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Ten Things to Know if You’re Considering the Netherlands for Your Next Business Move

Entering an international market can reap huge benefits for your business, but it may also pose a few challenges. Luckily, the Netherlands is one of Europe’s “Best Countries for Business,” and provides the perfect springboard into the European market with a competitive fiscal climate, world-class talent, superior infrastructure and a quality living environment.

To help put you at ease about expanding your business overseas, we’ve compiled just a few reasons why the Netherlands is the right choice for your next move.

1. Don’t speak Dutch? No problem. Ninety % of the Dutch workforce is fluent in English—the primary business language in the Netherlands. Not only do most Dutch speak English, but the typical Dutch person knows a third language as well.

2. A country filled with top-notch talent: Very few places in Europe compare to the Netherlands for sheer volume of highly educated and skilled workers. The Netherlands has a productive workforce, and not to mention, the Dutch higher education system is ranked seventh in the world, leading to an abundance of quality candidates with the skills and degrees to meet your business’ demands.

3. Location, Location, Location: The Netherlands is strategically located in the center of the three largest economies in Europe—Germany, the UK and France—and is within a 650-km radius of half of Europe’s major markets, not to mention your business customers.

In addition, the Netherlands’ dense, high-quality transportation infrastructure offers fast connections no matter how you’re traveling – air, road or rail.

4. We’re Wired. Not only is the Netherlands connected to your business customers, but we have 11 of the world’s 15 submarine cables directly connected to the country. As a result, our country is considered the most wired country in the world with the highest broadband penetration per capita in the world, making the region a hotbed for data centers, IT, digital and gaming companies.

5. We Lead in Logistics: A combination of world-class seaports, airports, service providers and a coastal location at the heart of Europe makes the Netherlands the ‘Gateway to Europe.’ It’s no wonder why we’re ranked second globally for overall logistics performance and home to more European distribution centers than all of our competitors combined.

6. The Netherlands is Always One Step Ahead. The Netherlands has a long history in innovation—ranging from smart water solutions to Wi-Fi—and now, innovation is the cornerstone of our economy. With a mind-set of creativity, collaboration and reliability, the Netherlands is able to guarantee the most important drivers in ‘innovation location’ choices for foreign companies.

7. From Agrifood to High Tech Systems, We Have it All. The Netherlands boasts a large number of diverse and competitive industry sectors including agrifood, IT, chemicals, high tech systems, life sciences and health, creative, energy, aerospace and much more. No matter what industry you’re in, you’ll see high-growth potential.

8. We play in the big leagues. The Netherlands has solidly established itself as a magnet for major players like Amgen, Cisco Systems, Forever 21, Nike, APM Terminals, Fujifilm and SABIC, to name a few. With a competitive corporate income tax rate in Europe—20 percent on the first 200,000 euros and 25 percent for taxable profits exceeding 200,000 euros—as well as a number of attractive incentive programs, the Netherlands offers a supportive fiscal climate for international companies.

9. You don’t have to be a Fortune 500 company to make a fortune in the Netherlands: The surge of successful entrepreneurship endeavors in the Netherlands has propelled the country to the forefront of startups in Europe. With ambitious efforts to attract small business, including Dutch Startup Visa and StartupDelta, the Netherlands is quickly becoming the “West Coast of Europe.” Just ask companies like Optimizely and DoubleDutch that started here with 20 or fewer employees. There’s nothing small about the results businesses see here.

10. It’s not just businesses that thrive here. According to the OECD Better Life Index, the Netherlands performs above average in many measures of well-being, including work-life balance, jobs and earnings, housing, income and wealth, education and skills, health status and social connections. Perhaps it’s a coincidence that we’re one of the happiest countries in the world.

Are you ready to invest in the Netherlands? We’ll roll out the orange carpet for you, helping you make a smooth transition to grow your company here.

21 June 2015

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