Opening a Dutch bank account

BSN number

How hard can it be to open a bank account in a foreign country? Actually, it can be quite a challenge if this country is the Netherlands! This blog offers you a selection of “tips and tricks”, to help you negotiate the rocky road to Dutch bank account ownership.


Opening a business account 

Opening a business account with a Dutch bank in principle calls for a Chamber of Commerce (KvK) file number. The only way of obtaining such a file number is by having your business entered in the Commercial Register. There are two possible ways to do so: First, you can set up a Dutch branch of a foreign-based business. This should be pretty straightforward, as the business will boast a Dutch address. The second option is to become an “establishment-less” performer of particular business operations in the Netherlands.  This is not always as undemanding as you might have expected it to be. The business will not only need a Dutch-based address but will also have to have access to the relevant premises.

Ergo, if you intend to carry on operations in the Netherlands without incorporating a company under the laws of the Netherlands, you will still need some sort of address in order to register with the KvK (as a national “Registrar of Births, Deaths, Marriages and Civil Partnerships for Businesses” of sorts).

You can provide yourself with a Dutch address and bank account without actually having to come to the Netherlands. Still, you will need to send in an authenticated copy of your identity record.

Opening a bank account without a Chamber of Commerce file number

Selected banks – such as ABN AMRO Bank – offer the option of opening a business account without a KvK file number. However, the fees for such an arrangement are several times higher than those charged for a “regular” business account. In particular, the fee for opening such a “disembodied” account starts at € 109.00.

Opening a private account

You can also open a private bank account in your capacity of Dutch-resident natural person. In this context, most banks will expect you to put in a personal appearance at one of their branches. (We would point out that it is impossible to open a private bank account in the Netherlands for anyone who is not Dutch-registered.)

Reference is made to the overview for an enumeration of Dutch banks and the fees they charge for opening an account with them.

If you require more detailed information about opening a bank account or securing a Dutch address, please do not hesitate to contact CompanyNL. It will be our pleasure to be of service to you!