Main Dutch Immigration Law > Self-employed in The Netherlands
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Self-employed residence permit in the Netherlands (Holland)

First of all, an entrepreneur who wishes to start his business in the Netherlands (Holland) has to register his company in the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel).

First of all, an entrepreneur who wishes to start his business in the Netherlands (Holland) has to register his company in the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel).

Self-employed entrepreneurs are excluded from the Dutch (Netherlands) work permit requirement. Nevertheless, they cannot start working in the Netherlands unless they have a Dutch (Netherlands) residence permit for self-employed (verblijf voor het verrichten van arbeid als zelfstandige).

In order to qualify for a self-employed residence permit in the Netherlands (Holland), a foreign entrepreneur has to gain certain points. The points system was designed on the 1st of May 2006 to attract only those entrepreneurs who will substantially contribute to the Dutch (Netherlands) economy. The citizens of the USA and Japan are not required to comply with this system due to the existence of friendship treaties with these countries.

The system consists of three parts:

  • Personal experience: education, employment experience, previous annual income, possession of high level experience of entrepreneur, experience acquired in working with or in the Netherlands (Holland);
  • Business plan: analysis of the market, organization, financing;
  • Added value for the Dutch (Netherlands) economy: innovation, creation of working places, investment.

The maximum amount of points is 100. For each part an applicant has to gain at least 30 points. Thus for 3 parts an applicant must acquire minimum 90 points. If the applicant will gain 45 points for parts "personal experience” and "business plan” and less than 30 points for part "added value to the Dutch economy”, he may still apply for a residence permit. Practice with using a point system shows exceptional circumstances, when an applicant may receive a residence permit without gaining a minimal score. This happens if the applicant brings substantial positive effect for the Dutch (Netherlands) economy as a whole.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs evaluates the applications and brings an advice to the IND. This procedure usually takes 3 months. Based on the advice, the IND will issue a positive or negative decision. If an applicant will score enough points then he will get a residence permit for 1 year, which can be prolonged for 1 year under specific requirements (mostly depends from financial development of the enterprise). After 5 years he may apply for the permanent residence permit.

Moreover, the applicant must have sufficient income from his business to cover living expenses.

For the following categories of entrepreneurs there are specific requirements:

  • Artists and other professionals related to art have to prove that they bring a cultural benefit for the Netherlands(Holland);
  • Entrepreneurs from Japan and USA are the subject of mitigated requirements. The Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation between the Netherlands and the USA and the Treaty of Trade and Navigation between the Netherlands and Japan let Japanese and American entrepreneurs receive a residence permit without compliance with a point system. However, they still have to invest 4500 euro into the Dutch (Netherlands) enterprise, register in the Dutch Chamber of Commerce and have an opening balance sheet and a financial forecast both prepared by an accountant with at least one Becon Number which is issued by the Dutch (Netherlands) tax authorities;
  • Family members of entrepreneur will also receive a residence permit provided that entrepreneur’s monthly income is 1559 euro.

The other possibilities of self-employment in the Netherlands (Holland) include:

  • Starting a branch office in the Netherlands (Holland): in this case a foreign legal entity does not need to be converted into a Dutch legal form;
  • Taking business from abroad: an entrepreneur has to prove that he has a business in his own country. Nevertheless he has to comply with immigration rules;

The partners of this website have the required experience in order to assist the foreigner in obtaining a Dutch (Netherlands) self-employed residence permit.

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