Dutch Expats residing in the Netherlands have attested to the country’s thriving work environment, which entices European companies to pack up and move their operations overseas. However, one challenge businesses should be aware of before considering this is that GDPR/AVG and compliance laws in the Netherlands are different to those for example, in the UK. It is worth businesses looking into this themselves before relocating, or to appoint a DPO as their representative to ensure they are fully compliant. This in Dutch, is called, externe functionaris gegevensbescherming, in order to find the right expert to support businesses through setting up in Amsterdam. DPO NL – a Dutch Data Protection Company, says that “Organisations of all sizes need to do more to progressively improve their compliance in an ever-changing global privacy landscape.” So, as long as businesses are familiar and compliant with all Dutch laws, then they can begin their journey in migrating business to the ninth-best city to work in.
According to market research company, Intelligence Group, they analysed the professional experiences of almost 100,000 Europeans in order to determine what the best city in the world was for doing business in. New York lost its top spot in the 2022 study of over 600 cities, due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and political climate in the United States. Surprisingly, London’s popularity remained unaffected by Brexit, as it ascended from second to first place in the rankings. Amsterdam was allegedly favoured by people under the age of 35, and popular amongst workers from Poland, Greece and Slovenia.
There are a lot of companies that are making the switch to open an office in the Netherlands, and in Amsterdam in particular. The world is changing significantly and at a fast pace, with the changes that Brexit has made to British businesses in restricting access to an EU customer base, it is easy to see why Amsterdam is such a good fit for many businesses, within myriad industries.
According to worldsbestcities.com, Amsterdam came 3rd place in Europe’s Top Cities of 2023 generally, praised for its infrastructure, shopping, museums, and experiences. The report highlights its growing business influence, innovative policies, and entrepreneurial culture, solidifying its position among Europe’s best cities.
The culture in the Netherlands is diverse, showcasing the many different regional and international influences that it has. The country is thought of as a tolerant culture, liberal, and welcoming, which has always made it an interesting place to do business, but even more so currently. The official language is Dutch, but most Dutch people speak English very well and this is helpful for a British business expanding into the country, especially in such a cosmopolitan city as Amsterdam.
The cities and the country as a whole are quite compact and densely populated, but despite this there has been fantastic government support that maintains clean spaces and forward-thinking environments for society to move forwards with. Public spaces are clean and accessible to all, and cycling is integrated into the way of life in the country. Amsterdam is full of cyclists, promoting a healthier, ‘greener’ lifestyle that is used by every layer of society.
The business culture in the Netherlands is such that there is equality of decision making within business in the country. Every person plays a part in the process, making for a thorough, step-by-step plan that is followed through carefully. Dutch people love meetings and to be included within consultation at every stage, even if there is less pressure and an informal approach to how every person interacts with each other. Punctuality is key within Dutch life, so bear that in mind.
There is a wide range of tax breaks available to those looking to open business in Amsterdam or the Netherlands. There is a competitive rate of income tax, full participation exemption for capital gains, dividends from qualifying participations, and benefits for hiring highly skilled migrants. Depending on your size and location, the business tax breaks that apply to you will differ. Speak to a local expert to see where you can benefit as a business from opening up an office in Amsterdam.
In conclusion, Amsterdam has secured its position as the ninth-best city in the world for working, attracting both expats and European companies seeking a thriving work environment. However, businesses considering relocation should be mindful of the vast differences with the Dutch working culture and laws. Businesses can tap into the city’s potential as a prime destination for growth and seize the opportunities it offers. With its diverse culture, compact nature, inclusive business culture, and attractive tax incentives, Amsterdam continues to entice businesses from various industries, positioning itself as a global business hub.