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How to start a foundation in the Netherlands

How to start a foundation in the Netherlands

How do I start a foundation in the Netherlands?

To start a foundation, you have to go to the notary. That is also possible if the board members don’t speak Dutch and don’t have the Dutch nationality. But the notary has more work to do, so the costs will be higher. There is also another way.

The dutch law

The law does not say that a director or board member of a legal entity, such as a foundation, must have the Dutch nationality. So there is no legal problem. If a board member, who doesn’t have the Dutch nationality, wants to establish a legal entity with a Dutch notary, that person must identify himself.

The notary and identification

The notary is obliged under the WWFT to check all persons involved in the foundation. In the Netherlands, the notary uses the BRP and the ‘faillissementsregister’. That registers don’t include foreign residents. The notary has to check other registers. That is a lot of work. You can therefore expect significantly higher costs.

Every country has its own way of identifying a person. Sometimes you have to go to a notary or lawyer, while sometimes it is only possible at the embassy or consulate. So there are some practical objections. Additional documents also need to be created and translated. That also entails costs.


The statutes of the foundation

The statutes must be drawn up in Dutch. This means that you must translate it for the board members who can’t speak Dutch. This is mandatory if they do not speak or understand Dutch. Because under Dutch Law all board members have to understand what they are going to sign. So if there are board members who don’t speak Dutch, there will be translation costs. It is up to the notary to decide how much of the information have to be translated.

The easy way

The easy way out is to start with at least two board members who speak Dutch. They establish the Stichting/foundation in Dutch. After the establishing, these two members can appoint new members. That is a formal decision in the board. But they don’t need a notary here. They can register the new board members at the Kamer van Koophandel. So there are no extra cost for translation. If they want they can make a short summary of the legal documents. But even that is not obliged.

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