The Netherlands: Gateway to Europe

Publication date: 3 May 2021

The Netherlands: Gateway to Europe | Russell Advocaten AmsterdamThe Netherlands likes to present itself as “the gateway to Europe.” And not without reason: excellent travel connections (Schiphol Amsterdam Airport and Rotterdam Seaport) and a highly educated population speaking several languages. Try practicing Dutch as a foreigner in the Netherlands. You don’t stand a chance, because everyone will speak English to you. Especially after the Brexit, the Netherlands has become even more attractive as a gateway to the European market.

What do you have to deal with when you start a business in Europe? And what do you need to pay attention to if you are planning to grow? We can tell you all about the rules for setting up a company, concluding contracts, human resources/personnel, corporate immigration and real estate.

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But maybe a story from our practice better illustrates this question. In 2015, our Primerus partner Schneider Smeltz Spieth Bell LLP from Cleveland, Ohio, asked us whether we could assist one of their clients. The company was involved in the construction of the largest data center in the Netherlands and needed more visas for employees from outside the European Union (EU). Could Russell Advocaten find a solution to this?

Of course we could. As it was a large project, a structural solution had to be found allowing our client to stay in control as much as possible. To this end, the company had to be recognized by the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service as a sponsor that was allowed to attract employees from outside the EU. The first step was, therefore, the establishment of a Dutch branch of the company.

The next question was which rules the company had to comply with as an employer. The employees were from outside the Netherlands and their contracts were not subject to Dutch labor law. However, the company needed to comply with certain minimum requirements. We looked into this for the client, so that he would not get into trouble with the Dutch labor inspectorate. We also ensured that the employees have sufficient social security for the employer not to be imposed any additional taxes.

Incidentally, we also checked whether our client’s subcontractor building contract complied with Dutch law, the agreed applicable law. However, the style of the rather extensive contract was typically Anglo-Saxon. Fortunately, not much had to be changed, so that the client soon knew where he stood.

Our client’s work is also in demand in other European countries. However, there are also legal issues in these countries. So, what could be more logical than to turn to your trusted legal advisor? Fortunately, through our Primerus partners, we can quickly provide our client with information on visas, sponsorships and employment law in, for example, the United Kingdom, Germany, Ireland and Belgium. Thus, thanks to Russell Advocaten and Primerus, the Netherlands has proven to be the “gateway to Europe” for our client.

Russell Advocaten: Firm profile

Russell Advocaten is an internationally oriented corporate and commercial law firm that assists mainly entrepreneurs, company owners and employers. We also gladly assist works councils and supervisory board members. Russell Advocaten is located in Amsterdam, the business heart of the Netherlands, the “gateway to Europe.” For foreign clients, we are easily accessible both digitally and physically. From Schiphol Amsterdam Airport, you can be at our door in just fifteen minutes. And we will be happy to welcome you.

Russell Advocaten provides legal assistance in all issues that shareholders or boards of directors face. We specialize in guiding international entrepreneurs who, from the Netherlands, are or want to become active on the European market with 446 million customers. From establishment to expansion of the company, we take care of all aspects of your business: corporate, commercial, personnel, real estate, corporate immigration and litigation. We pay special attention to the differences between Anglo-Saxon law and Dutch and European law. This way, you can avoid that issues you thought you had dealt with in a contract turn out not to have been dealt with according to Dutch law.

In addition to our general practice, we have some special niches, such as art and law, and embassies and consulates. The quality of our services has been approved by the European Legal 500 since 2005. We look forward to being of service to you.

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