As of 1 August 2021, a European citizen must be able to set up a company entirely digitally. Together with the KNB, KVK, ABN AMRO and the Tax Administration, the Dutch Blockchain Coalition is investigating how the 'Company Passport' can simplify the process of founding a company and trade with other organizations while guaranteeing (legal) certainty by further digitizing the processes, making use of Self Sovereign Identity and trust services embedded in eIDAS since 2021.
Vision: Using Digital Data to enhance (legal) trust and convenience for entrepreneurs and society as a whole
There is a growing need among entrepreneurs, as well as government and public organisations, to be able to identify themselves and each other (individuals or companies) seamlessly and with greater certainty cross-border. Processes in service provision can be optimized and automated, providing a chance to enhance collaboration among various parties in the chain.
This desire for convenience and the need for certainty has led to the creation of the Company Passport.
What is the Company Passport?
The Company Passport is a Trust Framework (TF) leveraging eIDAS to enable safe and seamless trade with other businesses, consumers and interaction with public parties. The Company Passport TF provides trust services based upon following efforts:
• Established funding model
• Standards, taxonomy
• Technical architecture
• Legal framework
• Operational arrangements
The Company Passport can facilitate many use-cases in numerous categories such as setting up a company, customer due diligence (share relevant KYC data) and facilitate in business interactions (seamless taxation, authorize employees to act on behalf of the company). One example of a concrete use-case is setting up a company.
Use-case 1: New company and opening a bank account
An entrepreneur must resubmit many documents several times before setting up a company and also identify himself several times. This often entails additional costs and takes a lot of time. Even after the registration process, the entrepreneur must identify himself several times a year with existing data, for example to open a bank account, enter into a commercial relationship or to access a wholesaler. This requires applying again for -often the same - documents.
Step by step towards the Company Passport
In early 2022, a research agenda was established that included questions related to legal and technical aspects. These questions have largely been addressed in a research report, with extensive attention given to the value case for entrepreneurs and the involved organizations.
A summary of these efforts, along with a glimpse into the upcoming phase during 2023/2024, can be found in the brochure. Meanwhile, the Company Passport is gaining increasing recognition and visibility within key networks, as evidenced by the annual innovation award presented to the Company Passport by the Tax Administration. Together, we are taking the next steps towards a borderless digital future for enterprises.
As the proposition becomes increasingly concrete, we are seeking institutions and organizations that are interested in contributing to the design and further functionalities of a future Company Passport. If interested, please contact us.