Dutch accounting standards


The Dutch environment for corporations, partnerships and privately owned businesses is highly regulated. Business owners in the Netherlands have to comply to strict accounting standards. The most important part of the Dutch corporate procedures are the financial statements, the audit, and their publication.

Dutch GAAP: accounting standards in the Netherlands

The Dutch accounting standards are set by law. The Dutch GAAP, or Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, are mainly based on official instructions of the EU. Dutch GAAP applies to all legal entities in the Netherlands. However, special rules apply to stock listed companies, financial institutions and insurance companies.

Dutch GAAP still differs from International Financing Reporting Standards (IFRS), but the Dutch accounting standards are being brought in line with IFRS on a continuing basis.  Since 2005, all listed companies in the EU should apply to IFRS. This applies to Dutch financial institutions and insurance companies as well.

In general, Dutch accounting standards require that financial information must be understandable, relevant, reliable and comparable.

Preparing financial statements in the Netherlands

Every Dutch corporate entity is obliged to prepare financial statements. This obligation is set by the law and is usually incorporated in the statutes of the business. The financial statements should always reflect the company’s actual position.

In general, a branch of a foreign company in the Netherlands, is not required to prepare its own financial statements. A foreign company which is obliged to file its annual accounts in its home country, is also required to file a copy of these annual accounts to the Dutch Chamber of Commerce. These should be filed to the Chamber of Commerce where the main Dutch office is located.

Audit requirements in the Netherlands

Medium and large companies are required by Dutch law to have their annual report audited by an independent, qualified and registered Dutch auditor.

The following business in the Netherlands are obliged to have their annual report audited:

  • Businesses with at least 50 full time working employees
  • Businesses with a net revenue of at least 12 million Euro
  • Businesses with a total balance of at least 6 million Euro

Audits are not only obliged by Dutch law, they also provide an organization the opportunity to qualify for various government aids, loans and subsidies. Van Eert Accountants and Advisers are qualified and registered Dutch auditors who can execute the audit for your business.

Publication requirements in the Netherlands

Within 5 months after the end of the financial year, the financial statements must be prepared and approved by the managing directors of the company. Within 2 months after the financial statements have been approved by the managing directors, the shareholders must adopt the financial statements.

The company then must publish its annual report, no later than eight days after the approval of the financial statements by the shareholders. This means filing a copy of the financial statements with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce.

Van Eert Accountants and Advisers can help you

Would you like more information regarding Dutch Accounting standards? Are you looking for a registered Dutch auditor, or do you need help preparing your financial statements? Van Eert Accountants and Advisers in Eindhoven can help you. Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information.