A trust office, also known as a Corporate Service Provider, is an office that manages companies and is therefore different from an Anglo-Saxon trust.
Trust offices offer legal and financial services to foreign companies that want to establish themselves in the Netherlands. This includes assistance with establishing a legal entity, providing the address (domicile), preparing the financial statements and accounting, compliance activities, legal and administrative support. In addition, trust offices often work with notaries and tax advisors, trust offices themselves are not allowed to offer tax advice. The trust office often acts as (co) director of its clients and is ultimately responsible and liable for the proper daily business of its clients. As a trust office, we help our clients run their business in accordance with Dutch laws and regulations.
In order to offer the above services, trust offices need a licence from the Dutch Central Bank and fall under the scope of the Trust Office Supervision Act (Wtt 2018) (Wet toezicht trustkantoren). In addition to the Wtt, we are also bound by the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Act (Wwft) and the Sanctions Act 1977. Within these frameworks, trust offices have an important social role, namely that of gatekeepers. In this role, we screen companies and cash flows. And we have a task to verify UBO identification. After all, it is of the utmost importance to know the “ultimate beneficial owner”; to know who the ultimate stakeholder or owner is, or has control over an organisation. This contributes to preventing money laundering and terrorist financing. In addition, trust offices identify unusual transactions and detect sanctions evasion, tax fraud and aggressive tax avoidance. Trust offices help to monitor the integrity of the Dutch financial system and thus have an important social added value. By helping companies understand and comply with Dutch laws and regulations, trust offices contribute to an attractive Dutch business climate, so that the economy continues to grow and thrive.