The Netherlands is a thriving and prosperous country and an attractive place to live and locate your business in. This is reflected by its status as the sixth-largest EU economy, the world’s fifth-largest exporter and a Forbes ranking as the fourth-best country for doing business in the world (2018). Utrecht Region, in the heart of the Netherlands, offers a competitive, innovative and stable business climate with excellent academic and research infrastructure. The region’s thriving economy is focused on smart solutions, green policies, innovation and health (discover our key sectors). Over 1,000 foreign companies have already joined its vibrant business community.
Since 2010, Utrecht Region has been consistently ranked by the European Commission’s Regional Competitiveness Index as the most competitive region on the mainland. The index covers 263 regions throughout Europe and comprises 11 pillars focusing on different aspects of competitiveness. Utrecht scores particularly well when it comes to infrastructure (digital and physical), health, human capital and innovation. Utrecht Region is one of the most innovative regions in Europe and number one in the Netherlands (Regional Innovation Scoreboard, European Commission 2019), offering a supportive and collaborative environment. Companies, research institutes, government and residents work together to foster a healthy, innovative and sustainable society.
Utrecht Region’s history, welcoming character and natural beauty have long inspired innovation and creativity. World-class architects including Gerrit Rietveld and artists such as Piet Mondrian and Dick Bruna, creator of children’s cartoon character Miffy, were born and raised in the area. Innovation and creativity also bolster an innovative start-up community. Joining Utrecht Region’s start-up ecosystem has been made easy with the introduction of the Start-up Visa, a special residence permit for international entrepreneurs.
Dynamic R&D environment
Its renowned research institutes and universities, test facilities and skilled talent pool make the Netherlands one of the leading destinations for R&D activity. The country holds the second highest rate of R&D jobs in Europe, second only to Denmark. Utrecht Region’s outstanding academic institutions combine teaching and research expertise with strong international links and an openness to collaborating with the business world. At the Utrecht Science Park (USP), education, expertise, medical care and entrepreneurship meet; its businesses and institutes are all within walking distance of each other. This integrated ecosystem brings out the best of business, industry and academia and helps to create a healthier, safer and more sustainable world for today’s and subsequent generations.
We do everything we can to ensure that the region continues to be innovative and competitive, with a number of initiatives designed to support companies. There are also national incentives, including a low corporate tax rate of 20-25%, advanced tax rulings, a wide tax treaty network, dedicated R&D tax incentives, a 30% personal income advantage for highly skilled migrants and co-financing instruments. We will happily advise you on which incentives are applicable to your business and introduce you to the people and the networks you need to capitalise on them.