Surpassing its European neighbours as well as the United States

In the latest ranking of the world’s best countries for business, compiled by Forbes, the Netherlands ranks 11th, surpassing many other European competitors, such as the United Kingdom (13), France (27) Luxembourg (19) and Germany (20). The Netherlands also scores better than the United States, which ranks 18th on the list. According to the profile that Forbes developed for the Netherlands, it is presently the sixth-largest economy in the Eurozone and that it is “noted for its stable industrial relations, moderate unemployment and inflation, a sizeable trade surplus and an important role as a European transportation hub.”

A tolerant and innovative nation

Forbes compiled the list of best countries for business by examining 146 nations on 11 different variables: property rights, innovation, taxes, technology, corruption, freedom (personal, trade and monetary), red tape, investor protection and stock market performance. The data was drawn from published reports from the following organisations: Freedom House, Heritage Foundation, Property Rights Alliance, Transparency International, World Bank and World Economic Forum. The Netherlands scores first on personal freedom, reflecting the tolerant atmosphere Amsterdam is famous for. The Netherlands also scores extremely well on innovation, property rights and trade freedom.  

Ease of doing business

That the Netherlands is a very attractive place to do business is also reflected in the increased ease of doing business, as measured by the World Bank. In its latest rankings, which compare 189 countries around the globe, the Netherlands lands 27th on the list.

Start-up hub

The Netherlands traditionally ranks higher than average out of the OECD countries. In the 2015 ranking, the Netherlands surpasses many other European countries, including France, Luxembourg and Belgium. According to the report, it is very easy to start a business in the Netherlands: entrepreneurs can launch a business within four days here, compared to five-and-a-half in Denmark, 14.5 in Germany and six in the UK.

Fiscal-friendly climate

Besides the ease of starting a business, the Netherlands offers a very attractive fiscal climate for companies. As an open economy, the Netherlands has always given priority to a transparent and stable tax system that is flexible enough to anticipate the rapidly changing requirements of international economic flows. In addition, tax agreements that guarantee univocal treatment have been made with most of the world’s major trading nations.