investors in the Netherlands
In all, more than 6,500 foreign companies have established over 9,000 operations in the Netherlands. Among the many prominent international companies that have taken advantage of NFIA's services as they located their operations in the Netherlands, are North American companies like Abbott Laboratories, Boeing, Bombardier, Cisco Systems, Dow, Eastman Chemical, Heinz, Medtronic, NCR Corporation and Reebok. They also include European companies such as Bosch, Danone, Siemens and RWE. Additionally, NFIA assisted a large number of companies from Asia and the Middle East, such as Astellas, BenQ, Daewoo, Fujifilm, Giant, Hitachi, Huawei, ICBC, LG Electronics, SABIC, Samsung, Saudi Aramco, Tata Consultancy Services, Teijin and Yakult.
3. Orange Carpet Visa Facility
The Embassy of The Netherlands in Kyiv can facilitate companies whose employees require business visas to travel to the Netherlands: The Orange Carpet Visa Facility (OCVF).
Employees of registered companies can apply in an easier way:
- The applicant does not have to apply for a visa in person
- Exemption from carrying a confirmed flight reservation, hotel reservation or proof of financial means
- The applicant will be granted a visa with a validity ranging between 6 months to 3 years.
- Applications can be submitted at the Visa Application Centre in Kyiv every day at VAC from Monday – Friday between 08:30 – 15:30 hrs. In case the clients of Orange Carpet submit their applications at VAC between 08:30 – 10:30, they have a possibility to collect their passports with decision on the same day of application, at the embassy at 16:00 hrs. If special attention or help with the visa request is required, the company is welcome to make an appointment with VAC.
The following are eligible for participation:
- Dutch companies that have a subsidiary in Ukraine or vice versa and whose employees travel frequently to The Netherlands for business purposes
- A Ukrainian company having a long term business relationship with a company in The Netherlands.
- Please note that according to Schengen regulations your main destination in Europe determines which Embassy or Consulate should issue your visa. In other words only if the Netherlands is the main destination you should apply for a visa at the VAC, Netherlands department
- By filling in the preliminary form and sending it to the consular department by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The request should contain information about the company in Ukraine, the partner company in The Netherlands and the branch of activity.
- If the company qualifies, the management of the company will receive a letter in which the company is requested to designate one to three persons of the company who have the authorization to sign recommendation letters. Thereafter, all visa applications which contain a letter signed by one of these designated signatories will get the Orange Carpet Visa Facility (OCVF) treatment.
How to apply for a visa under OCVF:
The authorized representative must submit the following:
- Filled in and signed visa application form
- A passport valid longer than 3 months after the desired visa period and with at least two blank pages to insert the visa sticker
- Previous international passport or copy of all its pages (if available)
- 2 passport size photographs (recent & colored)
- A letter of the company, signed by one of the designated signatories
- Travel insurance policy covering medical expenses including emergency hospital treatment and repatriation. The policy must provide cover for all Schengen countries, minimum cover Euro 30.000
- Visa fee as applicable
OCVF does not cover:
- If a person desires to stay longer than 90 days (long stay visa) within the Schengen area or The Netherlands for business purposes, the short term visa is not valid. For this purpose one has to apply for a permit for provisional sojourn (or MVV), which will be processed through the Embassy, but decided upon by the Immigration and Naturalisation Services (IND) of the Ministry of Justice in The Netherlands.
For more details pertaining to the MVV procedures please visit the website of the Ministry of Justice www.ind.nl
- The Orange Carpet Visa Facility does not cover family members or travellers accompanying the employee for tourism or other purposes; however the application with all the required documents for regular travelers can be submitted at the same time.