How to start an online business – a checklist

Selling products or services in an on-line shop ( called a ‘webshop ‘ in the Netherlands ) involves more than building a web site. You will need to register your company with the Business Register at the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce ( KVK ), register your sphere name, keep records and pay income tax and VAT ( BTW ) .

Are you allowed to stay in the Netherlands ?

If you are going to run a business in the Netherlands, you must fulfil a phone number of conditions. If you are not an EU citizen, you may need a residency allow. Our interactional tool Coming to the Netherlands as an entrepreneur can help you find out cursorily if this is true for you, and tell you what other obligations you have to fulfil .

Is your on-line store a business ?

When does your on-line shop discontinue being a hobby, and become a business ? The Netherlands Chamber of Commerce and the dutch Tax and Customs Administration have several criteria :

  • profitability
  • independence
  • capital
  • size of the company, in time and money
  • customers
  • entrepreneurial risk
  • liability

Find out when you are

register with the dutch Business Register and Dutch Tax Administration

Find out when you are considered an entrepreneur by the dutch Tax and Customs Administration.

New retail businesses, whether ‘brick ‘ or on-line, must register with the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce ( KVK ) Business Register. The KVK will pass on your details to the dutch Tax and Customs Administration. Within two weeks you will receive your VAT identification count and your VAT number from the Tax and Customs Administration by post. You do not need to register individually with them, unless you decide to register as a specify company or association. See besides Legal business structures – an overview .

Make certain you have an IBAN account

If you plan to start doing business in or with the Netherlands, you will need a business bank account ( IBAN ). If you are from outside the EU, you may need to apply for one. The Dutch Banking Association has created a immediate Scan to help you find out if you are eligible. Read how it works.

Register your world name ( url or internet address )

You have to apply to a sphere diagnose registrar to register and purchase a world name. The name has to be singular, and you need to respect other companies ’ copyrights, trademarks, and deal names. The registrar will submit a adjustment request on your behalf to the organization that administers domain names. If person else builds the on-line shop for you, you will only be permitted to modify the web site yourself if you hold the copyright. preferably, the architect should waive his personal rights. Another possibility is a license for manipulation .

Check the requirements for running an on-line business from home

If you intend to start a home-based on-line workshop, you have to make surely your clientele does not cause nuisance to your neighbours, for case because of supernumerary dealings, due to pitch services. You will normally have to report this purpose to your local authority and check the municipal partition plan. If you rent, you will besides have to ask license from your landlord .


What is drop shipping? With dropshipping you start an online store without any inventory. You sell the products through a dropship supplier. This way of online sales saves your webshop time and costs. You put the supplier’s products on your website and you determine the selling price yourself. After purchase by your customer, the supplier delivers the products directly to your customer.

Find out which taxes you need to pay

What is drop shipping ? With dropshipping you start an on-line store without any inventory. You sell the products through a dropship supplier. This way of on-line sales saves your webshop time and costs. You put the supplier ‘s products on your web site and you determine the sell price yourself. After leverage by your customer, the supplier delivers the products directly to your customer. Read more about dropshipping. If your on-line patronize is a generator of income, the Tax Administration will most probably position you as an entrepreneur for income tax. You will then have to pay tax on your company net income. As an entrepreneur you may be entitled to a decrease of income tax. If you ’ rhenium doing business within the EU, you need to pay VAT ( BTW ) on most products and services. The Netherlands has three VAT rates ( 0 %, 9 % and 21 % ). You can obtain an exemption for some goods and services. You don ’ triiodothyronine pay VAT yourself, alternatively you reverse charge it to your customers and then transfer it to the Tax Administration agency. If you deliver goods or services to a business node ( B2B ) within the EU, the VAT rate is 0 %. Your customer is then creditworthy for revoke charging VAT on its products.

New VAT rules

From 1 July 2021, new VAT rules will apply to webshops that supply products to consumers within the EU. These rules also apply to webshops that sell products to private individuals via dropshipping. From 1 July 2021, new VAT rules will apply to webshops that supply products to consumers within the EU. These rules besides apply to webshops that deal products to secret individuals via dropshipping. Read more about these raw rules ( in Dutch ). If your business is located outside the EU, read this booklet. The EU has The Import One-Stop Shop ( IOSS ) available : the electronic portal vein businesses can use since 1 July 2021 to comply with their VAT e-commerce obligations on distance sales of import goods .

Do you deliver to private individuals in the EU ?

If your turnover in another EU country is higher than €10,000, you calculate the VAT rate of that country. You also have to pay the VAT there. You can register as an entrepreneur in that country, or use the

Keep orderly business records

If your upset in another EU nation is higher than €10,000, you calculate the VAT rate of that area. You besides have to pay the VAT there. You can register as an entrepreneur in that nation, or use the one-stop-shop system ( in Dutch ) of the Tax and Customs Administration. You use this system to declare the VAT for early EU countries. Log in as an entrepreneur to use this system. The tax authorities pass on the contract and payment on your behalf to the tax authorities abroad. The doorway for distance sales differs per area. If you need help, you can get aid from a fiscal example. Read more Every entrepreneur is obliged to keep business records. The rules are no different for an on-line shop. Your records must comply with certain rules. For exemplify, you have to retain your records for at least 7 years. And if you wish to receive the entrepreneur allowance, you must keep a record of the number of hours exhausted working for your business .

Give acquit data on your web site

Your web site must distinctly state your company ’ south identity. Besides your address details, you must submit your clientele registeration number and your VAT act. You must besides inform customers about the price and features of your products, the method acting of requital, the order process, guarantee, the cooling off time period, and the delivery details .

Ask your customer ‘s permission to place cookies on their computer

A cookie is a little file that saves internet settings on your customer ‘s calculator. You can follow their surfing demeanor or topographic point target advertisements. Your customer must give you permission to do this. You should request this license vitamin a soon as they enter your on-line shop .

Make certain that your customers ‘ personal details are safe

You must handle customers ‘ personal details with due manage, in accord with EU guidelines : the GDPR. Customers ‘ personal details must be secured against personnel casualty or larceny, for case. Please be advised by your internet hosting supplier on available security options .

guarantee that your customers are able to pay securely

guarantee requital is possible with a secure internet connection. A plug internet association includes ‘https ‘ in your browser ‘s URL .

send order confirmations in writing

You must send customers an order confirmation in write, enclosing your cosmopolitan terms and conditions, your guarantee conditions and your contact details. Your customer must receive this information – at the very latest – when the intersection is delivered or the service is provided .

Observe the rules on e-mail advertise

You are not permitted to send emails or make mobile telephone calls to individual individuals or companies for advertising purposes without their anterior consent .

Selling alcohol ? You need a license

You may only sell high-alcohol beverages via an on-line denounce if you have an package store let or a license under the Licensing and Catering Act. You do not need a license to sell low-alcohol beverages .

Selling tobacco ? Follow the rules

You are allowed to sell tobacco on-line, but there are rigorous rules you must follow. You can publish an overview of tobacco products ( with or without logos ) and a price list on your web site, but you must not recommend any specific product.

Draft the general terms and conditions

It is judicious to use general terms and conditions to minimise your risks and provide clarity for you and your customers. general terms and conditions include rules about requital, pitch times, guarantees and disputes. You can use the specimen terms and conditions drawn up by the Dutch Home Shopping Organization ( ) .

Check product, packaging and tag requirements

Consumer goods must be safe to use. That is why the products your on-line denounce sells must comply with several product requirements. Check which ones apply to you. There are besides requirements for merchandise box and pronounce, for example the lyric on the label when you export products .

See what can do for you ( Home Shopping ) is a dutch organization that offers advice, market inquiry activities and complaints mediation to online shop entrepreneurs and their customers. You can besides obtain a webshop quality bell ringer as proof of your on-line shop ’ s bona fides .

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