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Start your business

Starting your business? You may be eligible for arrangements under company financing (pre-seed funding, Proof-of-Concept) or project financing (others).

Pre-seed funding

The regional Science & Innovation Parks in the Netherlands offer a variety of services: R&D cooperation, regional pre-seed funding and coaching. All partners have incubation facilities in place.


The Proof-of-Concept is meant for:

• SME businesses (small and medium-sized).
• innovative startups (≤ 5 years old).
• academic innovative startups (whose economic activities directly and immediately result from research by a university or academic hospital).

It is a loan to research whether your idea is potentially feasible in the market with a minimum project size of €50,000.


• a business plan showing you will grow substantially.
• a declaration of intent from the future investor, who will finance your proof-of-concept/innovation phase. This has to at least equal the amount you receive from the government.


Fill in the Quick Scan and talk to an RVO advisor to assess your chances for a successful application.


Eurostars is meant for R&D-intensive SMEs who want to perform research and development resulting in a marketable product, process or service. It is a funding for your part in an international R&D project between organisations from at least 2 Eurostars member states.


€500,000 of funding of Dutch project activities.


R&D-intensive (either 5-10 ftes or >10% of ftes or 10% of their turnover dedicated to R&D activities)


R&D payroll tax allowance

The R&D payroll tax allowance  (in Dutch called WBSO) is meant for a) companies who pay wage costs for R&D and have R&D costs and/or expenditures, such as prototypes or research equipment or b) self-employed entrepreneurs who pay income tax and who make a minimum of 500 hours a year on R&D. It will help you lower your tax costs.

For companies
For self-employed entrepreneurs
  • 32% payroll tax deduction of the first €350,000 of total R&D costs (40% for startups)
  • 16% payroll tax deduction of all further R&D costs
  • a fixed income tax deduction of €12,522
  • start-ups are entitled to an additional deduction of €6,264

Special regulation for startups

If your startup has received an R&D declaration in which you have been granted the additional startup tax incentive (common wage tax regulation) or share option scheme for startups could be of interest to you. These regulations offer income tax advantages to startups. The requirements are:
  • the proposed R&D activities take place in your own company
  • the technological development is new to your organisation
  • the development is accompanied by technical problems and
  • the R&D work has yet to take place (in other words, you must always submit a WBSO application in advance).


Do you wish to apply for the WBSO? Fill in the Quick Scan to see if you meet the basic requirements.

Reduced wage in the customary salary scheme

Pay yourself the minimum wage for a period of max. 3 years in the customary salary scheme instead of the normal wage in the customary salary scheme. The scheme is DGAs of startups. A DGA (director-majority shareholder) is an employee of a startup in which he/she – or his/her life partner - has a substantial interest (usually as director and controlling shareholder).


The salary in the customary salary scheme is € 45,000 a year (2017), the minimum wage is € 1,565.40 a month for someone over 22 and working fulltime (2017).


You must have a ‘startup R&D declaration’ from WBSO. Get in touch with us to get more info or use a translator to visit this Dutch website

Energy and Environmental Investment Allowances

The Energy Investment Allowance (EIA) is meant for companies who invest energy-saving installations or that make use of sustainable energy. You can deduct 55% of the investment costs from the fiscal profits, on top of your usual depreciation. As a result, you pay less income tax or company tax. On average, the EIA gives you a 13.5% tax advantage.

The Environment Investment Allowance (MIA) is meant for companies who invest in environment-friendly installations. You can deduct 36% (or 27% or 13.5%) of the investment costs from the fiscal profits, on top of your usual depreciation. As a result, you pay less income tax or company tax. On average, the MIA gives you a maximum 9% tax advantage.


Martin Otten:

Innovation Credit

The innovation credit is meant for companies that carry out one of these type of projects:

  • advisory projects
  • feasibility projects
  • R&D-cooperation projects
  • knowledge vouchers


Robert van Haaften:

Top Sector Energy tenders

There are Top Sector Energy tenders that are open for consortia. As an SME you can form or join a consortium. The Top Sector Energy supports research and development for energy innovations. There is an amount of €130 million available for 12 arrangements annually.