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The Netherlands, generally known as Holland, is situated at the estuaries of the Rhine and the Mass and is bordered by Germany in the East and Belgium in the South. The country is small and just 37,000 square Kilometres with almost all of the coastal areas below sea-level, the highest point only being 320 meters above sea level. The capital of the Netherlands is Amsterdam. The Hague is the seat of the Dutch Government. Rotterdam is the largest port in the world.
The population of the Netherlands is approximately 16 million, with the majority of these living in the west of the country.
The Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy, but political power rests with a democratically elected parliament and is based on a written constitution safeguarding individual liberties. The Netherlands is a member of the EU, OECD, the GATT, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, The United Nations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
A leading international trading centre since the 16th century, the Netherlands is within easy reach by land, sea and air of the 300 million people in the European market. Due of its location, it has an impressive transportation infrastructure and has become a favoured site for international companies in a wide range of industries, particularly for warehousing and distribution.
The Netherlands has a free-market economy and is one of the richest nations in the world. Dutch prosperity has always been based on international trade and industry. The country also benefits from rich agricultural land; much of it reclaimed from the sea and significant natural gas resources. Financial services, as well as the transportation and distribution sectors, are also particularly significant. Trade is critical to the Netherlands; both exports and imports account for more than 50% of GDP.
The official and spoken language is Dutch. However most people also speak English and German.
The Euro €.
Virtually no exchange controls are imposed in the Netherlands although formal reporting requirements are required by the Central Bank these are mainly for statistical purposes.
Commercial Code of the Netherlands
The Flex-BV Act 2012
The deed and articles are prepared in Dutch but an English translation can be obtained.
Yes, specified groups, which include for example, banking, insurance, financial services, consumer credit related services and employment agencies.
A Company incorporated in the Netherlands has the same powers as a natural person.
Yes, must be maintained in the Netherlands.
Three to Four weeks.
A name that is similar to or identical to an existing company. A well-known name that is known to exist elsewhere. A name that implies illegal activities. A name, which in the opinion of the Registrar is considered undesirable, obscene or offensive. A name that implies royal or government patronage.
The name of the company can be expressed in any language using the Latin alphabet. The Registrar may request a Dutch or English translation to ensure that the proposed name does not contravene name restrictions.
Bank, building society, savings, loans, insurance, assurance, reinsurance, fund management, investment fund, trust, trustees, Chamber of Commerce, co-operation, council, municipal or their foreign language equivalents or any name in English or a foreign language that may suggest association with the banking or insurance industries.
Besloten Vennootschap (BV) and the new Flex-BV.
No, although if the company has a single shareholder this is a matter of public record.
From 1st October 2012 the minimum authorised share capital is Euro 1 cent and the share capital can be denominated in any currency.
Registered shares with restrictions on their transferability.
From 1st October 2012 the following changes will apply:
Taxation is paid by companies in the Netherlands based upon annual accounts, which are submitted to the Dutch tax authorities at the end of the company's financial year. A company is free to choose its own year-end.
Corporate Tax Rates are:
Dividends are subject to withholding tax at 15%.
From 1st October 2012 the standard VAT rate will increase from 19% to 21%.
The Netherlands is party to more than 95 double tax treaties.
An Annual Return which provides details of those who have held shares throughout the year and the current directors must be filed each year.
All Dutch companies are required to file accounts with the Chamber of Commerce. There is a requirement for Dutch private limited companies to be audited if it meets two of the following three requirements;
One. They may be natural persons or bodies corporate. They may be of any nationality and need not reside in the Netherlands but in order to obtain relief under the taxation treaties signed by The Netherlands it is likely that the company would need to be seen to be Dutch resident and therefore have a majority of the directors based in The Netherlands.
The minimum number of shareholders is one.
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