Our registry spotlight series provides must-know information on the national registries that can be accessed through the Know Your Customer platform and single API.
This instalment is dedicated to the Kamer van Koophandel (KVK), the company register in the Netherlands. If interested, you can explore the full coverage of our registry connector here or purchase a Business KYC report directly from our website here.
What is the KVK?
The Netherlands is known for its open economy and business-friendly environment, making it a popular destination for companies looking to establish a presence in Europe. As a member of the European Union, the Netherlands also offers businesses access to a market of over 500 million people, as well as a highly skilled workforce and world-class infrastructure.
According to Eurostat data, in 2020 the enterprise birth rate in the Netherlands – which can be described as the percentage of newly created businesses among active enterprises – was 10.4%, compared to an EU average of 8.9%.
To conduct business in the Netherlands, companies must register with the local company registry, the Kamer van Koophandel (KVK).
The KVK, or Chamber of Commerce in English, is responsible for maintaining a database of all registered companies in the country.
From a technical point of view, the KVK is a quango, an organisation to which a government has devolved power, but which is still partly controlled and/or financed by government bodies. It operates in line with the Wet op de Kamer van Koophandel (Chamber of commerce law) 2013 and the Handelsregisterwet (Trade registry law) 2007.
How do you access the KVK?
There are a few ways to access the KVK. The easiest and most convenient method is through the KVK website (https://www.kvk.nl/).
Users can look up information on a specific company using the search bar, or they can browse the official database to find information on all registered businesses in the country. Initial searches are free, but to obtain more detailed information, as well as the relevant list of directors and shareholders, you are required to register an account on the portal. You will then be charged a small fee per transaction and will be invoiced for using the service.
What information is available in the KVK?
The KVK offers a very useful Registry Extract which includes data on Company information, Officers, and Shareholders.
This type of business profile is the most comprehensive document available in the registry, providing a detailed overview of a company’s operations, financial performance, and ownership structure.
The types of companies covered in the Dutch registry include Private companies limited by shares, Public companies limited by shares, Partnerships, and Sole Proprietorships.
How many new companies are registered in the KVK every year?
As of the end of 2020, there were 1,919,000 registered companies in the Dutch registry. This number includes all active companies that are currently registered with the KVK. In 2020 alone, despite the pandemic, 68,000 new companies were incorporated in the country. In the decade between 2010 and 2020, the total enterprise population in the Netherlands saw an increase of over 50 percent.
This trend will not come as a surprise if we consider that the Netherlands ranks fourth in terms of start-up value creation in Europe, and that the city of Amsterdam is one of Europe’s fastest-growing start-up hubs (McKinsey 2022).
For businesses looking to offer cutting-edge client onboarding to Dutch SMEs and start-ups, having real-time access to the KVK registry is a non-negotiable prerequisite. With thousands of new companies being registered every year, compliance teams cannot rely on static databases of companies updated at intervals. By their nature, these sources do not include information on newly registered companies and relying on them for client verification will unnecessarily delay KYC and KYB procedures.
The KVK, on the other hand, provides a wealth of information on registered companies, including their ownership structure, financial performance, and other key details. This information can be used to quickly and reliably verify the legitimacy of newly registered businesses, which is crucial for compliance teams seeking to prevent fraud and money laundering and to deliver customer-centric onboarding experiences.
How does Know Your Customer simplify access to registry data in the Netherlands?
Through Know Your Customer, regulated organisations can streamline and automate their access to the KVK via one easy-to-use platform or single API. Our solution provides a standardised and user-centric experience across company registries in 127 countries worldwide, empowering compliance teams with the most accurate documentation and shareholder data available, all sourced in real-time.
Additionally, our end-to-end digital compliance workflow helps teams manage and monitor compliance processes in line with local and international regulations, reducing the risk of onboarding international customers with complex shareholding structures.
Explore how our Live Registry Connections and Automated UBO Engine can drive safe cross-border growth for your business.
Last updated on May 23rd, 2023 at 01:30 pm