Open a Pharmaceutical Company

in the Netherlands 

Open a Pharmaceutical Company in the Netherlands

The Dutch pharmaceutical industry is known for its innovation and is one of the important pharma players in the world. The industry is healthy and booming and one of the best performing sectors in the Dutch economy, making it perfect for starting a business in the Netherlands.

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Operating a pharmaceutical company in the Netherlands

There are a variety of business opportunities in the pharmaceutical fields in the Netherlands. The selection of focus areas for companies is wide, including anything from R&D to running laboratories and testing, to manufacturing, wholesale distribution, and retail sales through pharmacies and appropriate retailers. 


The prices of medicine are regulated in the Netherlands, with a pre-determined maximum cap a business may charge for pharmaceutical products.

Starting a pharmaceutical business in the Netherlands

  • The first thing to do when starting a business in the Netherlands is to register a company with the Dutch Trade Register which must include the mandatory NACE (Nomenclature of Economic Activities) number. For pharmaceutical businesses, the numbers are as follows (depending on the type of operation):
    Section C; Division 21; Group 21.1 - 21.2; Class 21.10, 21.20.
    Section G; Division 46, 47; Group 46.4, 47.7; Class 46.46, 47.73

  • Medicine retailers and manufacturers must register and apply for appropriate permits, and get approval from the Dutch Medicines Evaluation Board before they can start operating. 

  • Manufacturers are required to have Good Manufacturing Practice certification.

Why choose the Netherlands to start a pharmaceutical company?

  • Prosperous and thriving health industry.

  • The Dutch government charges a substantially lower VAT rate on medicines than on most other goods and services.

  • A good relationship between government and business, something that is very important in such a highly regulated industry.

  • Attractive for international businesses, with tax discounts for foreign employees.

  • Innovative pharmaceutical R&D schemes

  • Strong protection of intellectual property rights.


Do you want to start a pharmaceutical company in the Netherlands? Choose the easy way by calling one of our experts now!


INCO are experts at business development in the Netherlands. We offer invaluable advice and guidance and provide you with a unique Business Toolkit to help you to understand the Dutch market, the relevant rules and regulations, as well as appropriate tax laws and legal practices.


Inco Business GroupToolkit



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 the many business-related topics.

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

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