How many enterprises in the Netherlands?
The Netherlands is home to a total of 1.9 million enterprises. The sectors with the largest numbers of companies are specialised business services (374 thousand), trade (243 thousand) and construction (200 thousand).
The vast majority of enterprises employ fewer than 5 people (93 percent). In the specialised business services and construction sectors, the percentage of small enterprises is even slightly higher.
The share of enterprises with 5 employed persons or more is relatively large in manufacturing (18 percent) and the accommodation and food services sector (20 percent). There are 8 thousand enterprises in the Netherlands with 100 or more employees. These companies are most often active in manufacturing (1.3 thousand) and trade (1.1 thousand).
|Bedrijfstak||Number of enterprises|
|Specialised business services||374.1|
|Healthcare and welfare||174.8|
|Culture, sports and recreation||116.2|
|Information and communication||100.4|
|Renting and other business activities||83.8|
|Agriculture, forestry and fishing||75.5|
|Accommodation and food services||64.2|
|Transportation and storage||49.3|
|Real estate activities||28.6|
Enterprise population growing each year
The number of enterprises has been increasing every year. In Q3 2007, there were 1.0 million enterprises in the Netherlands. The majority are classified under the legal form natural persons.noot1 Under this form, one or more persons are severally liable for the company’s liabilities and expenses. An enterprise can also be set up as a legal personnoot2, whereby the enterprise itself is regarded as a person in legal terms.
The increase in the number of enterprises was highest among sole proprietorships. In Q3 2020, two-thirds of all enterprises were sole proprietorships, versus slightly more than 50 percent in the same quarter in 2007. In this period, the number of sole proprietorships more than doubled from 569 thousand to nearly 1.3 million. The number of private limited liability companies, the most common form among legal persons, rose from 126 thousand to almost 380 thousand.
|Jaar||Sole proprietorships||Other natural persons||Private limited companies (BV)||Other legal persons|
A human being (individual) who is recognised as a legal subject and therefore as having legal rights and obligations.
This legal form comprises:
- Sole proprietorships
- Limited liability partnerships
- General partnerships
- Limited partnerships
- Shipping companies
- Cooperation agreements
A legal arrangement through which an organisation is recognised as a legal subject with legal rights and obligations similar to a natural person.
A legal person may act as a natural person in legal proceedings, i.e. have possessions and debts, enter into contracts, initiate legal proceedings or be brought before a court. This legal form comprises:
- Private limited liability companies
- Public companies
- Cooperative societies
- Mutual insurance companies
- Government bodies (central government, provincial government, municipality)
- Legal forms of foreign enterprises
- European Economic Interest Grouping (EEIG)
- Special-purpose assets
- Collective investment funds (FGR)
- Foreign legal forms