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Types of Companies in the Netherlands


One has to make a choice from a number of legal forms in the Netherlands, such as: Sole trader, Limited partnership (CV), Partnership under common firm (VOF), Partnership, Private limited company (Ltd.), Public limited company (NV), Foundation, Association

The vast majority of companies incorporated in the Netherlands are so-called "Besloten Vennootschap, BV", or private limited company.

Using EnterHow incorporation services to incorporate your business can save you both time and money with service that is fast, reliable, and affordable. Contact us now

Comparison of the most common legal entities in the Netherlands



Public Limited Company (“NV”)

Private Limited Company (“BV”)

A Partnership (VOF)

Dutch branch of a foreign entity

Minimum authorized capital

EUR 45,000.

No minimum capital is required. The founders will determine the issued capital (at least one share) and required paid-up capital. The issued capital and paid up capital will be laid down in the articles of association. Companies with multiple shareholders can issue different types of shares to vary the voting rights of shareholders and to vary their dividend rights.

There must at least be one share with one voting right.




at least one shareholder

at least one shareholder

two or more persons that own the business

Legal person (foreign or local)


Legal entity

Legal entity

Legal entity

Not a separate legal entity


The liability of shareholders is limited to the amount invested.

The management board may be liable towards the BV for mismanagement. A specific managing director may be liable for failure to carry out the duties specifically assigned to the director.

The BV is a legal person. In principle creditors can only make claims on the assets of the BV and not on the assets of the director(s) or shareholder(s). The liability of shareholders is limited to the amount invested.

In this structure, the business owners are jointly and severally liable for the company's activities, including debts.

The parent business therefore always bears ultimate legal liability for the branch

Legal Address

It is necessary to indicate the legal address of the company. For your convenience we offer domiciliation services for you.

Management body

The NV type of company in Netherlands must have at least one shareholder, a supervision board plus a managing board. 

The management of the Dutch limited liability company is conducted by a board of managing directors (minimal 1 director). The company's shareholders appoint the directors for an unlimited period of time. The management board is responsible with the most important decisions regarding the company.

When the Dutch BV company has more than 50 employees, the law provides that appointing a supervisory board is mandatory.

No specific management requirements but at least one manager should be appointed.

 It can not act by itself and has no board of directors. However, at least one representative is required.

How to incorporate in the Netherlands?

Establishment of new company in the Netherlands can be described in the the following picture. The process might be more complicated depending on the type of Company, of activities (for example, for licensed or otherwise regulated activities) as well as in situations where the share capital is paid by in-kind contributions or it is decided to contribute later.

Formation process in the Netherlands