What can the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (kvk) do for my business?
Article ID: 189 | Last Updated: Mon, Jul 13, 2015 at 12:57 PM
I am required to register my business with the Chamber of Commerce. What will they do for me?
The Chamber of Commerce is responsible for maintaining the Trade Register.
Trade Register Act
The Chamber documents important information about and for businesses in the trade register. By giving entrepreneurs access to this information, they can check whether transactions are legally sound before signing contracts with suppliers and/or customers. For instance: is the person they are dealing with the authorized signatory? The trade register also contains a comprehensive list of all foundations and associations.
Trade name checks
Apart from access to the public registers, the Chamber also carries out trade name checks to advise companies whether a name similar or identical to their selected company name already exists in the trade register.
Accounting and Reporting Act
All BV's (private limited companies), NV's (public limited companies), co-operatives and bonding companies are required to publish a financial annual report. This report must also be filed with the Chamber of Commerce where it is made available for public inspection.
More than 1.4 million businesses, associations and foundations throughout the Netherlands are entered in the Trade Register. These data are consulted millions of times every year; sometimes on paper, but normally via the trade register section on this site.
Authority to sign and accountability
A company is always represented by people who are able to 'sign' on behalf of the company. If the trade register shows that someone is authorized to sign on behalf of a particular company, you can rely on that information. Besides the registered company, anyone consulting the register is protected by the third party protection provided by the trade register. The authority to sign varies according to the legal form of the company and is sometimes subject to limitations. Accountability in respect of claims also varies according to the legal form of the company.
The register as 'the truth'
Everyone can rely on the register as reflecting the true situation. You can therefore rely on what is recorded in the trade register concerning someone's authority to sign. Conversely, a registered company cannot argue that 'Whilst it is true that Mrs X is recorded in the trade register as being an authorized signatory, this is not in fact the case'.
For more information see attached article.