It is possible to start a branch office in the Netherlands. A ‘branch’ is when a business operates in the Netherlands in the interest of a non-resident company. A point of sale, a manufacturing facility, or a representative agency can be considered as a branch. Having its self-sufficient juridical status is not necessary whenever it is associated with a non-resident company. It is possible to apply for registration to the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce for a non-resident company branch. If your company is not inside of European Union and there is a branch in the Netherlands, it is necessary to register your annual balance sheet with KVK (Kamer van Koophandel – Netherlands Chamber of Commerce), as long as it is essential to register your annual balance sheet in your homeland.
A liaison or representative agency is not a legally defined or a governed body. Therefore, it is not necessary to list it in the Commercial Register. Representative agencies are not allowed to be involved in active business and do not have the right to form contracts or earn an income. Having residence and work permits is also necessary for all representatives.
Many foreign companies are interested in investing in the Netherlands due to its open economy, possible investment environment, and international tax laws. One more attractive feature is the principle of incorporation that recognizes non-resident corporate bodies.
Based on this, non-resident corporate bodies that have plans to start a business in the Netherlands are not obliged to be converted to a Dutch juridical status. The company and structure of the corporate body are regulated by the governed by the foreign law under which it was formed. National laws in the homeland remain relevant. Nevertheless, European Council Directives 68/151/EEC and 89/666/EEC specify codes regarding registering companies founded in the European Economic Area.