start a dutch sales office

HOW TO START A SALES OFFICE in the Netherlands

When you are growing your business to The Netherlands, you can consider starting with a ‘sales office’.

The main purpose of a sales office is to represent your overseas company in a new market (such as The Netherlands) and to allow your sales office to perform sales activities.


The sales office typically provides sales activities, for goods or services, that it does not provide locally. Instead, the goods or services are provided by the overseas company.

A very good example of this structure, are the thousands of sales offices that are based in Hong Kong, to represent the factories that are based in China. Although the factories are based in China, due to the strict regulations and high level of bureaucracy, it’s more convenient for the factories to have all sales activities structured via Hong Kong. This means that the sales staff is actually based, outside the country of production. 


In the Netherlands, the formation of sales offices is also very common. This has largely to do with the fact that Europe’s biggest sea- and airports are based in the Netherlands, and due to the fact that the Netherlands has a more interesting entrepreneurial climate than Germany. Which means that many of the German-made goods are also sold via Dutch sales offices. 

Which legal entity is most suitable for a ‘sales office’ in The Netherlands

The sales office, as definition, refers to the type of operations of a business structure. It does not necessarily mean that a specific kind of company form is used. A sales office could be structured via a Dutch B.V. (private limited), or via a branch registration. In fact, a sales office could even be structured in such a manner, that there would be no requirement at all to register the Dutch sales office at the Chamber of Commerce (or tax authorities!). 

Advantage of starting a representative office in The Netherlands

The main reason that companies decide to start a Sales office in The Netherlands, is to improve their local reputation, and the way they can interact with the Dutch market.

The Sales office allows companies to use a local phone number, and address, and to involve a local sales agent that can represent the company under certain conditions. 

How to start a Dutch Sales office
  1. Select the legal Entity

  2. Consider the formation requirements & timeline

  3. Decide on a trade Name

  4. Consider the costs of registration

  5. Get a full understanding of the legal and administrative requirements

  6. Formation of the Company and registration at the Chamber of Commerce

  7. Apply for Tax ID’s 

INCO Business Toolkit



Our experts have combined their knowledge and strengths to create a tool we call the Business Toolkit. 

The Business Toolkit will help you and entrepreneurs from around the globe to truly understand the Dutch market, regulations and laws. And will enable you to take a deep-dive into the topics displayed below. 

This way you will easily get up to speed with our Company formation process, Dutch Accounting and our corporate services. 

Make sure to check out our handy checklists, explainer video's and extensively written Whitepapers too!