Business structures

Some business structures are legal entities and some are not. 

Business structures that are not legal entities include:

  • Sole proprietor or sole trader (eenmanszaak)
  • General partnership (vof or vennootschap onder firma)
  • Professional partnership (maatschap)
  • Limited partnership (cv or commanditaire vennootschap)
Structures that are legal entities include:
  • 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 structure that is a legal entity, a notary needs to draw up papers, including your registration at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (KVK). If you choose a business structure that is not a legal entity, you will be personally liable for your company’s debts, with your private capital. This is not usually the case for structures that are themselves legal entities.

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