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Netherlands: Agency, Distribution and Sales Representative Contracts - a Lexwork International exclusive picture_as_pdf

This document describes how distribution, agency, and sales relationships are treated in Dutch law. It also details the Netherlands' terms regarding the freedom of contract, competition law issues, taxing considerations, and international conventions. A list with helpful Dutch trade law websites is also included for reference. Prepared by: Höcker Advocaten.

Government Resources

Main Government Page
Statistics Office
Central Banks
Investment Promotion Agency

Company Directories

Dutch Trade Partners provides a way for users to locate internationally active Dutch companies. The site provides a way to find active suppliers in the Netherlands, suppliers looking for opportunities in other countries, and to find a supplier by product or alphabetically. There are over 6,000 Dutch companies with contact information listed on the site.

Regulatory Agency Sites

The Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) is responsible for the oversight and regulation of the financial services industry within the Netherlands. The site contains plenty of resources sorted by relevant users (consumer or professional) to provide a better understanding of how the finance industry works for the public, businesses, and government. 

The Dutch Media Authority (CvdM) grants licenses to broadcasters of audiovisual content in the Netherlands. CvdM monitors compliance with this legislation and serves to protect consumers' interests by ensuring appropriate and accurate information in the broadcasts. CvdM also promotes the advancement of technology within the media sector and promotes regulations on online advertising to provide monitored media content. The CvdM site contains news, regulations, and information about the organization and their responsibilities. Majority of the site is only available in Dutch, however, limited English features are available. 

The Medicines Evaluation Board (MEB) assesses and guards the efficacy, safety, and quality of both human and veterinary medicinal products. The MEB is the primary source of information on new medicinal products, new applications, and current risk information in the Netherlands.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs is in charge of policy development to create a sustainable, competitive business environment in the Netherlands. Specific focus is placed on agriculture and energy, as well on a balance between ecology and economy. This site contains relevant information for the agriculture, biotechnology, and energy industries.

Other Resources

This publication of Enterprise Ireland, A Guide to Doing Business in the Benelux Countries, discusses business opportunities in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. The publication includes information on the countries' business cultures and practices, explanations on how to network and do market research, information on tax and legal issues, analyses of growth sectors, and advice on how to successfully operate a business in the Benelux market. This resource opens in a PDF. 

The Authority for Consumer and Markets (ACM) follows the latest market trends and developments for consumers and businesses. Specifically, ACM looks at the energy, telecommunication, transport, and postal industries. Along with tracking markets and industries, the ACM holds dialogues with businesses and consumers, advises consumers, and enforces numerous acts and pieces of legislation to make it easier for new startups to enter markets.

The Netherlands Chamber of Commerce provides Dutch entrepreneurs with information regarding financing and innovating a business in order to stimulate regional trade. The site includes information on starting a business, international trade, the associated paperwork, and registering or modifying a business in the trade industry. A limited English version of the site is available, however, some content is only available in Dutch. 

The Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) carries out energy research and provides live-feed news and publication information. The researchers move between fundamental research at universities and appliance of knowledge and technologies in practice. In addition, the site provides a section on the opportunities for students and job seekers in this industry. 

Holland Trade is responsible for promoting the international presence of Dutch companies in foreign markets and for supporting private sector development in emerging markets. The site contains information about Netherlands and the country's business environment, descriptions of different industries, news, publications, and events.