A public limited company, or in Dutch a naamloze venootschap (NV), is a company where equity is shared into shares in the same manner to that of a private limited company (besloten vennootschap, BV).
How can we distinguish NV from BV? NV offers registered shares, bearer shares that may easily be exchanged on the stock market (issued in bearer form), while BV is only able to issue registered shares interchangeable by a civil-law notary.
Minimum share capital deposit for BV is a symbolic amount of €0.01 while this amount is €45,000 for NVs.
Remark: As of 01.01.2020, public limited companies will not be able to issue bearer shares. Any bearer shares issued by public limited companies have to adapt their situation until that date. Holders of bearer shares may change their shares for registered ones until 01.01.2021.
Getting a Legal Entity Identifier (LEI)
It is obligatory for companies to have LEI, aka Legal Entity Identifier, whenever they want to exchange on the stock market. By using this particular number, financial administrations can monitor global transactions and make sure that they are legal.
This is all true for NV when it comes to liability, tax, social security, and continuity as it is with BV. The same obligations are also valid for an 'NV in formation' (NV in oprichting or NV io) as it is to a BV in structure.