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Doing business in The Netherlands
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FAQ - Doing business in The Netherlands



Can job agencies provide me with a job in The Netherlands?

With the advent of the internet, unfortunately untraceable ‘e-businesses’ are shooting up like mushrooms. Among these, there are many intermediaries who promise you the world on the condition that you pay a (frequently reasonable) registration fee. How can you sift the wheat from the chaff?

Check whether your intermediary is registered with one of the few umbrella organisations for job agencies in The Netherlands. Although registration is not mandatory, more than 90% of job agencies in The Netherlands do register, since it provides proof of certain guarantees in their business transactions.

Payment of administration fees is highly unusual for job agencies in The Netherlands (contribution on a regular basis is even prohibited): their income is normally generated by payment after successful mediation.

Contact the Chamber of Commerce concerned, to get more background information about the company (year of establishment, initiator, number of employees).
Registration at the Chamber of Commerce in itself does say much about the reliability of the company. In The Netherlands companies are compelled to register.

It is generally known that procedures for migration from developing to industrialised countries are complex and difficult. Therefore it will be quite difficult for a Ghanaian to get a placement in an industrialised country – this only occurs in highly exceptional cases. You might want to contact your intermediary to get some statistical information or their annual report to gain an insight in their achievements in this matter.


How can I verify the trustworthiness of a company that we intend to do business with?

Check their website.

Ask for references of former business transactions.

Ask for the bank account no and contact bank to verify.

Ask for the Chamber of Commerce registration number, and verify at the chamber concerned.

Ask whether company is a member of a co-ordinating branch organisation.

Be wary of companies using untraceable addresses only (yahoo/hotmail, postoffice box, mobile phones); it is extremely uncommon for a Dutch company to use this type of contact information exclusively.


How do I find a Dutch company that wants me to be agent or representative?

There is no such thing as a list or website of Dutch companies looking for agents or representative, on the web nor at the Royal Netherlands Embassy.

Usually the company finds representatives through their own network, or at trade shows, trade missions and other happenings within each industry.

Companies often don’t like to take a chance with a representative they don’t know – unless you can proof your creditworthiness. If you are already representing another Dutch or foreign company, preferably in the same field, this will probably be to your advantage.

Keep in mind that companies, especially at the initial stage, don’t deliver on credit, unless you work with letters of credit and other bank guarantees.


How do I obtain a visa to do business in The Netherlands?
All information about obtaining a visa for travelling to The Netherlands can be found on the website of www.ambaccra.nl the Royal Netherlands Embassy.
I want to export my products to The Netherlands, how do I go about it and how do I find Dutch buyers?

The http://www.cbi.nl Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI), operating within the policy framework of the Netherlands Minister for Development Cooperation, supports small and medium sized enterprises in developing countries in their promotion of exports to the EU market.

You can retrieve information at http://www.ambaccra.nl the Royal Netherlands Embass, where companies are registered that in the past expressed similar interest.


I want to import Dutch products, how do I find Dutch suppliers?

On Internet, several databases are available:

http://www.hollandexports.com
http://www.export.nl
http://www.hollandtrade.com

You can also retrieve information at http://www.ambaccra.nl the Royal Netherlands Embassy, where companies are registered that in the past expressed similar interest.


My Dutch client or supplier acts contrary to our agreement, what can I do?

Contact the http://www.ghanaembassy.nl Embassy of the Republic of Ghana in The Hague.

Hire a Dutch lawyer (possibly through the http://www.ghanaembassy.nl Embassy of the Republic of Ghana in The Hague).


Where can I find addresses of Dutch NGO's?
The http://www.devdir.org Directory of Development Organizations lists NGO's worldwide per country.
Where do I find information about trade fairs and exhibitions in The Netherlands?

You can find current information on seminars in the Netherlands on http://www.hollandexports.com and http://www.holland.com/global/

Some websites of specific exhibitions are:

http://www.ahoy.nl Ahoy Rotterdam
http://www.rai.nl Amsterdam RAI
http://www.jaarbeursutrecht.nl Jaarbeurs Utrecht
http://www.mecc.nl MECC Maastricht

The http://www.cbi.nl Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries issues a guide called ‘Your show master – a guide for selection, preparation and participation in European trade fairs’.


Where do I find information on Dutch import-export regulations?
Normally your Dutch client will have to deal with the import regulations – you might be asked to produce certain documents. Information can be found at http://www.government.nl/
Where do I find information on OECD-guidelines (OESO-richtlijnen) for multinational enterprises?
The http://www.oecd.org" OECD-guidelines are recommendations addressed by governments to multinational enterprises operating in or from adhering countries. They provide voluntary principles and standards for responsible business conduct in a variety of areas including employment and industrial relations, human rights, environment, information disclosure, competition, taxation, and science and technology.
See http://www.oesorichtlijnen.nl for information in Dutch.



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