Guidance

The Netherlands: providing services and travelling for business

Guidance for UK businesses on rules for selling services to the Netherlands.

Read this page in combination with the general guidance for EEA countries and Switzerland.

The authoritative source for Dutch market regulations is the Dutch government. This guidance links to official Dutch sources wherever possible.

Trade and services regulations in the Netherlands

If you are a UK business providing services in the Netherlands, you will need to follow Dutch regulations about:

  • getting authorisations or licences to provide a service
  • complying with local business regulations
  • EEA nationality requirements which could prevent you from providing services in some sectors

Use the Dutch e-government portal for service providers to:

  • find out about providing services in the Netherlands
  • understand local regulations
  • complete the relevant administrative procedures online

Consider appointing an English-speaking lawyer in the Netherlands to help you comply with specific regulations. You can also contact your local chamber of commerce for advice.

To find out if EEA nationality requirements apply to you, contact the appropriate competent authority.

Trade reservations

To sell or provide services to customers in the Netherlands, you must follow local laws. If in doubt, you should get professional advice.

Reservations are part of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement. They reserve the right of each party to keep or make new laws restricting investment, or the sale of services, in ways that would otherwise breach the rules in the agreement.

Check which reservations apply to the sale of services from the UK to the Netherlands. This includes an interactive tool to find reservations that are already in place.

VAT on sales of digital services

To use the UK’s VAT Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS) to declare sales of digital services to EU consumers, businesses need to register for MOSS in an EU member state.

Find out more about paying VAT on sales of digital services.

Ownership of companies registered in the Netherlands

If you have a UK business, you might face restrictions on your ability to own, manage or direct a registered company in the Netherlands or any other EEA country.

For information about setting up and running a business in the Netherlands, visit:

Read more about this in our guidance relating to the EEA and Switzerland.

UK legal professionals who have investments in law firms in the Netherlands should contact the Netherlands Bar for information on implications on those investments.

Business travel and entry requirements

UK business travellers and service providers may need a visa, work permit or other documentation.

Check our travel to the Netherlands for work guide for detailed information on:

  • types of visa and work permit routes available
  • exemptions that may apply to you or the activity you are planning to undertake

The Netherlands Immigration and Naturalisation Service has more information about:

  • visas including intra-corporate transfers
  • work and residence permits
  • supporting documentation
  • other conditions

Check which actions travellers visiting Europe need to take.

Social security payments for employees

Find out if you need to pay National Insurance in the UK or social security contributions in the Netherlands.

Recognition of professional qualifications

To check what you need to do in the Netherlands, read our guidance on professional qualifications in the EEA and Switzerland.

If you need to take action to secure the recognition of your professional qualification in the Netherlands, these sources can help you:

The UK Centre for Professional Qualifications (UK CPQ) provides practical assistance and advice to:

  • professionals who qualified overseas and are interested in working in the UK
  • UK professionals seeking to practise overseas

UK statutory auditors working in the Netherlands

For UK statutory auditors, the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets should be able to provide further information.

UK lawyers working in the Netherlands

If you are a UK-qualified lawyer working in the Netherlands, either using a Dutch or UK professional title, you should contact the local Bar association in the region in which you are working or the Netherlands Bar for specific advice.

Data transfer and GDPR

As part of the wider UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement, the free flow of personal data from the EEA to the UK will continue after 1 January 2021 for no longer than 6 months, until adequacy decisions come into effect.

As a sensible precaution during this 6 month period, it is recommended that you work with EEA organisations who transfer personal data to you to put in place alternative transfer mechanisms to safeguard against any interruption to the free flow of EU to UK personal data.

Read guidance on using data in your personal business or other organisation.

Published 4 March 2019
Last updated 11 June 2021 + show all updates
  1. Added 'Trade reservations' guidance. Updated 'Recognition of professional qualifications' with new UK contact point.

  2. Updated the Business travel and entry requirements section to include a link to guidance on travelling to the Netherlands for work.

  3. Updated the following sections to reflect the changes created by the UK and EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement: overview, trade regulations, VAT on sales of digital services, business travel and entry requirements, social security payments for employees, recognition of professional qualifications, and data transfer and GDPR.

  4. Guidance for ‘Recognition of professional qualifications’ and ‘Social security payments for employees’ updated.

  5. Change to title to include travelling for business

  6. Update to 'Business travel and entry requirements' section

  7. First published.