Between 1896 and 1912, the Netherlands had no established Olympic organisation. The Dutch made do with a few sports federations convening on an ad hoc basis prior to the Olympic Games. On top of that came a single individual, Baron Van Tuijll van Serooskerken, who contributed financially to allow Dutch athletes to participate in the Games. Baron Van Tuijll van Serooskerken was also the first Dutch IOC member.

Drawing inspiration from the Swedish organization responsible for the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm, the ad-hoc committee, now comprising 7 sports federations, turned into a permanent organisation. Soon other federations joined that organization. This marked the beginning of the Netherlands Olympic Committee (NOC), known in Dutch as the Nederlands Olympisch Comité. The NOC was not only set up for supporting elite athletes throughout the year, but also for promoting sport among the Dutch population.

Baron Van Tuijll van Serooskerken also took the lead in bringing the1928 Olympic Games to Amsterdam, which was mainly paid for by contributions from the general public. After this successful event, the NOC began organizing an annual sports event called the Olympic Day to raise funds to assist sports federations and athletes in preparing for future games. 

After a period of very little activity between 1936 and 1945, the NOC began to charge the sport federations a membership fee. The incoming funding went to preparations for participation in the Olympic Games and other purposes. From 1955 onwards, the Dutch government gave more financial support to these ends. The NOC also decided to be more strict in selecting athletes for the Olympics in order to use its limited resources more effectively.

In 1959, the Netherlands Sports Confederations or Nederlandse Sport Federatie (NSF) was founded to provide support to the non-Olympic sport federations. In the following decades, cooperation between the two umbrella bodies NOC and NSF increased, which led to the decision of the two Executives Boards in 1988 to merge. By 1993, after five turbulent years, the merger had been completed. From that point on, NOC*NSF has been the main organization for supporting Dutch sport federations; adding value to elite sport development; acting as the recognised body to send teams to the Games; as well as promoting sport participation and physical activity and Olympism.

In 2012, NOC*NSF celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Netherlands Olympic Committee.