Find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about starting a business in the Netherlands.
I want to start a business in the Netherlands
What is a normal self-employed visa?
If you want to set up your own business, work as a freelancer or practice a profession in the Netherlands, you can apply for a self-employed Dutch residence permit. The permit is based on a point based regulation system, what looks at personal experience, your company and the added value for the Netherlands. The normal self-employed permit is a permit for entrepreneurs who already have a well-thought-out business plan, do not need extensive guidance, the product/service does not have to be innovative or already have started their business. The difference between the start-up visa is that the start-up is for entrepreneurs who have an innovative idea and needs guidance in setting up their startup in the Netherlands.
More information can be found here
Where can I apply for the self-employed visa?
The Dutch Immigration and Nationalisation Service (IND) is responsible for handing out residency permits visas. You can find them here
I want to launch a startup in the Netherlands
What is a startup visa?
The startup visa is a fast-track residence permit specially made for innovative entrepreneurs from outside the EU. It allows you to stay in our country and start your business, together with the professional help of a Dutch facilitator.
How can I apply for the startup visa?
You have to meet at least the following criteria:
- You offer a product or service that is innovative;
- You work together with a trusted and experienced Dutch facilitator (mentor).
- You can provide us with a step-by-step plan to develop your idea into a business;
- You have adequate financial resources to reside and live in the Netherlands for at least one year.
Look here more detailed information on above criteria.
Where can I apply for the startup visa?
The Dutch Immigration and Nationalisation Service (IND) is responsible for handing out residency permits visas. You can find them here.
How long does the application for the startup visa take?
On average it takes about two to four weeks after applying and paying the application fee.
What facilitators are there in the Netherlands?
The RVO provides a list of all certified facilitators. Also, see the following page on this page
How can I find a facilitator within my field of interest?
We have facilitators with all kinds of specialities, different types of startup require different types of facilitators. Please contact us, we gladly connect you to a potential fitting facilitator.
I’m an entrepreneur from the European Union, do I need a startup visa?
No, in case you are a citizen of another European Union country you don’t need a visa.
Is it allowed to bring over my family on the startup visa?
Yes. Your Spouse and children can join you to the Netherlands when you obtain a startup visa.
Can my business or startup get funding from the government?
The Dutch government does not directly fund start-ups in the Netherlands. But we do have different incentive programs at the RVO.
I am a facilitator
How can facilitators join the startup visa program?
The facilitator (company) cannot single-handed apply to be a facilitator. So you can only be registered as a facilitator if the application is applied in a combination with a Start-up.
A facilitator needs to meet the following criteria:
- You are registered at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce.
- You provide a package of support, tailored to the specific needs of the startup (like coaching, technology, research, intellectual property protection, access to markets and finance).
- At least two people within your organisation have a minimum of two years’ experience in guiding innovative startups.
- Your company is financially healthy.
Does the facilitator need to provide references?
Yes. To prove experience and expertise, references are needed by providing a clear company description and/or examples of guided entrepreneurs, references and CVs. This information is required for each individual that provides guidance to the startups.
Can a facilitator come from outside the Netherlands?
No, the facilitator has to be registered at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce.