If you are a US national and you would like to set up a business in the Netherlands, you can make use of very favorable regulations to work and reside in the Netherlands. No work permit is required.
Why? US nationals may invoke the Dutch American Friendship Treaty (DAFT). The purpose of the Dutch American Friendship Treaty is to promote the economies of both the United States of America and the Netherlands and to stimulate trade and business on a bi-lateral basis.
The Dutch American Friendship Treaty gives American citizens preferential treatment to operate a business in the Netherlands. In contrast to most of the other non-EU nationals who would like to set up their own businesses, American entrepreneurs applying under the Dutch American Friendship Treaty do not need to satisfy a very difficult points-based test and do not have to show that their company has an innovative value.
The requirements for US entrepreneurs, setting up a sole proprietorship, are: the company must be registered with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce and a minimal capital investment of EUR 4,500 in a Dutch business bank account. A partnership or a limited corporation (Besloten Vennootschap, BV) would require at least 25% of the capital and a minimum of EUR 4,500. In the case of a public corporation (Naamloze Vennootschap, NV), there must be at least 25% of the placed capital, amounting to a minimum of EUR 11,250. Furthermore, the funds must be the person's own and may not be borrowed.
The residence permit would be issued for two years and upon finalizing two years, it would be renewed for another five years. Your spouse and children would also be permitted to reside in the Netherlands.
You and your spouse would be exempted from learning the Dutch language or passing a Dutch civic integration exam, although the language test will be required if you decide to apply for a permanent residence permit or a Dutch passport upon reaching five years of legal and uninterrupted stay in the Netherlands.
If you have received a job offer to work in the Netherlands, we would be very happy to provide you with information about the Dutch highly skilled migrants policy or obtaining a blue card.
Everaert Advocaten is member of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Netherlands and the Amsterdam American Business Club.
You may also contact one of our other legal advisors of this desk: Bram van Melle or Kirsty Gies.