When we decided to investigate moving our business to the Netherlands, our first step was to schedule a free, initial telephone consultation with an immigration lawyer. We discussed our particular circumstances to make sure that we met all the DAFT requirements, and he gave us basic guidelines about what to expect, timelines and cost.
Our next step was to contact the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency, a Dutch government organization that assists businesses looking to invest abroad. We made an appointment to visit the West Holland Foreign Investment Agency office in Den Haag, since their offices serve particular geographic areas where a business is located, and this was the area where we thought we’d be moving. I met with Lissa Boxy, and she noted all our potential needs and answered many questions. She had already scheduled a realtor to take me on a tour of available housing in the area.
NFIA staff regularly provides assistance to large companies that decide to relocate their operations to the Netherlands. I felt that we were provided with that level of service by the West Holland office, even though we were a very small business. Over the course of several months, Lissa located people to answer our specific questions or provide advice in certain areas critical to our business, such as import and customs. They also offered market research assistance and help with locating office rental space.
We subsequently decided to move to Utrecht, and we contacted the NFIA office there for some assistance, which we found to be less responsive and helpful. The West Holland staff was a difficult act to follow.