Netherlands, country located in northwestern Europe, also known as Holland. “Netherlands” means low-lying country; the name Holland (from Houtland, or “Wooded Land”) was originally given to one of the medieval cores of what later became the modern state and is still used for 2 of its 12 provinces (Noord-Holland and Zuid-Holland). A parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarch, the kingdom includes its former colonies in the Lesser Antilles: Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Sint Maarten. The capital is Amsterdam and the seat of government The Hague.
The country is indeed low-lying and remarkably flat, with large expanses of lakes, rivers, and canals. Some 2,500 square miles (6,500 square km) of the Netherlands consist of reclaimed land, the result of a process of careful water management dating back to medieval times. Along the coasts, land was reclaimed from the sea, and, in the interior, lakes and marshes were drained, especially alongside the many rivers. All this new land was turned into polders, usually surrounded by dikes. Initially, man power and horsepower were used to drain the land, but they were later replaced by windmills, such as the mill network at Kinderdijk-Elshout, now a UNESCO World Heritage site. The largest water-control schemes were carried out in the second half of the 19th century and in the 20th century, when steam pumps and, later, electric or diesel pumps came into use.
The language in the whole of the country is Dutch, sometimes referred to as Netherlandic, a Germanic language that is also spoken by the inhabitants of northern Belgium (where it is called Flemish). Afrikaans, an official language of South Africa, is a variant of the Dutch spoken by 17th-century emigrants from the Holland and Zeeland regions. Apart from Dutch, the inhabitants of the northern province of Friesland also speak their own language (called Frisian in English), which is closer to English than to either Dutch or German. In the major cities especially, many people are fluent in several languages, reflecting the country’s geographic position, its history of occupation, and its attraction for tourists. English, French, and German are among the languages commonly heard.
The Netherlands Limited Liability Company Besloten Vennootschap (BV) is advantageously used by holding and financial companies for substantial tax regime benefits and for structuring international financial transactions ,it is also widely considered as an efficient EU market penetration vehicle.
Private limited company (besloten vennootschap or B.V.)
|Governing corporate legislation|
Companies are regulated under the Dutch Civil Code
A BV may be incorporated by one or more natural persons or legal entities, residents or non-residents.
A BV must have at least one director. Tax substance rules require that at least 50% of the board consist of Dutch tax resident directors.
|Information published relating to company officers|
Details of the shareholders are disclosed publicly.
The liability of the shareholders is limited to the amount of their shares.
|Accounting requirement/ compliance|
A BV has to draft and file its annual reports and accounts with the Chamber of Commerce and file a tax return annually with the Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst).
Medium and large companies are required have their annual report audited by independent, qualified and registered Dutch auditors, if 2 of the following 3 criteria are fulfilled by the company during 2 successive years: total assets exceeding EUR 4.4 million; turnover exceeding EUR 8.8 million; a workforce of more than 50 employees.
|Corporate income tax|
Corporate income tax is levied on worldwide income.
Corporate tax is levied at 20% on the first EUR 200,000 of taxable profits, and 25% on the rest. Rates will be reduced in both brackets, by a total of 4% by 2021: 1% in 2019, 1.5% in 2020 and 1.5% in 2021.
|Shared capital/paid up|
BVs do not require a minimum share capital (only a nominal deposit of €0.01). Company equity is divided into shares, which are not freely transferable and are privately registered.
|Basis of the Legal System|
Civil law (Napoleonic)
The company may appoint a secretary, but it is not mandatory.
A BV can only have registered shares, but these shares can be freely transferable; since 1 October 2012 transfer restrictions (like the “blocking clause”) are no longer obligatory, although still possible and allowed.
A company must have a registered office in the Netherlands.
A BV is required to hold an annual meeting of shareholders to vote on certain items, such as the appointment of directors and adoption of annual accounts. AGM may be held outside the Netherlands.
|Time to form||2 weeks|
Anniversary date of the company / Each Year
Netherlands offers a high level of privacy.
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