Before I started my own business in Amsterdam, I worked for many big corporate companies in different countries such as Hong Kong, Beijing, London, Amsterdam and Luxembourg.
My first impression of Amsterdam, like many others, was of the Red Light District and legal pot. However, when I got to know the city, I fell in love with it. Amsterdam is such a beautiful city, endowed with a rich culture and history. It has many museums displaying paintings; masterpieces created by Rembrandt, Vermeer and Van Gogh, countless canal houses, each with a unique character and many bicycles which most people use as daily transportation.
Amsterdam provides an excellent infrastructure. Schiphol airport is just half an hour away from central Amsterdam and high speed trains are well connected to many cities such as Paris, Berlin, Brussels and Zurich. Furthermore, since April 2018, Eurostar has launch a new high speed direct train service to London from Amsterdam. It is such a beautiful hub in this part of Europe. With such good connections, one can easily hop onto a morning train to Brussels or London for a business meeting and still have enough time to pick up your children from school or day-care.
The Dutch education system is among the best in the world. Schools are free and available for all children from the age of 4. The Dutch believe that the most efficient way of learning is through playing and most of the elementary schools (Basicsschool) only teach the children reading and writing from the age of 6. It is, perhaps, considered late when compared to other countries. Talking from personal experience, having spent equal amounts of my working life in both Europe and Asia, the Dutch are among one of the most competitive and innovative nationalities in the business world.
Incorporating a business in the Netherlands is both fast and affordable; it takes ONLY one day providing that all the required documents are submitted to the notary beforehand. The workforce in Amsterdam is skilled and educated. Most of the Dutch population (young or old) speak good English. You do not need to learn Dutch before settling down here.
In addition, the Dutch government provides a good business climate that attracts business owners and start-ups from all over the world. It is then, no wonder, that 176 different nationalities living and working here – a diversity that is unique in any city!
SME Solutions helps foreign clients set up their business in the Netherlands.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Luann Ip is a qualified chartered company secretary, she has been living and working in Europe (London, Luxembourg and Amsterdam) for more than 25 years. She used to work for one of the big four accountancy firm in London, a FTSE company in Luxembourg and two of the top three worldwide trust companies. She has extensive experience serving multinational companies and she is now settled down in Amsterdam.
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