The European market is highly fragmented with the Netherlands representing a small but extremely interesting and competitive but lucrative marketplace.
As in all cases, it is essential to do your homework and to find a local partner to assist you in avoiding costly mistakes and preparing your market entry both strategically and structurally.
The points below offer you good starting points and advice to start your exciting journey of entering the so-called „Gateway to Europe “- the Netherlands.
Networking is essential for entrepreneurs that are considering expanding to the Netherlands. Informal professional networks and communities contribute more to entrepreneurial success than formal structures such as incubators and accelerators.
Main business networks in the Netherlands
You can also join our Expand to Europe Executive Network on LinkedIn. https://www.linkedin.com/groups/13524232
Finding the right business form for your company is important. A business can be set up in different forms in the Netherlands for example, as a sole trader, a limited company, a general partnership or an ordinary partnership. The company must be registered at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (KvK) and more information about the different company forms is available on their website. There are various advantages and disadvantages of these business types which make it essential for you to understand before selecting the trading form that is right for your business requirements.
Dutch law makes no distinction between Dutch citizens and foreigners in the establishment of companies and no restrictions on the repatriation of profits. Nationals from outside the EU/EEA/Switzerland will need a visa or work permit to legally reside and work in the Netherlands.
It is crucial that before any steps are taken to enter the Dutch market, the possible opportunities and risks for the business must be considered.
Individuals or companies that are interested to expand to the Netherlands are advised to seek expert advice regarding the market potential, human resource management, legal, accounting and tax matters.
Experienced representation is an important element of the market strategy. The primary competitors for foreign products are local companies, but foreign businesses can overcome this competition by offering high-quality products and services at competitive prices with locally based sales and after-sales support.
Local representation or market presence is important and obtaining a local partner/consultant to assist you initially is a recommended way to enter the market.
In the Netherlands relationships are important and it requires an investment of time and personal presence. Product training for the partner’s personnel and regular updates on developments is essential.
In general, English is widely spoken in the Netherlands, and by far the favoured second language used in the field of commerce. It is preferable for written correspondence to be in Dutch, but it may also be conducted in English. Trade literature should preferably be in Dutch.
Exhibitions and Trade Shows are perfect places for companies and establishments to promote their business and attract potential customers. It is strongly advised to visit a trade show related to your business to get an idea of the market and the competition you will be facing. Several very good trade shows are held in most industries. More information can be found here: https://www.eventseye.com/fairs/c1_trade-shows_netherlands.html