Any business looking to expand from the UK into the Dutch market must consider the implications in terms of GDPR and data protection law. The best way to do this is to outsource the function of DPO to a native Dutch speaker. This person will act as your representative in the country, undertaking all tasks relating to the nuances of GDPR within the Netherlands and the EU. In Dutch this person would be called ‘externe functionaris gegevensbescherming’.
There are a few different benefits to expanding your UK business to the Netherlands. Hundreds of businesses and entrepreneurs have already taken the leap and moved their businesses to the EU since the Brexit split. The Netherlands is the sixth largest European economy, has a great location and offers great business opportunities, tax incentives, and a vast labour pool to choose from for your working staff.
What are the main benefits of moving your business to the Netherlands?
It has a great location
When you look at a map of Europe you can see what a great location the Netherlands is in, it is on the shores of the North Sea, with direct access across the water to the UK. It is a good spot between the North and South of Europe, great rail links, has a large airport hub that provides good transport links to the rest of Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and North America, and is an important international trading hub.
There are a few different sizable cities that are already well-developed and provide a stable market to enter, giving your business the best chance to find new customers. Amsterdam is the biggest city, multicultural and diverse, and home to many international companies. Rotterdam is home to modern architecture and a large port for trading. The Hague, Eindhoven, and Utrecht are other sizable cities.
A skilled workforce
The Netherlands has a highly skilled workforce that is highly educated. You’ll have access to a large pool of skilled workers, where most people are fluent in English and other languages aside from Dutch. It gives you a good chance to succeed when you can rely on your employees. This is accentuated by the ease with which migrant visas are issued in the country, attracting the very best from around the world.
Favourable tax and economy
A large, stable economy, such as the Dutch economy, is an attractive proposition for any business looking to expand its operations. Combine this with the favourable tax system and you can see why so many companies are looking at the Netherlands as the best place to expand.
Staying compliant in the Dutch market
There are a few steps you need to undertake to remain compliant with GDPR and other regulations.
Can you legally expand?
As the UK is no longer within the EU you do need to legally check if your business is allowed to expand within an EU country such as the Netherlands. Check with a specialist solicitor to find out whether you can apply or not. Once you have sorted this first step you can move on to other compliance issues.
Choose a business structure
There are a few different legal business structures in the Netherlands that you can consider:
· A sole trader (eenmanszaak)
· A professional or public partnership (maatschap)
· Commercial partnership (vennootschap onder firma)
· Limited partnership (commanditaire vennootschap)
Each offers different benefits and drawbacks, so be sure to choose the correct structure for your specific business.
Registration and licences
Some industries are more heavily regulated than others so make sure that you are fully covered and compliant with the necessary permits and licences that cover your industry. You can then register your business and start hiring staff.
Compliant with GDPR
Even though the UK has left the EU your business will still need to be GDPR compliant if you are operating within the EU, trading directly with a company located within the EU, or customers in Europe. As you are looking to expand your company in the Netherlands, you’ll have to stay on the right side of regulations relating to personal information and data. This is where outsourcing a DPO to a native Dutch speaker will come in very handy as you expand.
You can see how important it is as a UK business owner to understand the intricacies of Dutch and EU data protection law. GDPR is a vital component of any business plan and function in the modern world, no matter what sector you work within. If you are looking to expand your UK business into the Dutch market it really pays off to take a small step back and prepare fully before doing so, outsourcing a DPO with experience of the local data law and the native speaker you’ll need to represent you to the fullest should you require representation in the future.
HR Future Staff Writer.