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Residence permit for foreign startups

The Netherlands has traditionally been a country that welcomes entrepreneurial spirits. After centuries of enterprise and ingenuity, the combination of innovation, trade and entrepreneurship remains a driving force within the nation’s economy and is a key source of economic renewal and job creation. As such, it is recognised that entrepreneurs stimulate economic growth.

Are you interested in starting up a company in a competitive environment with a well-qualified workforce? Would you like to experience the high standard of living in the Netherlands? Read more about the advantages the Netherlands offers entrepreneurs.

Finding a facilitator

Since 2015, a new regulation enables ambitious entrepreneurs from non-EU countries to apply for a temporary residence permit for the Netherlands. This gives you one year to launch an innovative business. A precondition is that your startup must be guided by an experienced mentor (facilitator) based in the Netherlands. View a listing of qualified facilitators.


To qualify for a Residence permit for startups you must meet a number of criteria. The innovativeness of your product is one, as is the age of your company. Check all the criteria before you apply.

Ambitious entrepreneurship

Under this scheme, startups are offered the necessary support to develop into a mature enterprise. Read more about how the Dutch government supports ambitious entrepreneurship.


If you apply for a Residence permit for foreign startups you will need to know where to submit your application and who will be reviewing it. Your country of origin also determines what application process you will need to follow.

Extension of the permit

After the first year, the residence permit may be extended by applying to the Dutch government’s self-employment scheme. The startup entrepreneur must receive a statement from the startup facilitator. Or they must meet the standard requirements applicable to the self-employment scheme. For an overview of these requirements, please consult the Immigration and Naturalisation Services (IND) website.

Webinar: Starting a Business in the Netherlands

In March 2018 a free live webinar was held about starting a business in the Netherlands. 

The webinar consists of four parts:
1.    Immigration: coming to the Netherlands
2.    Registration and starting up a business
3.    Taxes for entrepreneurs in the Netherlands
4.    The Dutch Business climate

The topics were discussed by experts and experienced entrepreneurs. Short animated videos were also used. Watch the video via the following link.
Webinar - Starting a Business in the Netherlands

The webinar is brought to you by, the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce (KvK), the Immigration and Naturalisation Services (IND), the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst), the expat centre IN Amsterdam and


Infographic: New permit for startups

Inforgraphic: New permit for start-ups

Transcript: New permit for Start-ups
Start a business in the Netherlands

The Netherlands has much to offer foreign entrepreneurs and investors. A new regulation makes it possible for ambitious entrepreneurs to apply for a temporary residence permit for the Netherlands.

1 Be well-equipped

The following conditions apply for setting up your business in the Netherlands:

  • Sufficient money to live in the Netherlands
  • An innovative product or service
  • A step-by-step plan to develop your idea into a business
  • Registration with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (KVK)

2 Submit your application

To apply for a residence permit, you need to be sponsored by an experienced facilitator. Submit your application at the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND). The costs to process your application are €307.

3 Complete your business plan

Develop your innovative idea into a business plan within one year. You can now apply for a residence permit for entrepreneurs.

4 Be successful

Welcome to one of the five most competitive economies in the world. Expand your business, create new jobs and contribute to economic growth in the Netherlands.