Business entities

Business structures come with and without corporate (legal) personality. 

Business structures without corporate (legal) personality are:

  • Sole proprietor or sole trader (eenmanszaak)
  • General partnership (vof or vennootschap onder firma)
  • Professional partnership (maatschap)
  • Limited partnership (cv or commanditaire vennootschap)
Legal structures with corporate (legal) personality are:
  • Private limited company (bv or besloten vennootschap)
  • Public limited company (nv or naamloze vennootschap)
  • Cooperative (coöperatie)
  • Association (vereniging)
  • Foundation (stichting)
When you set up a legal structure with legal personality, a civil law notary has to draw up the relevant papers, including your registration at the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce (KVK). If you choose a business structure without legal personality, you will be personally liable for the debt of your company, with your private capital. This is usually not the case for a legal structure with legal personality.

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