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I am pleased to present the 2021 edition of PwC’s publication Doing Business in the Netherlands. Doing business internationally expands a company’s horizon and offers unique opportunities for being able to contribute to society, growth, development and profit building. When doing business in the Netherlands a company enters one of the most open economies in the world. It offers an outstanding infrastructure – including Europe’s largest port –, a competitive business climate and a strong workforce. The Dutch tax system features several incentives to stimulate innovation and business activities. And as an internationally oriented country, the Netherlands is home to many – most of them highly educated – foreign workers.

Although the world  was already constantly changing, the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic was unprecedented for almost everyone. We are lucky to realise that even now, the Netherlands has proven to stay a relatively stable country. This is even more important, considering other uncertainties like for example Brexit. International trade disputes and how the economy will develop in and after the pandemic are two recent examples that show the global economy has  to refind its balance. The struggle of governments and businesses to form policies to minimize climate change also leads to uncertainties. Throughout all uncertainties, the Dutch financial, economic and social climate remains stable and the government is keen to keep it that way. Hence, the Netherlands remains a great place to invest in and can surely be seen as a strong basis for a successful business on the EU internal market. 

This guide is intended to provide a broad understanding of the key aspects of doing business and investing in the Netherlands. We answer many questions that foreign businesses and entrepreneurs have when making their first venture into the Dutch market, leveraging on our extensive experience in regard to establishing businesses in the Netherlands.

This publication guides you through all the key aspects of doing business in the Netherlands: the economic climate, big industries and business segments, what it is like to live in the Netherlands and workforce aspects. It describes the most popular legal forms of businesses in the Netherlands and the key aspects of tax, human resources, employment law, and audit and accountancy.

However, as a guide, this publication primarily serves as a starting point. If you need more information, our advisors will be very happy to assist you.

On behalf of PwC NL, I trust that you will find this guide useful and I would like to wish you every success in the Netherlands.

Marc Diepstraten
Chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers Belastingadviseurs N.V.

Why invest in the Netherlands

A pro-business climate, its strategic location, a stable legislative system, a highly educated multilingual workforce and superior infrastructure are just some of the many advantages of doing business in the Netherlands

In this chapter we will show you why the Netherlands is considered the perfect stepping stone into the European market and the gateway to the EU.

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