Incorporating an NV or BV is not a hassle

The act on corporate law (Book 2 Netherlands Antilles Civil Code) governs the NV (‘public limited liability company’) and BV (‘private limited liability company’).

These companies can be used for group finance or holding activities, (international) joint-ventures, funds, structured finance and “plain-vanilla” (local) activities.

A notarial deed is required for the formation of an NV or BV and for any amendment to articles of association (a.k.a. articles of incorporation). Formation can however, be very quick (within one or two days if necessary) and doesn’t require many other formalities. The founders of an NV or BV determine the choice of the language in which the deed is drawn up, the only condition being that the civil-law notary understand the language in question. In practice, many deeds are be drawn up in English.

Pursuant to other acts, a license to establish a business, a director’s license and a foreign exchange permit are required. The company is also obliged to have a local director or representative.

As of March 1, 2004, a ‘certificate of no objection’ is no longer required from the Justice Department for the formation of an NV or BV. Basically, there are only two formal restrictions: (i) the equity of the NV or BV may not be negative when establishing the company, i.e. no minimum capital is required, unless such a requirement is included in the articles of association, and (ii) one share with full voting rights that participates in the profit must be placed with the founder or a third party, or two shares, one of which has full voting rights and one that shares in the profit, as the case may be. The reason for this is to ensure that there will always be someone who can exercise voting rights and that there will always be someone entitled to (part of) the profits.

Karel Frielink
Attorney (Lawyer) / Partner

14 December, 2009

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