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Best Netherlands Trading Brokers

The Best Netherlands BrokersOnline trading is legal in the Netherlands but requires authorization from the Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM), which regulates all financial services providers operating on Dutch soil. As a member state of the EU, the country has also adopted the so-called European passporting regime that enables financial companies to service Dutch customers with licenses issued by other European regulators like the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC). Because of this, most of the regulatory requirements imposed by the AFM overlap with those enforced in the EU under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive of 2014.

Dutch traders face no shortage of licensed brokerage firms that adhere to the EU’s financial regulatory framework. Trading with all major asset groups is legal in the country, including forex, stocks, indices, ETFs, bonds, and commodities. Traders from the Netherlands can speculate on price changes through contracts for difference (CFDs) and have access to maximum leverage capped at 30:1. Retail investors residing on Dutch soil benefit from negative balance protection and other risk-management policies that prevent them from slipping into debt.

On this page, we cover all there is to know about online trading in the Netherlands, including regulations, the payment methods suitable for Dutch traders, and supported trading platforms. Let’s examine the ten best brokers that cater to traders from the country before we delve deeper into trading regulations in the Netherlands.
  • Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM)
  • European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)
Forex Trading Leverage
  • 30:1 for major pairs
  • 20:1 for non-major currency pairs
Stock Trading Leverage5:1 for shares
CFD Trading Leverage30:1

Best Netherlands Brokers

The Best Netherlands BrokersOnline trading is a popular activity in the Netherlands, with a huge number of regulated brokers accepting clients from the country. We created the following ranking to assist Dutch traders in finding the best brokers operating on the local market. Our top ten picks are based on several important criteria, including trading costs, range of available products, supported platforms, and overall reputation. We also made sure all recommended brokers that made the cut are properly regulated and maintain the highest standards of compliance.

Trading Regulation in the Netherlands

Trading Regulation in the NetherlandsThe financial services sector in the Netherlands is overseen by the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM), which took over the regulatory responsibilities of the Securities Board of the Netherlands in 2002. The AFM carries out several important functions, starting with the authorization and supervision of all financial services providers operating in the country. It oversees a range of financial products, including loans, investments, insurance, and savings.

It issues licenses to online brokers, observes for breaches, and imposes sanctions for non-compliance with its regulatory requirements. The watchdog strives to promote confidence in the local financial markets by ensuring they operate smoothly, transparently, and fairly.

It protects the best interests of local investors and operates in conjunction with the Dutch Central Bank (DNB), which is tasked with the implementation of monetary policies and the prudential regulation of financial institutions in the country. Since the Netherlands is part of the European Union, the AFM has obtained membership in the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA).

The Dutch regulatory framework largely aligns with the requirements set forth by ESMA under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive 2014 (MiFID II). MiFID II regulation is applicable to all brokers operating on EU soil. It aims to strengthen the level of consumer protection and make the financial markets in the Union more transparent.

Forex Trading Regulation in the Netherlands

Forex Trading Regulation in the NetherlandsForex brokers must satisfy various requirements to operate legally in the Netherlands. To begin with, they must procure valid operating licenses from the AFM or another financial regulator with supervisory powers in a member state of the European Union. Companies licensed within the EU have ‘European passports’ that enable them to service Dutch residents without additional authorization. Forex brokers that lack authorization in the EU are generally prohibited from catering to traders based in the Netherlands. Regulated brokerage firms must present periodic financial reports to the Dutch regulator.

The reports must contain comprehensive information about the companies’ products and their revenue. This enables the AFM to adequately monitor their financial performance and ascertain licensed brokers are not engaging in any unethical practices or fraudulent activities. If a company’s issued capital grows or declines by 1% or more within any given quarter, these changes must be reported to the regulator without delay. This requirement enables the watchdog to weed out brokers that experience liquidity issues.

Speaking of which, forex brokers must satisfy certain minimum capital requirements to obtain operating licenses in the Netherlands. The firms must also have a physical presence in the country and set up registered offices there. Licensed forex brokers must separate their operating capital from the funds of their customers. They are required to store client money in segregated accounts at reputable first-tier banks.

Stocks Trading Regulation in the Netherlands

Stocks Trading Regulation in the NetherlandsThe AFM has the mandate to regulate stock trading in the Netherlands and oversees the operations of Euronext Amsterdam, which is regarded as the oldest stock exchange in the world. Euronext has branches in several other European capitals, including Paris, Dublin, Oslo, Lisbon, Brussels, and Milan. It is the largest stock exchange in Europe in terms of liquidity pool and market capitalization (€6.3 trillion as of 2022).

The Dutch financial regulator monitors the conduct of all publicly listed companies on Euronext Amsterdam and approves their prospectuses. It keeps a close watch for unethical practices like insider trading that undermine the integrity of the local stock market. Companies that pursue listing on Euronext Amsterdam must satisfy certain initial listing requirements and have their prospectuses approved upfront by the Dutch watchdog or another relevant financial regulator.

There are no minimum market cap requirements to fulfill but the interested companies must have at least 25% of their shares in free float to gain approval. Lower free float percentages bear consideration on condition a company has sufficient shares to ensure enough liquidity. The bare minimum is set at 5% and must correspond to €5 million or more in free float shares available for public trading. Additionally, the applicants for Euronext Amsterdam listing must provide audited financial statements for the past three years.

Both the AFM and ESMA strictly prohibit naked short selling in stock trading. Also known as ‘naked shorting’, this practice is illegal in many countries worldwide because it involves the sale of shares that have not been positively confirmed to actually exist. It negatively affects the prices of stocks and erodes the integrity of the stock market.

Other than that, residents of the Netherlands can legally participate in stock trading as long as they do so with a properly licensed broker. They can purchase shares on the spot market and earn dividends from them. Speculating on stock prices through contracts for difference is also possible. The maximum leverage Dutch traders can take advantage of in this case is capped at 5:1 under ESMA’s requirements.

CFD Trading Regulation in the Netherlands

CFDs Trading Regulation in the NetherlandsContracts for difference (CFDs) are high-risk derivatives that enable traders to speculate on price movements without purchasing the underlying assets. They are characterized by the use of leverage, which enables traders to gain greater market exposure by putting up only a small initial investment called ‘margin’. Traders who use leverage essentially borrow money from their brokers to open larger positions than they can afford upfront. Leverage has the potential to magnify their profits but can also result in devastating losses when market volatility picks up.

Because of this, the AFM imposes various restrictions on CFD trading, which largely overlap with the requirements outlined in MiFID II. CFD brokers operating on the Dutch market must enforce certain leverage caps to mitigate the risks associated with margin trading. The maximum leverage retail traders can use depends on the volatility of the underlying asset. Retail traders from the Netherlands can leverage their positions at the following ratios:

  • 30:1 (3.33% initial margin) for major forex pairs like EUR/USD and GBP/USD
  • 20:1 (5% margin) for minor and exotic pairs, major equity indices, and gold
  • 10:1 (10% margin) for other commodities and equity indices
  • 5:1 (20% margin) for stocks
  • 2:1 (50% margin) for cryptocurrencies

Clients who qualify as professional traders have access to significantly higher leverage ratios. In addition to imposing leverage restrictions, CFD brokers operating in the Netherlands must provide automatic margin close-out protection to all retail customers. If a client does not have a sufficient balance to cover their margin, the broker must send them a margin call prompting them to either replenish their account or close the losing position. If the trader does neither in due time, they will suffer an automatic margin closeout.

The AFM and ESMA requirements stipulate that CFD brokers must provide negative balance protection to customers who trade on margin. This policy prevents inexperienced customers from slipping into debt and losing more money than they have available in their balance during periods of high market volatility. When negative balance protection is in place, a trader’s balance resets to zero rather than going into the red. This protection mechanism is a prerogative to retail clients only and professional traders cannot take advantage of it.

Finally, CFD brokers must publish risk disclosures on their websites to warn their clients about the financial risks associated with margin trading and leverage. The risk warnings should be legible and posted in prominent places. These standardized disclosures must also inform potential customers about the percentage of retail investor accounts that lose money when trading contracts for difference with the respective broker.

Offering promotional incentives that encourage retail clients to participate in CFD trading is also restricted in the Netherlands. In July 2017, the country introduced a ban on the advertising of high-risk derivatives, including contracts for difference.

The Netherlands Trading Regulation FAQ

1. Is trading with binary options legal in the Netherlands?

Marketing, distributing, and selling binary options to retail traders is strictly prohibited in the Netherlands. The ban came into effect in April 2019 and applies to all investment firms registered in the country. The prohibition also extends to investment companies based in other member states of the EU that service Dutch customers under the European passporting framework. The AFM cited the high risk inherent to binary options trading as the reason for its decision to enforce the ban.

2. Can I legally trade with cryptocurrencies in the Netherlands?

Cryptocurrency trading is legal in the country as there is currently no legislation that expressly prohibits such transactions. With that in mind, cryptocurrencies have no legal tender in the Netherlands and do not fulfill the role of fiat money. Cryptocurrency exchanges must register with the Dutch Central Bank (DNB) to legally provide their services within the country. Brokers that facilitate cryptocurrency trading are required to procure AFM or EU licenses.

3. Are brokers necessarily required to obtain AFM licenses to legally service Dutch traders?

Trading with AFM-licensed brokers is highly recommended but not obligatory. The European passporting regime enables all investment firms that carry licenses issued in EU member states to legally service customers based in the Netherlands. Many brokers operate legally on the Dutch market with permits granted by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), which hold weight throughout the EU and the EEA. We recommend you check the official licensee registers of the AFM and ESMA before you open a live account with any broker you are interested in.

4. Are Dutch traders entitled to compensation if their brokers file for bankruptcy?

Dutch traders are entitled to financial restitution under the provisions of Directive 97/9/EC issued by the European Parliament in March 1997. Investors can receive compensation in the event of fraud, operational errors, or insolvency but losses resulting from poor financial decisions and investment risk are not covered by the directive. For example, a stock trader cannot claim compensation if they purchase shares whose value later depreciates. Each investor must receive at least €20,000 in compensation under Article 4.

5. Can Dutch residents legally trade with turbos?

Turbos are similar to contracts for difference in that they enable traders to speculate on rising and declining prices without buying the underlying assets. The chief difference between the two is that turbos have an embedded stop-loss level that causes them to automatically expire once reached. Traders cover all associated costs upfront and cannot lose more than their original outlay.To answer the initial question, turbos are legal in the Netherlands but the AFM imposes various restrictions on them in an attempt to protect retail investors. Said restrictions generally overlap with those applicable to CFDs and include a leverage cap, prohibitions on promotional incentives that encourage turbo trading, and standardized risk warnings. To our knowledge, the maximum leverage turbo traders can use ranges from 30:1 to 5:1, depending on the type of underlying asset.

Funding and Withdrawing from Dutch Trading Accounts

Funding and Withdrawing from Dutch Trading AccountDutch-friendly brokers offer a varied assortment of funding and withdrawal methods, including digital wallets, credit/debit cards, online banking processors, and conventional bank transfers. Traders from the Netherlands incur no conversion fees as all brokers operating on the local market support the euro as a base account currency.

Clients can manage their live balances easily and securely while knowing their funds are stored in top-tier banks. Without further ado, here is a complete breakdown of all common payment methods available to Dutch traders, along with their average processing timeframes and fees.

Depositing to Dutch Trading Accounts

DepositingDutch-friendly trading sites accommodate their clients with a broad range of deposit methods, starting with credit and debit cards by Visa, Mastercard, Visa Electron, and Maestro. Cards are the preferred method of choice for traders looking for low transaction costs, efficiency, and security. Most Dutch-friendly brokers waive their minimum deposit requirements, allowing traders to start with an amount they feel comfortable with. When deposit requirements are in place, however, the minimums are normally set at €5 or €10.

Digital wallets are a viable alternative for clients who are unreluctant to use their cards for online trading transactions. E-wallet brands like PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, and WebMoney are commonly available to traders from the country. They accommodate seamless and secure deposits without requiring users to share their banking information with the payees. The only inconvenience results from the fact you must sign up for an e-wallet account and then top it up with another supported payment method.

Dutch traders can alternatively deposit via locally available online banking processors like iDEAL or Trustly. Transactions with these methods are conducted within the secure online banking environment of participating banks. IDEAL, in particular, is available exclusively to Dutch customers subscribed to the online banking services of ASN Bank, Bunq, Van Lanschot, Rabobank, RegioBank, Knab, Triodos Bank, SNS, and ING.

Standard bank transfers are accepted for deposits as well but are less time-efficient and often incur additional processing fees. The exact costs are bank-specific. As for the processing timeframe, bank transfers usually require up to five business days to complete. Whether you are initiating a domestic or international transfer also impacts the processing times. The timeframe can extend to up to seven days in the case of international transfers.

Whichever method you go for, make sure it is registered in your own name as regulated brokers disallow third-party payments in line with the AFM’s anti-money laundering requirements. There are no reasons for concern when it comes to safety as all banking information is encrypted in transit via SSL.

Common Deposit Methods Offered by Dutch-Friendly Brokers
Type of MethodUsual Limits per TransactionProcessing TimeframesProcessing Fees
Credit and Debit Cards€0 – €10InstantFree
Digital Wallets€0 – €10InstantFree
Online Banking€0 – €10InstantFree
Bank Transfers€0 – €1001 to 5 working daysIntermediary bank charges may apply

Withdrawing from Dutch Trading Accounts

WithdrawingThe withdrawal methods supported by Dutch-friendly online brokers mostly coincide with those available for account funding. Traders usually have their withdrawals returned to the same payment method they have used to initiate deposits. If a method is unsupported for withdrawals, the trader can choose an alternative solution and go through additional verification checks.

Another thing to keep in mind is that most brokers authorized to operate on Dutch soil tend to process withdrawal requests on weekdays only. Traders will experience delays if they send their requests during weekends or bank holidays. With that in mind, e-wallet withdrawals offer the most expedience as they normally take no more than a couple of working days to complete. Withdrawals to wallets like Skrill, Neteller, and PayPal are usually processed free of charge, with minimum cashable amounts starting at €10.

Mastercard and Visa-branded debit/credit cards receive broad support across most Dutch-friendly trading sites. Brokers tend to waive additional transactional costs for card withdrawals but waiting times can extend to five business days. Online banking processors like Trustly are sometimes available for withdrawals. They offer greater flexibility as brokers typically release the funds within a couple of working days.

Bank transfers pose the least time-efficient way to cash out from your online trading account. Dutch customers can anticipate their funds after three to seven business days. Bear in mind bank transfers are often associated with greater costs since intermediary bank charges apply in some cases. Also, the minimum withdrawable amounts are higher compared to other supported methods.

Common Withdrawal Methods Offered by Dutch-Friendly Brokers
Type of MethodUsual Limits per TransactionProcessing TimeframesProcessing Fees
Credit and Debit Cards€103 to 5 working daysFree
Digital Wallets€5 – €101 to 2 working daysFree
Online Banking€101 to 2 working daysFree
Bank Transfers€50 – €1003 to 7 working daysIntermediary bank charges may apply

The Netherlands Trading Platforms

The Netherlands Trading PlatformsDutch-friendly trading sites enable their customers to stay on top of the financial markets whether they are on the go or sitting on their desks. Clients have access to popular third-party platforms like MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, and ViewTrading, which can accommodate traders of all experience levels. Brokers that facilitate social trading tend to work with platforms like ZuluTrade, cTrader, and DupliTrade. Others prefer to use proprietary platforms built in-house to address the unique needs of their customers. The only downside of using proprietary software is that it takes more time to get used to as each in-house platform has a unique interface and technical specifications.

MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5

MetaTrader 4MetaTrader 4 (MT4) is broadly supported by trading sites licensed to operate in the Netherlands. The platform was released in 2005 and went on to become the most popular electronic trading software in the world. Appropriate for beginner and seasoned investors alike, MT4 is packed with neat features and resources that enhance the trading workflow of users. The platform facilitates trading on the foreign exchange markets, although other asset classes like commodities, indices, and equity shares are also tradable through contracts for difference.

It has nine timeframes that range from a minute to one month but users can also create custom timeframes. This earlier version of the software features most of the standard technical indicators traders might need and a single-thread strategy tester. Trading directly from charts is also possible and so is placing orders with a single click of your mouse button. The interface is fully customizable, allowing Dutch traders to tailor their experience to their individual needs.

MetaTrader 5 (MT5) was launched in 2010 as the successor of MT4 and supports a broader range of financial instruments. It enables users to trade futures as well as spots. This is an improved version of the original software, which gives you access to a greater number of timeframes (as many as 21), graphical objects (44), and technical indicators (38). It supports six types of pending orders as opposed to the four types supported by its predecessor, including advanced orders like Immediate or Cancel and Fill or Kill.

MT5 is a better bet for traders who wish to diversify their portfolios and invest in more asset classes. Both platforms are compatible with portable devices running on the iOS and Android operating systems. The downloadable desktop platform can be installed on computers that use Microsoft Windows, Linux, and MacOS, although a browser-based version of the software is also available at Dutch-friendly brokers.


cTraderLaunched in 2010 by Spotware, cTrader is the go-to platform for Dutch traders looking for greater flexibility. It is available in a web format and requires no additional software downloads. The interface is clean and uncluttered, which makes the platform a perfect fit for rookie traders. Those unfamiliar with how eTrader works can test the demo version of the platform. Traders interested in performing technical analysis can take advantage of various charting tools and have access to tons of technical indicators, including oscillators and trendlines.

Chart types like Renko, Candlestick, and Heikin Ashi are included as well. The platform supports 26 timeframes, ranging from one minute to an entire month. Versed traders can share their technical analysis and provide novices with valuable insights on price movements by streaming their charts in real time. Stream links can be shared on social media platforms to the benefit of all interested traders even if they have no cTrader accounts at affiliated brokers.

Traders can better control their risk with limit, stop, and stop limit orders. It is worth mentioning cTrader is a multifunctional web platform since it facilitates algorithmic trading as well as copy trading. It is suitable for everyone as it supports trading with all asset classes, including forex, energies, metals, indices, stocks, iShares ETFs, and cryptocurrencies.


TradingViewDutch-friendly trading sites like Pepperstone and easyMarkets support TradingView, an intuitive platform that doubles as a social network whose community numbers more than 50 million users from around the world. Various instruments can be traded via the platform, including stocks, crypto, equity indices, currency pairs, futures, and bonds. Skilled investors can share their trading ideas to help improve the learning curve of novices. The interface is not as clunky as that in more advanced platforms like MT5, which renders TradingView a solid choice for those who have started to explore the financial markets only recently.

Users can seize lucrative opportunities for profit with the help of advanced trading tools like heatmaps, supercharts, and screeners. The economic calendar allows you to track all major economic news releases that can significantly affect price movements and market volatility. Traders can create configurable watchlists to stay on top of all markets they are interested in.

Charting is where TradingView truly shines, however. The platform provides users with access to over a dozen configurable chart types, including advanced options like Point & Figure and Kagi. Opening up to eight charts in a single tab is possible, not to mention you can also create your own spreads and custom timeframes.

Performing in-depth market analysis is a breeze with TradingView as the platform features hundreds of thousands of technical indicators and smart drawing tools. To top this off, TradingView performs effortlessly on smartphones and tablets, boasting an excellent rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars on Google Play and the App Store.


DupliTradeDupliTrade is a viable alternative for traders from the Netherlands who wish to dabble in copy trading. It enables users to fully automate their trades by following experienced strategy providers and replicating their positions in their own portfolios. A trading simulator is built into the platform, allowing new users to backtest different strategies and analyze the past performance of fellow investors. Strategy providers undergo lengthy assessment and auditing procedures to ensure only the most proficient and successful candidates make the cut.

Less experienced users can shorten their learning curve with algorithmic trading, which is primarily intended for those who trade forex. Other financial instruments like equity indices, stocks, and hard commodities are also available for algo trading but receive less extensive coverage at DupliTrade. Getting started with the platform is beyond easy. All you have to do is set up a free demo account to get acquainted with its features.

We recommend you make the most of your time because free demo accounts expire after a 30-day period. Once you come to grips with how it works you can easily transition to a live account at your preferred Dutch-friendly broker. Traders with live accounts can connect DupliTrade to their MT4 accounts to trade manually.

The Netherlands Trading FAQ

1. Is forex trading legal in the Netherlands?

Forex trading is legal and heavily regulated in the Netherlands. Companies looking to penetrate the local market must acquire licenses by the AFM or another financial regulator based in an EU member state like CySEC, for example. Retail traders from the country have access to negative balance protection, compensation schemes, and various risk management tools that prevent them from running into debt.

2. Are my funds safe at AFM-licensed online brokers?

You have no reasons for concern when trading with brokers regulated by the AFM or another financial watchdog based in the EU. Brokerage firms are required by law to hold the funds of their customers in segregated accounts at first-tier banks. This policy prevents administrative malpractices such as using clients’ money to cover day-to-day operating expenses. The companies are also expected to satisfy certain minimum capital requirements to ensure they have sufficient liquidity to transact with Dutch customers.

3. How can Dutch traders increase their leverage?

The maximum leverage retail traders based in the Netherlands can use is restricted to 30:1 but this ceiling can be lower, depending on the type of asset they speculate with. CFD traders can legally gain access to greater leverage by applying for professional accounts. Candidates must satisfy certain criteria for eligibility. The most common requirements include having sufficient experience in the financial industry as well as having a financial portfolio valued at half a million euros.

4. How can I find a trustworthy broker that accepts customers from the Netherlands?

Finding a reliable broker that services traders from the Netherlands is beyond easy - you can simply consult the list of recommendations published on this page. We have made sure only reputable brokerage firms have made the cut and have carefully vetted every trading site prior to recommending it. All brokerages on this page are regulated and uphold the highest standards of safety and transparency.

5. Can Dutch traders transact with offshore brokers?

Some online brokers accept clients from the Netherlands with licenses issued outside the EU. Transacting with them is not illegal per se and Dutch residents face no prosecution for doing so. The issue with some of these brokerages is that local traders lack legal recourse if the companies declare insolvency. Such brokers often offer significantly higher leverage ratios and have no negative balance protection to the detriment of inexperienced retail traders.