Netherlands in the Spotlight as HURST Helps Businesses Prepare for Brexit

Posted: Oct 7, 2019
Simon Brownbill

Entrepreneurs and company owners from sectors including manufacturing, IT and software, support services and wholesaling attended the latest HURST workshop aimed at helping north west businesses prepare for Brexit. Run in conjunction with Barclays, the event focused on the Netherlands, with Erik Klop and Stephan Lodder of Dutch accounting firm Visser & Visser as the guest speakers.


Visser & Visser has 11 offices around the Netherlands and, like HURST, is a member of the PrimeGlobal association of independent accounting firms.

Erik, who heads his firm’s international business unit, told the audience that the Netherlands has an ‘awesome’ business climate where international firms can thrive.

He said the country is an ideal gateway that provides access to 500 million consumers within 24 hours of Amsterdam and Rotterdam, which is home to Europe’s largest port.

It has one of the world’s fastest average broadband speeds and a highly-skilled workforce. Ninety per cent of Dutch people speak English, which is another great advantage, said Erik.

Other major benefits of doing business in the Netherlands are a convenient VAT scheme, competitive corporate tax rates, stable industrial relations and a shock-resilient financial system, he added.

British businesses selling goods in the EU following Brexit will, in most cases, be required to pay import VAT where the goods are customs cleared and register for the subsequent supplies in the EU.

In the Netherlands, however, a permit can be obtained for this duty to be shifted from customs clearance to a company which is registered with the Dutch Tax Administration and is issued with a VAT number.

Erik said that obtaining the Article 23 permit will improve a company’s cash flow, as it means the duty can be deferred to the company’s next Dutch tax return and will be deducted as input VAT. The permit enables a company to then efficiently route its sales to the EU via the Netherlands.

It takes around two months to obtain the permit. Visser & Visser offers a service whereby it becomes the company’s fiscal representative and files the permit application.

The firm also specialises in helping companies to establish a permanent presence in the Netherlands by incorporating a private limited company (a BV), which can be achieved within three weeks.

Corporate income tax rates are favourable and are coming down. The rate is currently 19 per cent on income of less than 200,000 euros, and 25 per cent on income of more than that figure. By 2021, the rates will be 15 per cent and 21.7 per cent respectively.

Erik said there are other sound commercial and legal reasons to have a presence in the Netherlands, for example, to comply with EU legislation such as the REACH regulations concerning the production and use of chemicals.

Following the successful Doing Business in the Netherlands event at our Stockport office, we are holding similar seminars on China and Australia on November 7 and 12 respectively.

Simon Brownbill, partner and head of practice development at HURST, said: “We are committed to supporting clients seeking to make the most of global opportunities.“In these turbulent times, it’s important that businesses trading abroad or looking to do so get the right advice and support.”

For any queries or additional support required during your Brexit preparations, please feel free to contact us either by clicking here or by calling 0161 477 2474