Starting as a franchise entrepreneur

Coming to the Netherlands

If you are coming to the Netherlands as an entrepreneur, you may need a mansion permit. Our synergistic joyride Coming to the Netherlands as an entrepreneur can help you find out promptly if this is true for you, and tell you what early obligations you have to fulfil .

Choose a sector

In the Netherlands, franchises exist in several sectors :

  • Personal services, for instance hairdressers, staff outings organisers, opticians, childcare, or private education;
  • Professional services such as financial services, accounting, and real estate;
  • Food;
  • Hospitality;
  • Non-food.

It goes without saying that your best choice is a sector you find interesting, and have built up experience in.

Choose an approach

It goes without saying that your best choice is a sector you find matter to, and have built up experience in. You can opt for a soft or a hard franchise, depending on how much exemption you want ; or how much province you want to take on.

Soft franchise

If you opt for a soft franchise, you will have a bunch of exemption. You decide how to run the clientele : advertising, market, buy and stock practices are all up to you. In effect, the clientele name and concept are all you franchise. You besides have greater responsibilities and less security .

Hard franchise

When you operate a hard franchise, you are under rigorous rules from the franchiser regarding stigmatize, inventory, buying, and advertise. You will run less risk, and welcome back from the franchiser in many aspects ( from training to being able to use standard advertise and post tools ), but have less exemption .

Tips for choosing a franchise

  • Consider: how well known is the franchise? For how long has it existed? How does the franchise deal with market changes? Talk to entrepreneurs who do business with the franchising organisation, and ask the franchiser about its results and financial situation.
  • Find out if the franchiser is transparent about its business methods. What margins does he operate by, for instance, and how much influence does he have on your margins?
  • Does the franchising organisation have a franchisee association? En does the organisation abide by the European Code of Ethics?
  • Ask other franchisees in the same franchise if they will show you their annual records. Try to find out if there have been many franchisees in the past that have gone bankrupt or have stopped.

How a lot does it cost to become a franchisee ?

To enter a franchise organization, you will normally have to pay an entry fee, a franchise and an advertise accusation. Franchisers can besides demand a minimum investment of either a repair total, or a percentage of the sum start capital required. It differs per organization. The – Dutch linguistic process entirely – Nationale Franchisegids lists the terms and conditions of about all franchisers .

Ask for advice about the franchise contract and the manual

When you enter into a franchise, you will sign a franchise compress. In many cases, there will besides be a manual incorporate hardheaded matters like sales marketing, buying, sales and corporate style. The franchising contract contains the agreements between you and the franchiser. For exemplify : the duration of the agreement, insurances, and the clientele premises. It besides states the fiscal terms, like the share of sales you transfer. The franchise contract and the manual together form the terms and conditions under which you will operate. Before you enter into the agreement, make indisputable you have read the manual, and get advice on the contract. Before you sign, make sure you know :

  • the prognoses for turnover and results for the location you are interested in. The franchiser is not required to give you this information of his own accord, but they are important if you want to form a good impression of your chances and risks. Check if the prognoses are based on verifiable market and location research, specifically for the location you are interested in. Get to the bottom of things and have an independent third party assess the information, if you are in any doubt. You, as franchisee, are obliged to do research and interpret the facts before you sign the contact;
  • your rights and obligations under the terms of the franchising contract. Always read the contract with a critical eye and ask questions. Ask for independent legal advice, if anything is unclear to you;
  • if there is enough room to negotiate. Your franchiser may work with standardised contracts, that leave little room for negotiations. Read the contract carefully, and don’t sign anything until everything is clear. When in doubt, ask a third party for advice. For instance, an accountant or lawyer who specialises in franchising matters.

Pay specific attention to the following aspects of the franchising contract:

  • In what ways does the franchiser support you? Think of marketing, business management, and advice. How much does this cost you?
  • What are the franchiser’s duties, and in how much detail are they defined? Think about promotional activities, and guarding the franchising quality.
  • What are your rights and obligations as a franchisee, for instance: are you obliged to buy certain products/services? And are there any requirements regarding pricing (by the way, under the antitrust act, set prices are not allowed in franchising. The franchiser can only recommend prices).
  • Carefully read what the contract says about your business premises. If you are the owner of the premises, find out if there is a competition clause in your contract, and if there is, what the consequences would be if the franchising contract would end.
  • Determine the scope of the contract: are there stipulations on exclusivity and/or competition after termination of the contract? Is it unequivocally clear what you can and cannot do?
  • Find out what the possibilities are if you want to end your business during the runtime of the contract, because of disappointing results or other reasons. Is there an exit route? Find out the consequences for your investments and costs.
  • Make sure you have legal support insurance that covers franchising disputes. As an entrepreneur, you are not entitled to subsidised legal support by the government.
  • Check if the contract is based on Dutch law for legal procedures and disputes.
  • If your franchising contract mentions arbitration as the preferred method to settle disputes, you may be at a disadvantage as franchisee. Arbitration is not the same as mediation, and is often a costly procedure. One advantage of arbitration is that disputes can be settled faster than by starting a court procedure.

Both parties, franchisee and franchiser, have quite a bit of freedom in determining the conditions and contents of a franchising contract. Be aware of what you enter into and what the contract means for you in practice. Recruit an independent party, someone who will represent your financial and legal interests, to give you advice. As the franchising contract determines how the profits will be divided, the franchiser is your opponent in these negotiations, not your partner.

Choosing a legal structure

Pay specific attention to the pursue aspects of the franchise contract : Both parties, franchisee and franchiser, have quite a bite of freedom in determining the conditions and contents of a franchise abridge. Be mindful of what you enter into and what the compress means for you in practice. Recruit an mugwump party, person who will represent your fiscal and legal interests, to give you advice. As the franchise abridge determines how the profits will be divided, the franchiser is your opponent in these negotiations, not your partner.

You enter into a franchise agreement as an autonomous entrepreneur. This means that you will have to choose a legal structure for your business, to determine liability and tax matters. The most coarse legal structures are sole owner, commercial partnership ( vof ), and private limited ship’s company ( bv ) .

Tool for choosing a Dutch legal structure

If you want to set up a business, but you are in two minds about which legal structure to choose, use our cock for choosing a dutch legal structure. It will guide you through some of the main considerations, such as liability, staff and taxes, and give you advice suited to your needs and wishes.

register with the KVK

You have to register your franchise with the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce ( KVK ). The legal structure you have chosen determines the steps you have to take ( there are different forms to fill out for sole proprietors, commercial partnerships and private limited companies ). When you go in to finalise your adjustment, don ’ metric ton forget to bring your franchising contract, plus a copy of the rental or sale agreement for the business premises you will be located in. If you were already registered at the KVK before you decided to enter into a franchise agreement, you should change your registration. When you register, KVK will pass on your details to the dutch Tax and Customs Administration. Within two weeks you will receive your VAT identification act and VAT number from the Tax and Customs Administration by post. You wo n’t need to register with the Tax Administration individually, unless your business social organization is a limited company or association .

Check if you need an IBAN account

If you plan to start doing commercial enterprise in the Netherlands, you will besides need to have a business bank report ( IBAN ), or, if you do not have one, apply for it. The Dutch Banking Association has created a promptly Scan to help you find out if you are eligible. Read how it works.


In the Netherlands, franchising is not subject to any specific legislation. however, franchise parties are subjugate to general legislation, such as the Competition Act ( Mededingingswet ), the Trade Name Act ( Handelsnaamwet ) and the Benelux Convention on Intellectual Property ( Benelux Verdrag op Intellectueel Eigendom ) .

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Category : Finance