Netherlands remains one of the most competitive advanced economies, with a regulatory framework that is overall a friendly environment for entrepreneurial activities. Starting a new business is quick and inexpensive, with no minimum required capital. Obtaining a construction permit is burdensome, due to a high number of procedures, some of which are time consuming. Compliance with tax procedures is not burdensome, due to low number of annual payments and widespread use of electronic filing. However, there are still administrative requirement that pose hindrance to business activities. However, high tax rates and restrictive labour regulation pose significant cost on businesses. Labour code could be considered as restrictive, especially regarding firing regulations, providing high
employment protection for workers, which led to overly high number of workers being self-employed through independent or one-person company (ZZP). Severance pay is low, but the role of third parties (workers council, trade unions and the employment office) in redundancy process is excessive, with long redundancy notice periods increasing with years in tenure, protecting more seasoned workers. New labour regulations introduced in 2015 brought more inflexibility, limiting the duration of fixed contracts to two years, eliminating automatic expiration of fixed term contracts and introducing consideration period for workers after mutually agreed termination of contract.