Startup permit

Startup permit

In order to try and attract more entrepreneurs to the Netherlands, the Dutch government has created the Startup Permit. This residence and work permit allows you to start a company in the Netherlands, and move to the Netherlands to become an entrepreneur. 

What are the requirements? 

The first requirement to note is that you must play an active role in the development of the start-up. This means that you cannot just be a financier or investor. Aside from this: 

You must work with a facilitator 

If you'd like to apply for a Startup permit, you will need to collaborate with a business facilitator. A facilitator must: 

  • Have experience with mentoring start-ups 

  • Be financially healthy 

  • Have never been granted ‘suspension of payment', or been put into liquidation, and has no negative equity capital 

  • Not have a majority interest in the start-up company 

  • Not be your child, parent, grandparent, uncle or aunt (family up to and including the third degree) 

  • Have a deputy within the organisation 

You can find a list of approved facilitators on the website of the Dutch service for entrepreneurship (RVO). Often, a start-up hub will have approval to be a facilitator. Read more about startup hubs in The Hague region here


The idea for your company must be ‘innovative’ 

As part of the assessment process, your business idea will be judged for its ‘innovativity'. In general, this means that: 

  • The product or service is new to the Netherlands 

  • The startup uses new technology in production, distribution and/or marketing 

  • The startup has a new way of working and organising 

These requirements are deliberately kept quite open to increase the number of entrepreneurs that can apply. The RVO has more information on ‘innovative business’. 


You must present a business plan as part of your application 

When submitting your application to the Dutch immigration service (IND), you must also include a step-by-step business plan. Your facilitator should be able to help you format this. The plan must include the following information: 

  • The structure of the organisation 

  • Roles and responsibilities 

  • Legal form 

  • (Proposed) personnel 

  • The company’s goals 

  • A description of your innovative product or service 

  • A description of the planning and activities involved in setting up the company 

When considering personnel and staffing, please note that there is also a permit to help entrepreneurs bring in the right talent to help their business. This is called the Essential Startup Personnel Permit. 


Kamer van Koophandel (KvK) registration 

All businesses in the Netherlands must be registered with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce, or the KvK. When you submit your application for the Startup Permit, you will have to demonstrate that your company and facilitator are registered. More information is available on the KvK website


Proof of income and funding 

When you submit your application, you will also need to show that you have income in the Netherlands to sustain you whilst you grow your business. More information about income requirements in general is available on the IND website. 

You can demonstrate your income and funding one of two ways: 

  • You can show a bank statement demonstrating that you have enough money in your account 

  • Having another legal entity or natural person, for example the facilitator, finance your stay. The amount of money must be available for your entire stay (1 year at most) 

Checklist for applications 

You can submit your application either online (via your facilitator), or yourself through the mail. Before you apply, make sure to: 

  • Have a collaboration agreement with a facilitator 

  • Complete your business plan 

  • Have all of your documents (ie. Proof of income) ready 

  • Have proof of your KvK registration ready 

  • Make sure that all of your documents are legalised and translated into Dutch, English, French; or German 

  • Check to see if you require an MVV visa (if you plan on coming to the Netherlands before submitting the application) 

  • Make sure you can pay the 349 euro application fee 


You may also be interested in our information on the Highly-Skilled Migrant permit, our information on investing and being an entrepreneur in The Hague region, or our information about job seeking in The Hague region.