VAT on the sale of enterprises in the Netherlands

When planning to sell or purchase an enterprise, it is to your benefit to timely enquire after VAT on the selling price.

General Rule

VAT is generally not levied on the sale of an enterprise. In many cases, you should charge VAT, though, especially when you sell autonomous parts of an enterprise. These parts, for example the brand name, a rented commercial property or customer base are still subject to creditors, lease agreements, an inventory or supply. Since the Dutch tax authorities do not recognize the sale of those parts as a genuine transfer of an enterprise, they charge VAT on the selling price.

 Object to VAT

When you are of the opinion that the sale concerned a transfer, rather than a partial purchase of the enterprise, you can object to the VAT. If, however, you are not able to justify this objection, you will not be freed from VAT. Therefore, it is crucial to put every agreement in writings and have the contract signed by both parties. The contract, which should be mentioned in the invoice of the sale, enables you to justify the transfer at all times.


Please feel free to contact us for more information regarding VAT or taxes in general. We are happy to be of assistance. 

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