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Enterprise Ireland’s top tips for entering the Dutch market

The Netherlands is active worldwide in providing creative and sustainable solutions for global challenges relating to water, food, energy, health, environment, and security, this thriving economy welcomes foreign business and is a great starting point for clients who wish to enter the Eurozone.

If you are considering doing business in the Netherlands, please be sure to explore our tips to enter the market below and also be sure to reach out to our dedicated team.

  • Dutch is the national language of the Netherlands, but they are very open to conversing in English, with 90% of the population speaking it. Although a translator may not be crucial at first, it is considered a sign of good intent to have local people and services involved on the ground.
  • In Dutch business culture, meetings are important and famous for their traditional ‘Afspraken’, (crucial discussion opportunities.) The Netherlands has led the shift towards remote working long before the Pandemic, and are well prepared for digital meetings, something that is of increasing importance in today’s age. Come dressed relatively formally and you’ll fit right in.
  • The Dutch are masters in logistics, and home to world-class seaports, airports, and railway systems. You also have access to 170 million consumers at your fingertips, and not only that, NL is ranked no.1 in the world in digital connectivity, something that should be embraced.
  • Decide on a route to market: Joint ventures and acquisitions can be a successful route to market in the Netherlands, gaining you a foothold and bringing on board established contacts and market knowledge.
  • Like Ireland, the Netherlands relies heavily on exports. As a result, they are naturally more open to international trade, making it very possible to sell directly. That being said, export strategies that include a local partner are usually more successful and foster a consistent presence.
  • Trust the Process and embrace the economic and cultural benefits that the Netherlands has to offer. A global pioneer in several markets this is an ideal location to step into Europe.
  • Understand that sustainability is key: At present, the Corporate Tax rate is 20% on the taxable amount up to €200,000 and 25% on excess, worldwide. The environment is important to the Dutch, and reliefs are provided for companies who value sustainability.
  • Be prepared and know your competition: It is important to do your market research. This is a highly competitive landscape, with 15,000 foreign companies competing in a country smaller than Ireland. Luckily, our world-class Market Research Centre can assist you with valuable market intelligence to help shape your strategy.
  • Be innovative: in the Netherlands, it is important to be forward-thinking and competitive. Make sure you have a strong value proposition and stand out from the rest.
  • Finally, do your research! Explore the different resources available from Enterprise Ireland to delve deep into the market and really understand the opportunities and challenges that will arise. Our world-class Market Research Centre provides countless market reports, and MA’s are happy to help with market-related requests.

For more be sure to check out our Going Global Guide 

If you would like to know what to prepare ahead of your first MA call, click the graphic below

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