You are an entrepreneur living abroad setting up a BV company to extent your business in the Netherlands. Will you be able to open a bank account for the BV company? I think not. Maybe the bank whisperer can help you out.
The BV opening a bank account – not
The policy of Dutch banks instructed by the Dutch national bank is not to open a bank account for a Dutch BV company where either the shareholders are no Dutch tax residents or the director of the BV company is not living in the Netherlands.
This rather annoying aspect of doing business in the Netherlands is something nobody in the process saw coming. The non Dutch shareholder would like to set up a company in the Netherlands, incorporates with a Dutch notary the BV company. The BV company is registered with the Chambers of Commerce and only after this registration, with the Chambers of Commerce number in the hand a bank account can be applied for. That is the first moment the company learns that this is not possible. A bank account is denied based on the shareholder living abroad.
The bank whisperer
The bank whisperer, we have seen some of them over the past years. These persons have an ability that makes that banks do open a bank account for the BV with a foreign shareholder. What makes these persons stand out so much? Patience we have been told. A lot of patience, something not everybody is equipped with.
An aggressive tone from pure frustration is not the key to open a bank account in this situation. First you need to do your best to make the bank willing to open a business bank account. For instance, appoint not yourself as director of the BV. That is counterproductive, as you (the shareholder) are no resident in the Netherlands. Not only makes this the BV not being a tax resident in the Netherlands, but it confuses banks. Appoint a Dutch resident person as director of the BV company under the knowledge that a director of the BV is authorized in everything and anything related to the BV. But the director is also liable as such.
Then have this person equipped with plenty of patience whisper kind words in the ear of the bank. We expect a high turnover, so the money flow through the bank account is constant, we commit to only the activities we are registered for with the Chambers of Commerce. That type of whispering. Do not expect to be successful immediately, if at all. Guarantees are not given.
The bank whisperer – who does not need one?
Very simple, Google, Apple, Mercedes Benz, Ferrari, Tommy Hilfiger, Rolling Stones do not encounter any problem opening a bank account. None of the shareholders of these firms live in the Netherlands, nevertheless they can easily open a business bank account with any Dutch bank. Is that discrimination? I think it is. Can the normal entrepreneur that would like to extent his or her business in the Netherlands through a BV company while living abroad do anything about this? No. The banks rule and their decision is not a democratic one or one open for appeal.
Orange Tax Services
We have no bank whisperers employed, we do know some, but they are already too happy to have achieved a bank account and simply want to do their own business. This article is to prepare you for something you did not see coming, but could be vital for your business. Or is it? In order to activate the limited liability of the BV company you need to deposit the share capital in a bank account. But it does not state that the bank needs to be a Dutch bank account, as long as it is a bank account owned by the BV company. Could be a foreign one.