The Benefits of Operating Your UK Business in the Netherlands


Any business that is looking to expand its operations and work within the EU should look at the Netherlands as one of the best options available.

There are many big benefits to operating a UK business in the Netherlands, but you need to be aware of the implications of the differing regulations, licenses, and other legal frameworks that you’ll be expected to work within.

Data processing, data protection, and other data security issues are all covered under the GDPR, and even though the UK no longer sits within the EU you will be expected to adhere to GDPR when operating a business in the Dutch market.

The best way to do so is to outsource your Data Protection Office (DPO) to a native Dutch speaker. In Dutch this would be ‘externe functionaris gegevensbescherming’.

Loads of companies have made the decision to relocate to the Netherlands, with Amsterdam being one of the most popular cities for new business operations anywhere in Europe.

The Netherlands has the sixth-largest European economy, good tax incentives, a great local workforce, and transport routes that make it one step away from many different parts of the world. Here are some of the reasons why businesses are expanding to the Netherlands.

It has a great culture

There is a diverse, multicultural and multilingual culture in the Netherlands that is enticing to many business types. This regional and foreign diversity has instilled a spirit of hard work within the Dutch people that has been present for centuries.

A liberal beacon of hope for many decades, the Netherlands continues to be a forward-thinking, tolerant, environment to live and work.

Alongside this, many residents speak multiple languages, including perfect English in most cases which will make it an easy transition for a UK business looking to hit the ground running with its Dutch operation.

A compact geography

The Netherlands is also a compact country in terms of geography with a dense population. Urban renewal projects are always taking place in the cities, and public spaces are pleasant for all.

Cycling routes and pedestrianisation makes the Netherlands a nice easy place to live and work, with commuting relatively cheap and simple when compared with the UK. The size and density of the country and its population make it a ripe market for new customers too.

Great transport links

One of the biggest benefits of opening a business in the Netherlands is that you have access to some of the best trade links and routes anywhere in the world.

Amsterdam airport is one of the biggest hubs in the world, linking Europe to the UK and Ireland, North America, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

The seaports provide trade routes with the world, whilst good rail and road links provide quick and easy trade access with the rest of Europe and beyond.

UK Business
UK Business in the Netherlands

A thriving business culture

The Dutch as a people have a great understanding of a structured business process. There are more meetings in the Netherlands than you might be used to in the UK, but you’ll find they are quite informal and tend to get things done.

Dutch people are all expected to contribute, whilst generally being punctual and effective. Local tax breaks are also an incentive for foreign businesses to enter the Dutch market.

The favourable market conditions, local economy, and hardworking labour market ensure that your business has the best chance to succeed within the Netherlands.

Understanding Dutch GDPR

GDPR came into force in 2018 after a two-year transition period from its confirmation in 2016. Although the UK left the EU, any business that operates within an EU country, works with EU suppliers or sells directly to EU customers, must adhere to EU GDPR.

There is also the local Dutch implementation of GDPR to consider. Once you’ve looked through the list of all the exciting reasons why you should operate a business in the Netherlands, this practical part is even more important.

It provides you with the support of local expertise that can help you build a strong foundation that takes advantage of all the exciting benefits of running a business in the Netherlands that we’ve covered above.

Outsourcing to a Dutch-speaking DPO is obviously a very important part of running a business in the Netherlands after expanding from the UK or another country.

It is understandable that you might not completely understand the nuances and linguistic differences between the way GDPR is looked at in the UK and the practical implementation of EU GDPR within the Dutch legal framework.

With this in mind, you’ll have peace of mind when utilising the experience and expertise of a local DPO to look after all data protection issues that your company might face when operating within the Netherlands.