Do you want to establish or enhance your company’s position on a foreign market? Do you need fiscal or legal support? A Starters for International Business (SIB) Knowledge Voucher will help you cover the cost of hiring an international lawyer or tax consultant.
The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs created the Knowledge Acquisition Vouchers programme to help companies improve their position on the foreign market. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO.nl) implements this programme on behalf of the ministry.
The knowledge voucher you apply for can be used to:
- assess existing contracts or draw up new contracts;
- utilise general terms and conditions in export transactions;
- register a brand;
- advice on tax rates and double taxation;
- set up a foreign entity;
- gain other legal or tax knowledge aimed at sustainable internationalisation, such as transfer pricing or employment law.
Please mind that your application will be subject to some criteria:
- The services that can be paid with the voucher are not designed to meet your permanent or periodic needs;
- They are not within the range of the services you would usually require, such as routine tax consultancy, or the usual legal advice or advertising;
- Also excluded are: the draw-up of a business plan and application for a foreign bank account.
Dutch SME businesses with (some) international experience. You have already set your sights on a specific foreign market, but have not entered that market prior to your application. The SME test will show if your organisation meets the criteria for an SME business.
Value and budget
The voucher will cover 50% of the costs, up to a maximum of € 2,500, excluding VAT. This translates into 40 consultancy hours. Only one voucher is supplied to each company, group or fiscal unit to which an SME business belongs.
The 2017 budget for knowledge vouchers is € 0.9 million.
The external expert you will hire with the voucher must meet the following criteria:
- He / she works at a consultancy company with legal or tax knowledge with at least 5 employees;
- The expert has more than 5 years of experience in the field of advising on legal or tax issues in the field of international business;
- The expert has professional and intellectual skills at Bachelor degree level or higher.
How to apply
You can apply for the knowledge voucher (in Dutch) on mijn.rvo.nl. RVO.nl processes all applications by date of receipt; the date on which you submitted the application in full. RVO.nl will assess your application and send you a decision within 13 weeks.
When you apply for the knowledge voucher, you must state who the legal or tax adviser is and what activities this expert will carry out. There are no additional limitations on sectors and countries. You must submit the external expert’s quotation and CV. In the quotation, RVO.nl would also like to see a specification of the services to be supplied and their corresponding costs. The offer must not be older than 3 months.
A voucher is valid for 6 months. The activities for which the voucher is supplied must take place within this period. This period of validity may be extended only once, by request, for a maximum of 6 months. A voucher is not transferable.
After completion of the work
Following submission of the final report, you will hand over the voucher to the adviser as proof of the delivered service. The adviser redeems the knowledge voucher from RVO.nl. You will pay the adviser 50% of the costs, up to a maximum of € 2,500 excluding VAT.