How to check a company from the Netherlands?

Since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine and the imposition of sanctions on Russia (also on Belarus), the risk of foreign trade has increased. Polish entrepreneurs are exposed to high penalties for economic cooperation with entities listed on the international blacklist, including trade in certain types of goods and services prohibited. These entities have learned to circumvent EU embargoes, often disguising themselves as foreign companies. One of the staunchest advocates against sanction circumvention is the Netherlands. Therefore, how to check a company from the Netherlands to ensure it’s not linked to Belarus or Russia?

Exercising due diligence in verifying a contractor

In today’s times, setting up a company is very easy. In many countries, this can be done without leaving home, via the Internet. Therefore, one can never be sure who truly operates under a created name and entry in the registry until verified. Verification involves commonly used actions in commercial intelligence, starting with verifying the reliability and timeliness of the contractor’s documentation: National Court Register (KRS), Tax Identification Number (NIP), Statistical Number (REGON), as well as permits and certificates necessary for conducting specific activities.

Verification can be done by obtaining information from relevant individuals and institutions such as registry courts, Social Insurance Institution (ZUS), tax offices, national and international chambers of commerce. It’s valuable to delve into the history of the company and its owners, including opinions about the company, by searching the Internet or asking other entrepreneurs, contractors of this entity, as well as directly from the interested party. One must remember that failure to exercise due diligence in selecting a contractor carries legal consequences, e.g., being accused of knowingly participating in irregularities, resulting in further tax and legal sanctions.

Economic cooperation with the Netherlands

According to government data available on for 2020, the Netherlands is one of the wealthiest European Union countries. Its GDP at that time amounted to 912.2 billion dollars, ranking the Netherlands as the 16th largest economy in the world and the 5th largest in the EU. The value of the Dutch GDP per employed person is $52,300 (18th place in the world). Nine key sectors of the Dutch economy include agriculture and food, creative industry (interior design, gaming, fashion, and architecture), chemical industry, energy industry, high-tech, horticulture and substrates, natural sciences and health, logistics, and water (the Netherlands is a global leader in water resource management).

Based on data from KUKE in the Polish Development Fund Group, in 2020, the value of Polish exports to the Netherlands amounted to 45.315 billion PLN, and imports to 40.421 billion PLN. The most commonly exported items to the Kingdom of the Netherlands are machinery and mechanical equipment, electrical equipment and their parts, food products, and various industrial articles. Conversely, the most frequently imported items include machinery and mechanical equipment, electrical equipment and their parts, vehicles, airplanes, ships, and other means of transport, as well as chemical industry products.

Poland’s economic relations with the Netherlands are governed by EU legislation and bilateral agreements, primarily the convention signed on February 13, 2002, which came into force on January 1, 2004, and the declaration on cooperation between the Minister of Economy of the Republic of Poland and the Minister of Economic Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in September 2009.

National and EU sanctions

In connection with the violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, the European Union imposed 11 sets of sanctions on Russia by June 23, 2023. Poland also imposes additional sanctions. These include key individuals in Russia and companies from this country and Belarus. Trade in goods and services with Russian and Belarusian companies is prohibited. Polish entrepreneurs face financial penalties of up to 20 million PLN and up to 15 years imprisonment for violating these sanctions. However, Russian and Belarusian entrepreneurs have learned to circumvent international bans by using, among other things, complex holding structures established in other countries where it’s difficult to detect the real ownership structure.

In February 2023, a year after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, the Netherlands called on EU member states to establish a European central body for enforcing sanctions. The centralized EU body from Brussels is to deal with the widespread circumvention of sanctions against Russia, as revealed by the European news service EURACTIV. Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra said that although Russia is suffering greatly due to EU’s restrictive measures, they are also being widely circumvented. Therefore, the Netherlands aims to combine information and available EU resources in prosecuting evasion of sanctions to combat this practice. In the Netherlands, violations of EU sanctions can result in financial and criminal liability for both companies and individuals (e.g., for violations committed personally or when considered as instructing persons or actual managers of violations committed by the company).

Detailed information regarding the types of EU-prohibited economic transactions with Belarus and Russia can be found on the European Council’s websites: The Official Journal of the European Union at the address: contains a list of individuals and entities subject to sanctions. The Polish Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration also maintains an updated register of entities subject to sanctions, where one can check the contractor, their connections, reasons for inclusion in the register, and applied sanctions:

Hence, the first step in checking a company from the Netherlands can be to see if it appears in any of the aforementioned registers. Another source of useful information is Council Regulation (EU) 2022/576 of April 8, 2022, amending Regulation (EU) No 833/2014 concerning restrictive measures in connection with actions destabilizing the situation in Ukraine.

Economic intelligence, or how to verify a contractor from the Netherlands?

Verification of the contractor can be entrusted to a professional economic intelligence agency, specializing in such tasks on a daily basis. A private detective in Warsaw, Poznań, Wrocław, or other cities will know how to access necessary information verifying the current or future contractor.

The most important way to verify a contractor and their potential connections to Belarus or Russia is to establish the entity that is their ultimate beneficiary, and then check if it is listed on the aforementioned sanction list maintained by MSWiA (Ministry of Interior and Administration). Determinations can be made in the Central Register of Ultimate Beneficiaries maintained by the Minister of Finance:

Environmental intelligence

A publicly available way to obtain information about the contractor is to search online resources. Verifying a company, checking if it has a website, what opinions exist about it, one might encounter some publication about it. If, for certainty, we do not wish to do this ourselves, we can entrust the research to a detective agency specializing in professional economic intelligence. Because sources of information are much more than just the World Wide Web. One could, for instance, approach the Polish Embassy in The Hague with inquiries about a specific entity, whether complaints have been received from other entrepreneurs, or if according to the knowledge of the diplomatic mission, the Dutch contractor has a bad reputation? Similar information can be provided by Polish-Dutch chambers of commerce.

Direct inquiry to the contractor

In case there are difficulties in establishing the ownership structure of a business partner using available registers, another method of verification within economic intelligence actions is to directly request confirmation from them about who their ultimate beneficiary is. Of course, to validate the response, one can ask the Dutch entrepreneur to provide documents confirming their declarations.

Polish and EU registers

In the Public Information Bulletin of the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Technology, as the minister responsible for the economy, a register of representations of foreign entrepreneurs is maintained. If we find the representation of our contractor in this register, we can assume that they still exist and conduct business.

Another register in which one can check a contractor is the European Union’s VAT taxpayer register and the EORI register. Companies and individuals wishing to conduct commercial activities within the Union must use the EORI number as an identification number in all customs procedures. The VAT Information Exchange System (VIES), a search engine operated by the European Commission, allows checking if a particular entity is registered as conducting intra-Community transactions. This is necessary, among other things, to apply a 0% VAT rate to a specific transaction. If VIES does not confirm the registration of the contractor, one can request verification from the tax office of the country where they are based. It’s also important to check if the company has the necessary permits and certificates, if required in a given country.

The Register of Insolvent

Debtors allows checking if a particular contractor is not on its list. There are also economic information bureaus that have detailed information about the activities of companies. BIK, the Credit Information Bureau, established by the Association of Polish Banks, gathers data on the credit history of bank customers, credit unions, as well as non-banking loan companies.

Dutch company registers

The Dutch Commercial Register ‘Handelsregister’ is maintained by the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel, It provides an overview of economically significant entities and legal persons in the Netherlands, including: individuals conducting business, associations, foundations, liberal professions (e.g., lawyers, doctors, artists), owners’ associations, churches, and state offices.

Information about companies includes data on: management, changes made within the company, annual financial reports, and ownership structure information. Part of the service is available in English, but the search engine is only in Dutch. Basic information in Handelsregister—such as contact details, chamber of commerce number, and establishment number—is available free of charge, but there is a fee for other types of information, e.g., official extracts, financial reports, and other documents (, (direct search link:

“” is a simple and fast database with limited information about listed companies in the Netherlands. It retrieves free data from The information available in this database includes entity type, date of establishment, sector, and company number. Searching is done by KVK number. The search engine is only available in Dutch (

“Octrooicentrum Nederland Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland” (Dutch Patent Office) maintains a register of intellectual property data, enabling searches by name and application number. Clicking on the publication number allows viewing the applicant, inventors, and their addresses. Searching is possible in Dutch and English (

“InfoClipper” is a commercial company search engine available in English and French. It provides registry and financial information about businesses, covering 4.6 million Dutch entities (

It’s better to thoroughly check the contractor

Before making a transaction or engaging in cooperation with a contractor from the Netherlands, it’s better to conduct economic intelligence and thoroughly check them, especially to ensure they aren’t associated with Belarus or Russia. Violation of prohibitions on specific types of transactions with these countries and specific individuals and companies could result in a financial penalty of up to 20 million PLN and 3 to 15 years of imprisonment. Moreover, verifying a contractor and exercising due diligence in their selection is a requirement always incumbent on entrepreneurs as professional market participants.

Do you already know how to check a company from the Netherlands? If not, or if you need to find more detailed information, we can help. Feel free to contact us.

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