Start and grow a startup in the Netherlands

Published on:
11 April 2022
Last checked on:
24 October 2023

For startup entrepreneurs who want to grow their business in the Netherlands.

Do you have an early-stage or fast-growing startup in the Netherlands? The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) offers special funding, a robust national network, and personal advice for innovative startups.

If your company is not based in the Netherlands yet, please find more information via Point of Entry (mainly for entrepreneurs outside of Europe) or Welcome to NL.


If you are active in app development or other non-demanding technologies, chances are support is not available or limited. Please refer to SME Financing via

We offer different kinds of funding useful for innovative startups that have just started their business or want to accelerate their growth in the Netherlands.

Proof-of-concept funding

Still in the early stage (idea phase) of development? You can use Proof-of-concept funding to determine if your idea is technologically and commercially feasible. Apply for proof-of-concept funding at RVO if your startup is based in the following provinces:

  • Groningen 
  • Friesland
  • Drenthe

If your company is in a different province in the Netherlands, please get in touch with ROM (Regional Development Agency).

Tax credit R&D

Are you looking for a tax reduction on your payroll tax? Check out the Tax credit for research and development (WBSO) if you have R&D activities in your company.

Innovation credit

Are you looking for financial support for your technical or clinical risk development project? Innovation Credit could be the scheme for you.

Horizon Europe

The European Union also supports innovative developments. There are many support programmes. The special RVO team, Horizon Europe, can help you.

Seed Capital

Ready to start your commercial phase? Seed Capital can boost the market introduction of your technology.

Seed Business Angel

Speed up your last development and prepare your commercial success with business angels organised in a fund: Seed Business Angel.

Better chances to receive funding through IP rights

Did you know that startups that apply for a patent or other form of intellectual property right (IP right) early on, are up to 10 times more likely to receive funding than startups that do not? Read the study (pdf) by the European Patent Office (EPO) and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) on how IP rights help innovative startups get funding to develop their ideas into market-ready products and services.

Personal advice

Is specific Dutch legislation getting in the way of your innovative idea? Or would you like to do business with the Dutch government? Then contact one of our startup officers at a ministry, province or municipality. Would you like free advice on funding, network entry, intellectual property rights, or your internationalisation strategy? Please contact one of our advisors in an area near you.

Residence permits for foreign talent

When your business grows, you may want to look for talented employees outside the Netherlands or Europe.

At the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND), you can apply for residence permits for essential startup personnel.
Also, you can become a recognised sponsor for highly skilled migrants. This sponsorship allows your recruited personnel to get a fast-track residence permit. Becoming a recognised sponsor is often an exciting option for fast-growing companies.

Would you like to get some personal advice first? Please contact the Netherlands Point of Entry. Select 'Other' in the contact form.

Our startup partner organisations

We work together with several partner organisations. Check out their websites to see if they can help you.

Techleap  NL Works ROMs Startup in Residence
supporting fast-growing tech startups public-private partnerships regional public-private partnerships public-private partnerships


Commissioned by:
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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