What information does the Dutch Business Register contain?
The Dutch Business Register is owned and maintained by the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel), as authorised by the government through the Business Register Act.
The Register gives an overview of all relevant (legal) information on all economically relevant companies and legal persons in the Netherlands. All companies and legal persons are entered in the Register. This includes:
- Companies (private and public limited companies: BVs and NVs)
- Sole traders
- Professionals (e.g. lawyers, doctors, artists)
- Owners’ associations
- Government offices.
The amount of data registered varies according to the legal form of the organisation. The most important registered data are:
- (Legally registered) Name
- Other trading names
- Legal form and registered office
- Persons with power of attorney
- Persons employed
- Establishment details
- Contact details
- Indication of activities (according to NACE classification).
According to Dutch law, the information in the Register is valid (and binding for third parties) unless otherwise indicated. The obligation to register (and register any changes) lies with the companies themselves. All changes must be registered within one week of their being made.
Registration in the Business Register does not form part of the process of establishing a company in the Netherlands. From a legal point of view, a company can exist in the Netherlands even without being registered. Thus, although it is illegal not to register, non-registration does not preclude a company from existing and acting as a company.
Dutch (un)limited companies also have to file their annual account with the Business Register. Most companies have only to file a balance sheet, while large companies must also file their profit and loss account.
Is access to the Dutch Business Register free of charge?
Basic information in the Dutch Business Register – such as contact details, the Chamber of Commerce number and the establishment number – is available free of charge via the Chamber of Commerce website. A fee is charged for other types of information, e.g. official extracts, financial statements and other documents. You can find an overview of the rates charged on the Chamber of Commerce website.
You can also download the Chamber of Commerce Business Register app for free. This app allows you to obtain simple information from the Business Register.
To what extent can the documents in the Dutch Business Register be relied upon?
Everybody should be able to rely on the information contained in the Business Register. The Business Register contains authentic data. The quality of the data is guaranteed in such a way that the user can rely on them. The owner of a company is responsible for what is written about the company in the Business Register. Registered companies must always communicate any changes to this information. If such changes are not communicated, then the information contained in the Business register applies. This is known as third-party protection. Third parties acting in good faith should be able to rely on the registered data.
How can the Dutch Business Register be searched?
You can search the Dutch Business Register by:
- Trading name
- Official Chamber of Commerce number
- Postal code area
History of the Dutch Business Register
Information dates from the start of the current Register (1920). Data are also available for older companies.
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