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Being an entrepreneur in the Netherlands becoming easier31 October 2013, by Alexandra Gowling
Conditions for entrepreneurs in the Netherlands have improved over the last year, according to the World Bank in its annual report on global conditions for small and medium businesses.
The Netherlands ranks 28th in the world, down from 31st in last year’s report.
Singapore was number one for the seventh consecutive year, followed by Hong Kong SAR, New Zealand, the United States and Denmark, while Georgia was a new entrant to the top 10.
Poland was the global top improver in the past year, while Ukraine, Greece and Serbia were also singled out for making the most reforms to their business environment. In total, there were improvements in 114 countries, 18 per cent more than 2012.
Small business in the Netherlands
In general, the government has made it easier to set up a business in the Netherlands over the past year by abolishing the minimum capital requirement.
The capital requirement for non-Dutch citizens was also significantly reduced, making it easier for foreign entrepreneurs to work in the Netherlands.
Another positive step identified by the World Bank included increasing the efficiency of property title searches, making it easier to transfer property.
One reform criticised in the report was an amendment to the Collection of State Taxes Act that grants priority outside bankruptcy to tax claims over secured creditors’ claims.
Overall, the Netherlands was rated highly for resolving insolvency, trading across borders and starting a business.
Photo by Flickr user Victor1558
It was ranked much lower for protecting investors, dealing with construction permits and getting electricity.
In general, the Netherlands is seen as a great place for entrepreneurs to come, as Bloomberg rated it the best country in Europe to do business, and called KAmsterdam one of Europe’s hottest start-up capitals.
How the report is used
Explaining the reason for the report, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim stressed the importance of a favourable business environment for economic growth and poverty reduction.
"In an economy with good rules, companies are better enabled to create jobs, a step in the direction to eradicate poverty from the world," he said.
For more information, read the full report.