Opening a business abroad: A guide for Dutch firms and entrepreneurs (Sponsored)

Map of Europe and parts of Asia represented by national flags
Artist's representation of a map of Europe and parts of Asia represented by national flagsImage: asantosg / DepositPhotos

This sponsored article was produced with and paid for by BridgeWest.

If a few years ago choosing a country to open a company was quite easy, nowadays competitiveness among governments has made the decision a hard one, especially when coming from a country like the Netherlands. While the Dutch already offer an excellent infrastructure and corporate taxation system, Europe has several countries which boast similar facilities and where Dutch entrepreneurs and companies looking to expand may do so with little concern.

Two of the most prolific economies in Europe are Malta and Luxembourg. Setting up a Maltese company is surprisingly similar to registering a business in the Netherlands. Even so, what are the main things to analyze when starting a business in a foreign country? Let’s take a look at a few factors:

The business start-up costs

Starting a business requires some costs and these are usually the first to consider when choosing a country to open a company in. At the moment, registering a business in Luxembourg involves one of the lowest costs in Europe, but also in the European Union. Dutch business leaders should also consider the fact that Luxembourg is quite easy to reach from the Netherlands, with nonstop flights and one-stop trains from Amsterdam every day.

The timeframe for registering a company

Time is very important and for someone coming from a country like the Netherlands, where things move quite fast when it comes to company incorporation, choosing a country which offers the same conditions can be essential. Most of the time, foreign companies interested in setting up operations abroad are the most interested in starting as soon as possible.

Dutch companies have the possibility of incorporating subsidiaries in Malta which are treated like domestic companies, therefore they can be registered in only a few days.

The types of structures available

The appropriate business form under which a company can operate is of utmost importance when deciding to set up operations in a foreign country. Opening a branch office in Luxembourg is also a viable option for Dutch investors looking to expand, which allows a foreign shareholder to maintain full control of the new location.

The share capital and licensing requirements

Two important aspects to analyze when entering a foreign country are related to the capital requirements which can be dictated by the laws and regulations, and the licenses for completing the activities established by the business owner. Dutch entrepreneurs should consider that opening a company in another EU country can reduce bureaucracy when it comes to company licensing.

There is not a specific number of details to consider when deciding to open a company in a foreign country as each case is individual and particular. However, a deep understanding of the foreign market and requirements for setting up the business are pivotal to choosing the appropriate destination, especially when coming from a competitive country like the Netherlands.