Seven reasons why to do business in the Netherlands

Tulip fields with wind mills

Many successful businesses are familiar with the dilemma they face when they become too big for their original market. If they want to grow further, they need to decide to either diversify their product or service portfolio or to enter different geographies. If they opt for the latter option, a big question mark comes. Which countries should they enter? Where are solid chances for success? Where are favourable economic conditions? Where is a stable business and legal environment? Where can they find the right workforce?

When considering expansion into the European market, the Netherlands stands out as an ideal destination for businesses. A mix of multiple factors makes the Netherlands an attractive hub for companies seeking to streamline their operations and expand their global reach.

Here are seven reasons why you should consider doing business in the Netherlands.


1. Strategic location

The Netherlands, often referred to as the “Gateway to Europe,” boasts a prime location that provides easy access to major European markets. With over 170 million consumers within a 500-kilometer radius, the country is a hub for trade and logistics. The Port of Rotterdam, the largest in Europe, and Schiphol Airport, one of the busiest airports, are key logistical assets that facilitate global trade and supply chain efficiency. 95 percent of Europe’s most lucrative consumer markets lie within 24 hours reach of Amsterdam or Rotterdam.


2. Business-friendly environment

The Netherlands ranks highly in global ease of doing business indices due to its transparent regulations and low levels of corruption. The Dutch government offers a stable political climate and a robust legal system that safeguards corporate interests. The competitive corporate tax rates (19% on the first €200,000 and 25.8% on profits exceeding €200,000) and various tax incentives such as the Innovation Box and R&D tax credits make it an attractive destination for businesses. As stated by the World Competitiveness Ranking 2023 of the Institute for Management Development, the Netherlands is the 5th most competitive economy in the world.


3. Highly skilled workforce

The Netherlands has a well-educated, multilingual workforce. The country ranks high in terms of labour productivity, largely due to its strong education system and commitment to lifelong learning. The government has invested around €1.2 billion in lifelong learning initiatives between 2022 and 2027 to ensure the workforce remains competitive and skilled. Moreover, the “Highly Skilled Migrant Visa” allows companies to attract top talent from around the world.

The country is internationally recognised as a global top performer in talent competitiveness: it holds the 5th position in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2023, which assesses the ability of countries and cities to nurture, attract and retain talent.


4. Innovative ecosystem

Innovation is at the core of the Dutch economy. According to the Global Innovation Index 2023, the Netherlands excels in knowledge creation, entrepreneurship policies, and university-industry collaboration. The country hosts several innovative clusters in fields like agrifood, life sciences, high-tech systems, and clean energy. Significant investments in digital transformation and AI, including a €204.5 million budget for the AiNed program, further bolster the innovative landscape.


5. Stable economy

The Netherlands has a robust and open economy, ranking high globally in terms of GDP and trade. It offers a stable political environment conducive to business operations, with legal structures that support international trade and investment. The country’s focus on sustainable development and green energy projects, such as those at the Port of Rotterdam, underscores its economic resilience and forward-thinking approach.


6. High quality of life

Known for its excellent quality of life, the Netherlands offers high living standards, efficient public services, and a comprehensive healthcare system. Cities like Amsterdam, The Hague, and Rotterdam are renowned for their cultural diversity, safety, and vibrant expatriate communities, making it an attractive place for international employees and their families.

Ranked as the number 5 in the United Nations World Happiness Report 2023, the country can be proud of it high standard of living.


7. Tax advantages

The Dutch taxation system is particularly favourable for foreign investors. Benefits include various allowances and deductions, such as housing benefits and tax deductions for expatriates. The participation exemption and innovation box regimes provide significant tax relief for companies engaging in innovative activities or holding substantial investments.


These factors collectively make the Netherlands an excellent choice for international businesses looking to further grow and thrive in a supportive, dynamic, and strategically advantageous environment.

Expanding your business to the Netherlands not only offers logistical and economic benefits but also places a company in a strategic position to tap into the broader European market efficiently and effectively.


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