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  • Writer's pictureCaspar van der Winden

Possible new legal form in the Netherlands: The Stewardship Partnership

Graphical representation of the rentmeestervennootschap (stewardship partnership) model, showing the separation of control and financial interests in a sustainable business framework.

On April 16, a majority of the Dutch Lower House adopted a motion requesting the government to develop a new legal form: the 'stewardship partnership'. This initiative, proposed by D66 and NSC, introduces a model that is particularly suitable for steward-owned companies.

The 'stewardship partnership' differs from traditional corporate structures like the private limited liability company (B.V.), where shareholders usually possess both control and financial interest. In the stewardship model, these two elements are separated:

  • Control: This is exercised by the stewards, who focus on the long-term interests and objectives of the company.

  • Profit: The profits are reinvested in the company, with a limited dividend that serves as a reasonable compensation for the invested capital.

This model would not only promote the continuity and purposefulness of companies but also ensure strong community involvement and financial resilience. Well-known Dutch companies such as Efteling and TBI already apply this model.

The introduction of the 'stewardship partnership' could simplify the current complex and costly structuring via multiple private limited companies and foundations, which should bring about a significant reduction in costs and administrative burdens. This could provide an attractive new option for both existing and starting enterprises that are looking for sustainable business operations where value remains within the company. However, it is essential to critically examine what actual benefits this new legal form offers compared to existing possibilities (private limited companies where voting rights are separated from profit rights in conjunction with foundations).


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