Kamer van Koophandel en Fabrieken voor Amsterdam v Inspire Art Ltd

Kamer van Koophandel en Fabrieken voor Amsterdam v Inspire Art Ltd (2003) C-167/01 is a leading corporate law case, concerning the EU law of freedom of establishment for companies.

Kamer van Koophandel v Inspire Art Ltd
CourtEuropean Court of Justice
Full case nameKamer van Koophandel en Fabrieken voor Amsterdam v Inspire Art Ltd
Decided30 December 2003
Citation(s)(2003) C-167/01
Right of freedom of establishment


The art company "Inspire Art Ltd" claimed that the Dutch law requirement for a minimum capital to operate in the Netherlands was an unjustified restriction on its right to freedom of establishment (now under TFEU article 49). The company was incorporated in the United Kingdom, which accords to the "incorporation theory" rather than the "real seat theory" of establishing a business in conflict of laws. It wished to carry out business in the Netherlands, running an Amsterdam art studio. Dutch law, however, applied to pseudoforeign companies to impose minimum capital requirements on businesses operating within the country. When the Dutch authorities required the company to comply with Dutch law, the question was whether that disproportionately interfered with Inspire Art Ltd's right to freedom of establishment.


The Court of Justice held that creditor protection did not justify imposing additional requirements to those of the United Kingdom, where Inspire Art Ltd was incorporated. In this case, creditors were sufficiently protected by the fact that the company held itself out not as a Dutch company but one subject to UK law. The minimum capital requirements were a disproportionate method of achieving the aim of creditor protection.

See alsoEdit

US cases


  • M Andenas, 'Free Movement of Companies' (2003) 119 LQR 221
  • P Dyrberg, 'Full Free Movement of Companies in the European Community at Last' [2003] ELR 528
  • WF Ebke, 'Centros – Some Realities and Some Mysteries' (2000) 48 American Journal of Comparative Law 623

External linksEdit