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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. Find an overview of these requirements, on the Immigration and Naturalisation Services (IND) website.

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