Thursday, July 25, 2013

DAFT: KVK Registration

Dutch Immigration Part III

Photo from the KVK website showing how enoyable filling out forms can be.


The business you are starting under the Friendship treaty must be registered with Kamer van Koophandel, or KVK for short, which fills the role of the Chamber of Commerce. There is an English version of their website which explains how to register and provides the necessary forms. While there is an English form which is useful for your own records, only the Dutch form can be officially submitted. Since my company is a sole proprietorship, I filled out the 2 page form in English, and then my boyfriend helped me translate my answers into Dutch.

Apparently, in some cases, you can mail in the form, but I visited the nearest office in person. When you pick an office to visit, check whether you will need an appointment, and whether they accept cash or need a bank card. Since I did not have a checking account yet, I wanted to pay any fees with cash. My office also did not require an appointment to be made, which was just as well as I was not used to navigating Dutch streets and got so lost that a 10 minute walk turned into an hour and a half. Just because it looks straight forward on the map doesn't mean the streets go where you think they should!

I was sure happy to see this sign after wandering around Rotterdam for an hour.
Once I finally found the office, sweaty and tired from my walk, I informed the receptionist that I wanted to register a business, and she asked if I wanted the opportunity to ask questions. I said sure, so she sent me to wait at a table until an agent called my name. His English was not very good, but he took a quick look at my form and asked a few questions about what my business was and how much I expected to make. He offered to answer any questions I had. Speaking to him was optional, but I didn't lose anything but a few minutes of time.

I waited at the table again until another agent called me over to her desk. Her English was very good and she was very personable. She asked for my BSN from the municipality registration, my passport, and the KVK form. She had a lot of questions about where the business was located, what type of business it was, how to contact me, and so on. All of this information was typed into her computer. She also registered me with the tax office (Belastingdienst). She printed out a copy of my file for me to keep.

The whole thing took about an hour. Afterwards, I was sent back to the receptionist to pay my registration fee and to also ask for a copy of my original extract, which is required for the IND application. I have heard that as of this year, an annual registration fee is no longer required, but I ended up paying about €20.

Next: Opening a Bank Account


Municipality Registration with BSN
KVK Application Form


KVK Number
VAT Number (for taxes)
Original Extract


KVK Forms