By Carlo Vervoord, Kamer24 Tilburg
The Netherlands offers many advantages to small and medium UK businesses wishing to create a Europe-based business, post-Brexit.
The long, drawn-out Brexit negotiations will see finalization on 31 December 2020 and many British companies need to explore the possibility that a European-based office will offer innumerable advantages, once the UK leaves the EU.
Almost a year ago, I started working with three major UK companies looking to move to The Netherlands and who wanted to benefit from having a Dutch office. One is in solar panels, one in the import and export of liquor and the third, an advisory firm. They accepted that the Brexit deal would take place and, tired of waiting, took the decision to move into Europe. They all saw how being based in The Netherlands would offer innumerable advantages and these have proven to be very accurate.
I have had many years’ experience in international trade, particularly in the construction industry, and see that there is tremendous value in this kind of expansion. It is not limited to medium size companies but would also benefit smaller entrepreneurs looking to expand their horizons beyond the UK market to Europe, the Middle East and other global destinations.
Why the Netherlands?
The Netherlands is a stable country with a flourishing economy, which is even more important, considering global developments and uncertainties like Brexit. It offers multiple advantages to companies wishing to create a European office, particularly for British firms.
Chief amongst this is the fact that between 90-93% of the Dutch population can hold a conversation in English, which coupled with their fluency in German and French, makes them ideal partners in international trade.
The Netherlands offers outstanding infrastructure, a competitive business climate and a strong treaty network. The Dutch tax system features several tax incentives to stimulate innovation and business activities, such as 16.5% corporate tax, one of the lowest rates in Europe, and VAT not being charged for transactions with EU member states.
As Europe’s most wired country, The Netherlands is one of the best countries for tech companies. Businesses that invest in its technology and IT sector thrive, thanks to the tech-savvy Dutch workforce, great digital infrastructure, an innovative and open culture, R&D incentives and the strong focus of the Dutch government on developments in tech.
The Dutch rank No. 2 in the world for online connectivity, with 98% of households having a broadband connection. As consumers, they are digital frontrunners who lead the way in embracing new digital applications.
The EU Innovation Scoreboard 2020 ranked The Netherlands as the fourth-best nation for innovators, a nod to the nation’s prowess for future-oriented thinking.
Ease of business
The country has a long history in trade, dating back over four centuries, and this is underlined by its ranking of No 3 worldwide for ease of doing digital business, according to Harvard Business Review and No 24 for the overall business, according to the World Bank.
The Dutch government plays an important role by providing foreign startups with the tools and information they need to open a company. De Kamer provides the necessary physical address for registration and can assist in other ways to facilitate startup.
Dutch companies enjoy an international reputation for reliability as does the legal system and corporate governance. This trust is essential as a foundation for an international business.
Location is unmatched
The strategic location of the Netherlands at Europe’s front door provides the perfect springboard into the European market – with access to 95% of Europe’s most lucrative consumer markets within 24 hours of Amsterdam or Rotterdam.
Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe and ranks among the top ten worldwide. It is noted for its logistics with the possibility of transporting goods quickly to the rest of Europe via the motorways, shipping routes and its large rail freight terminal. The Port of Rotterdam Authority is embracing energy transition, digitization and innovation, as an opportunity for making logistics chains that pass through Rotterdam more efficient, more reliable and hence more competitive. Our solar panel client has found this to be an excellent gateway for their global exports.
Schiphol airport is one of Europe’s most important airline hubs, offering 332 direct destinations and moving 1.57 million tons of cargo annually. It also offers an average 75-minute flight from London, though this has been reduced with Covid-19.
For business people wishing to drive to The Netherlands, the 530 km road route takes around 6 hours or there is the ferry from Harwich to the Hook of Holland, a 7-hour trip with a 90 min road trip to Amsterdam.
Explore the options
De Kamer offers coworking spaces, which are ideal as your startup office in The Netherlands. Offices are situated both in Amsterdam and throughout the Netherlands.
The time is now and the process is simple, contact De Kamer for more information.