One of the questions you must investigate concerns your choice of legal form for your company. Will it be a Private Limited Company (BV), a sole trader (EZ) or a professional partnership? Or will it be a foundation or association? On Bonaire, the applicable legalisation varies per legal form. There are pros and cons to all those legal forms, depending on the situation. There are, for example, differences in type (legal entities and non-legal-entities), differences in incorporation costs, whether you need to call in a civil-notary or not, etc. The most important differences between the most commonly used legal forms are present in the following two graphs (in Dutch):

More information

It is a good idea to make sure you understand the advantages and disadvantages before you start. If you make an appointment with one of our advisors at the Chamber of Commerce, we can tell you more.

Of course, you can do all that is necessary from home too. For instance, you can decide which legal form will suit your future company best.

Frequently asked questions about legal forms

  • I want to set up a private limited company; I am obliged to see a civil-law notary?

    Yes, a private limited company is a legal entity and they are incorporated at civil-law notary firm by a civil-law notary on Bonaire. It is a statutory requirement from which no departures are permitted or possible. It is also not possible to call in a civil-law notary who does not practise on Bonaire. There are two civil-law notaries on Bonaire, either of whom you may call in. For more information about the incorporation of private limited companies is available in the White Paper, which contains specific information about private limited companies. It is available HERE (in Dutch).

  • Is it possible to convert my sole trader business to a private/public limited company?

    Yes, that’s possible. You will need to visit a civil-law notary to convert your business to a legal entity (both private limited companies and public limited companies are legal entities). The civil-law notary can arrange the incorporation of a private limited company/public limited company. However, you must inform the civil-law notary that you are converting an existing company (in this case, a sole trader business). You can keep the same Chamber of Commerce number that was assigned to you as a sole trader. The sole trader’s details will be re-written as the details of the private/public limited company. You must take into account, however, that you must also switch the permits that are held in name of your sole trader business to the new private/public limited company.

  • Can I have several legal forms to my name?

    Yes, as a person you can have several private and public limited companies and foundations to your name. The only exception is the number of sole trader businesses held in one person’s name. You are not permitted to have more than one sole trader business to your name.

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