What are trust services?
The Act on the Supervision of Trust Offices 2018 (Wet toezicht trustkantoren – Wtt 2018) qualifies five different types of service as trust services. In order to provide these services, you need a licence from De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB).
When applying for licence, you must indicate the type of trust service you plan to provide. Below are the five categories of services that qualify as trust services.
Five categories of trust services
- Being a director/partner of a legal entity/company
Ultimate beneficial owners of an international structure often arrange for their Netherlands-based object company to be managed or co-managed by a trust office. If your company acts as manager of an object company, you provide this service.
- Providing an address or postal address for an object company and performing ‘additional activities’, such as record-keeping or preparing and filing tax returns (domicile plus)
The ‘provision of an address or postal address for a legal entity or company’ qualifies as a trust service (domicile plus) if your company also performs ‘additional activities’, such as record-keeping. If no additional activities are performed, or the additional activities consist only of ‘receptionist work’ – putting through telephone calls and forwarding unopened mail and parcels – this service qualifies as ‘domicile only’. The latter is not a trust service. Additional activities include:
- Advising or assisting object companies, with the exception of receptionist work only
- Preparing and filing tax returns. Please note: you are not permitted to provide trust services and tax advice for the same customer
- Compiling, reviewing or auditing financial statements
- Performing any activities related to the compilation, reviewing or auditing of financial statements
- Recruiting directors
- Selling or intermediating in the sale of legal entities
Intermediation means that your company acts as an intermediary in the establishment of one or more agreements between the client and third parties. This involves more than just bringing the parties into contact; an intermediary performs activities to match supply and demand. Merely referring parties to others does not therefore qualify in principle as intermediation.
- Acting as a trustee
The trust office can act as a trustee on the basis of a trust deed, for example for a shareholding.
- Provision of a conduit company
If you or your company provide your customers with a conduit company, you are performing a trust service. A conduit company (also referred to as an in-house company) is a company which belongs to the same group as the trust office and which the trust office uses for the benefit of one or more customers. Conduit companies are used among other things for:
- the commercial exploitation of intellectual property rights, e.g. image rights, royalties and licences
- consultancy services
- trade services
Related laws and regulations
Information on applying for a licence as a trust office
Authorisation, yes or no?
Applying for authorisation
- Trust offices