Setting up your business in Holland
Setting up your business in Holland - why?
Due to its central location the country is an ideal base for global or European headquarters of international companies. Holland has always been a major trade hub and has a very open economy. And as a highly developed country it has a lot to offer for companies and people that choose setting up business or to live here. But there are more good reasons for setting up your business in Holland:
The Dutch tend to speak their languages. Most people understand and speak a good deal of English, and German and French are languages that a relatively large number of Dutch people master. This is partly due to the high standards of education, but also because people realize that as a small but open country, knowledge of foreign languages is a big advantage. And the Dutch quite easily look and travel across borders. We're also a multicultural country. Amsterdam for example holds the largest number of nationalities of any capitol in the world. And our political and financial system is considered to be very stable.
Furthermore the (tax) regulations are relatively advantageous for foreign investors and companies setting up business. Dutch government and community welcomes foreign companies and can offer all kinds of support and information to make this easier for you. Apart from that distances between major cities are small, infrastructure is very well developed. This also applies to the IT infrastructure, and the Dutch are very tech-savvy. Last but not least Holland is considered an ideal "test market" for trying out new products and services for the European market.
These are only a few of the reasons to consider Holland for setting up your Benelux, European or EMEA headquarters. More information can be found at the EU pages concerning business in The Netherlands, the site of the official government agency for foreign investment and, for more specific info about Amsterdam and larger surroundings, the business pages of "I amsterdam".
Some background information about The Netherlands
First of all: Holland and The Netherlands are both names commonly used for one and the same country. However, the official name is The Netherlands, whereas Holland would point to 2 provinces in the west (North- and South-Holland) where major cities like Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam are located. Amongst people from abroad our little country is mostly called Holland, so we'll stick to that most often here.
The Kingdom of The Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy, with our queen being the formal head of state. We have a parliamentary democracy with a government formed by representatives from democratically chosen parties and headed by our prime-minister. The capitol is the famous city of Amsterdam, which actually has only around 750.000 inhabitants. The government seat is the city of The Hague, the 3rd largest city after Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Holland is well known for its tulips, windmills, cheese (Gouda) and wooden shoes, but also for its liberal policies towards cannabis and some other issues.
Holland is amongst the most highly developed countries in the world, ranking 6th in the latest Human Development Index at the end of 2008, and 9th in the previous report. It's also a very densily populated country, with a dense network of roads, highways and railroads. Holland is home to one of the major ports in the world, Rotterdam, and a large European airline hub, Schiphol airport near Amsterdam. Holland has approximately 16,5 million inhabitants. Holland borders Belgium to the south and Germany to the east. National sport is soccer (football), with ice skating and field hockey also being popular.
More information can be found at the Wikipedia page dedicated to The Netherlands.
Recruitment in Holland
The most commonly used (external) tools and services for assisting you with your recruitment efforts in Holland are job boards and recruitment agencies. Lately, social networks and referrals are more and more recognised as very effective tools and there's a trend to use less external agencies. Fundamentally, the recruitment process, related service providers and ways to deal with them, don't differ that much from common practices in the UK and US for example. We strongly advice you to turn to Dutch based agencies and service providers for your recruitment needs. Knowledge of the Dutch market and specific legislation is vital for succesful recruitment.
Recruitment agencies commonly ask for permanent placement fees of 20-30% of an annual salary. There are agencies active on all job levels, for all specializations and executive search. There are also agencies specialized in English language and multilingual recruitment. Major international job boards like Monsterboard are also commonly used, but again there are also some specialized ones targeting multilinguals and international job seekers. Something to take into account are the rules and regulations concerning work permission for people from abroad. EU/EER-citizens are allowed to travel and work freely in The Netherlands, but more information can be found at our dedicated Work permit info page.
We will gladly support you with information, tips and trics and can also refer to one of our partners for specific information and assistance. And off course we would be happy if we could assist you in dealing with your recruitment issues.