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Netherlands

Takeovers

Updated 07/2009

Legal requirements

Types of takeover

There are various ways in which to take over a business:

Steps in the takeover process

Starting a business or growing your business by buying another requires careful preparation and execution. Ten tips for keeping a firm grip on this process:

  • draw up a clear profile of the type of business you are looking for;
  • explore the market and track down information about likely candidate firms;
  • search through a variety of channels;
  • use tact when approaching potential candidates and do so in good time;
  • negotiations are a matter of give and take;
  • link the purchase price to future results;
  • ensure that there are sufficient guarantees and a clear claims procedure in the contract;
  • make allowance at an early stage for the integration of both businesses;
  • call in an advisor;
  • determine the strategy for your existing business.

Retiring business owners need to plan the transfer of their business in advance.

Some standard requirements to be completed when taking over a business are the same as when setting up a new business.

Administrative procedures

The Dutch Chamber of Commerce (KvK) is the first port of call for entrepreneurs in the Netherlands. It provides step-by-step explanations of the necessary actions to be completed in order to take over a business.

Registering a company

Data on a business listed in the trade register must be kept fully updated. Amendments to business data must be forwarded to the Chamber of Commerce (KvK) within one week of any change.

Whenever you take over a business in the Netherlands, you have to notify each takeover to the Tax Authority. Even if you are already registered with the Tax Authority you must still provide the exact details of the new business. Taking over a business (or a part of one) places you in the shoes of the previous owner, and you are expected to honour any agreements he or she may have made with the Tax Authority.

Resources

KvK has produced a guide which offers you a range of help, from initial guidance to final takeover.

The Antwoordvoorbedrijven.nl website makes it easier for prospective owners to access information about the various dos and don'ts of taking over a business, e.g. licences and requirements, laws and regulations, and taxes and subsidies.

You will find information about the Dutch market on the Hollandtrade.com website of the Agency for International Business and Cooperation (EVD). EVD serves as a partner for businesses, knowledge centres and educational institutions and authorities inside and outside the Netherlands.

The website of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs lists full contact details for foreign embassies and consulates in the Netherlands.

Programmes

There are multiple subsidies and tax breaks available for anyone wishing to take over a business. The particular region or business sector in which you will be operating and other factors will determine the subsidies and tax breaks to which you may be entitled.

Help & advice

Help & advice

The Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) assists and supports foreign businesses wishing to invest in the Netherlands.

KvK points the way ahead for businesses wishing to take over a company, with personal advice available from the following sources:

E-mail a business organisation near you

The EU runs a network (Enterprise Europe Network) of local business organisations in most European countries that may be able to help you.

Choose your country and town and enter your enquiry below.

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