Expand your business to the Netherlands successfully 🌷
We’ve recruited numerous teams for international businesses entering the Dutch market. Their most significant challenge? A lack of straightforward, practical guidelines for establishing a company here.
Thus, we created this guide — to streamline your expansion into the Netherlands!
Table of Contents
- Checklist for setting up your business
- The legal frameworks for establishing a business
- Financial aspects
- Setting up an office
- The tax system in the Netherlands
- Workforce & working culture
- 30% ruling
- Visa sponsorship
and to apply it all!
Why choose the Netherlands for your company expansion?
The Netherlands, renowned for its business-friendly environment and strong economic stability, stands out as an excellent choice for your company expansion.
Minimum salary (gross)
Contracts & Dutch labour laws
A CAO or CLA (Collectieve Arbeidsovereenkomst / Collective Labour Agreement) is a written agreement between an employer and its employees that covers working conditions and benefits.
Contract forms in the Netherlands
In the Netherlands, employment contracts can be either for a definite (temporary) or an indefinite (permanent) period.
Contents of a Dutch employment contract
The Dutch Working Hours Act stipulates that workers aged 18 and above can work up to 12 hours a day and 60 hours a week.
However, this isn’t the standard for every week. Instead, the maximum average work hours are limited to:
• 48 hours across a span of 16 weeks, or
• 55 hours within a continuous period of up to 4 weeks
Nevertheless, it is common practice to work 8 hours a day, five days a week (40 hours in total).
The trial periods are determined by the contract’s duration. For contracts of 6 months or less, no trial period is applicable.
Contracts between 6 months and 2 years typically include a 1 month trial period. For contracts extending beyond 2 years, a 2 month trial period may be instituted.
This period allows both the employer and the employee to determine whether the position is a good fit.
Dutch law provides strong protections against dismissal.
In most cases, employers must obtain permission from the UWV (Employee Insurance Agency) or the court to terminate an employment contract.
If an employee is unable to work due to illness, Dutch law requires employers to continue paying at least 70% of their salary for up to two years.
The Netherlands has stringent laws against discrimination in the workplace.
Employers are obliged to provide equal treatment irrespective of race, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, or disability.
Employers are required to ensure a safe and healthy working environment.
They must carry out a risk inventory and evaluation and have a prevention officer in the organization.
The Netherlands has a three-pillar pension system. The first pillar is the state old-age pension (AOW), the second pillar comprises supplementary pension schemes organized collectively by sectors of industry and the third pillar involves individual pension products.
As an employer, you are often required to contribute to the second pillar, providing your employees with an occupational pension scheme.
The exact requirements depend on the industry you’re operating in.
The minimum salary starting 1 July 2023 in the Netherlands is €1,995 gross per month for persons 21 and older. The required minimum salary is lower for younger workers.
Please note that these figures can fluctuate depending on industry, experience, and specialized skills. See the average range for salaries depending on the industry here.
Do you want to learn more about how to successfully expand your business to the Netherlands?
Download the full 49-page ebook here!