1. Set your international business goals
It might be that you consider setting up your international holding only from tax perspective or legal perspective. But we advise you to consider your options only after you have clearly set your international business goals. Some of the questions to be asked:
– What will be the financial targets for my international business?
– In which countries will my international customers be resident?
– Will I move my international headquarter out of my home country or will I only create an international branch?
– Do my customers or shareholders create limitations that I need to take in consideration?


2. Match your goals against the Netherlands
The Netherlands have a long history in international business. As part of this history they have built a wide range of facilities that support international business. Also the Dutch people have a strong focus on entrepreneurship and international trade. In the second step you should consider how those trademarks match your international business goals.

3. Analyse your tax implications
Tax effects should off course be a very important part of your decision. But in our opinion should never be the only reason. Your goals and legal and operational requirements should be just as important. Nevertheless we believe you should make a tax scan. You need to know in advance how the tax rules in the Netherlands, the EU, your home country, your operational countries and your client countries affect your business.

4. Set up your local project support
Off course you can manage setting up your international holding in the Netherlands from your current head office. But we advise you to either engage your own staff or engage a specialised service partner in the Netherlands. The reason is simple. The way things are done, must be done or should be done in a country are always different from the way you are used to operate in your home country. It will take a lot of data digging and trial and error to be able to find the right path in the new country. For a local resident these things have been part of daily business. Also the right local residents have a network with people and organisations that make them much faster and more flexible in finding the right path for you.

5. Define your holding structure
Your holding structure should support your international goals in the best possible way. Several aspects play their part: legal, tax, financing, cash flow, profit distribution, risk, service needs, growth path. The Dutch legal and tax system gives you many different possibilities to set up your holding structure. The possibilities range from a simple one holding company structure to a complex structure with several holding companies including sub holding companies combined together through legal and tax groups. Based on your needs and goals you define the right structure

6. Prepare for compliance and “Know Your Customer” requirements
The EU has set up a very tight network of requirements that a legal or financial service company needs to full fill to be able to engage you as a client. You can off course follow the instruction of each individual service partner on the go. But it will save you much time and effort to plan your information delivery in advance.


7. Build your holding structure

a. Incorporate your holding company
Next step is to incorporate the Dutch company or companies you have planned. In The Netherlands companies only can be incorporated by a public notary.

b. Open a bank account
A Dutch resident company needs to have his primary bank relation in the Netherlands. So you will have to open a bank account at a Dutch resident bank.

c. Set up accounting
The books of a Dutch resident company need to be kept in the Netherlands. So you have to setup your accounting locally either through your own staff or by engaging a local service

d. Staff your holding companies
Based on your operational needs you can staff your holding companies. This can either be done by hiring your own staff or engaging service partners. But please be aware that demands from your local tax office may require a certain presence. Also if you want to utilize certain facilities in the Netherlands you may need to fulfil certain requirements.

Timing restrictions
Although The Netherlands are quite flexible there is time needed to prepare everything. You should consider a minimum of one month. But this strongly depends on your speed in delivering the necessary information, the experience of you support partners in the Netherlands and the track record those partners have in working together.

8. Start implementing your international ambitions
Once everything has been setup according to this roadmap you can go back to your primary goal: setting up an international successful business.