Netherlands: Startup Visa

The Dutch startup visa was issued in the Netherlands to encourage people from outside the European Union (EU) who are trying to start a business. It is a residence permit which is valid for a maximum of one year.


The Dutch startup visa scheme was made for entrepreneurs from outside the EU, EEA, or Switzerland wishing to apply for a temporary residence permit for the Netherlands.

The Dutch startup visa gives entrepreneurs a chance to be in the Netherlands for a maximum of one year to start an innovative new business. Entrepreneurs will be receiving guidance from an experienced facilitator, which is a mandatory step.

How to apply?

  • Your facilitator can submit your application for a Netherlands visa to the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst, IND), through the application form on their website.

    You should include:
    – information about yourself
    – your business plan 
    -your proposed method of operation
  • If you are a Startup entrepreneur who is still residing abroad, you can submit your application for a residence permit to the Dutch embassy or consulate in the country where you are living.
    You should also check the IND information for startups to see if you should apply for a provisional residence permit and a startup visa, or only for a startup visa.
  • If you are a startup entrepreneur of Australian, Canadian, Japanese, New Zealand, USA, and South Korean nationality you can submit a Netherlands visa application directly with the IND using the application form on the website.
  • If you are a foreign national who has a valid residence permit and wish to change your residence permit to a residence permit for startup entrepreneurs, you can also use that application form.

Application cost:

  • ​First application and change in the purpose of the stay: € 333
  • ​Change in the purpose of stay: self-employed after startup: ​​€ 369
  • Holder status long-term resident EU in another EU member state: ​
    € 174

You should pay your application fees upon submitting the application. The residence permit can be collected from the IND office or one of the Expat Centers in the Netherlands.


  • Working together with a reliable expert facilitator:
    There will be a (signed) agreement between both parties). The facilitator must have experience in guiding startups and should provide the startup entrepreneur with a tailor-made package depending on startup entrepreneur needs.

    The facilitator:
    – has to be financially sound
    – may on no account be in receivership or bankrupt
    – may not have any negative equity
    – may not be related to the startup entrepreneur
  • Having an innovative product or service:
    The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland, RVO) will assess whether your product or service is ‘innovative’.

    For the product to be innovative, it needs to meet the following criteria:
    – The product or service is new to the Netherlands
    – new technology for production, distribution, or marketing is involved
    -there is a new innovative organizational and process approach
  • The startup entrepreneur has a plan to advance the idea to a business:
    The startup entrepreneur provides a description of this in a step-by-step plan, which contains information relating to the organization. He must have an active role which means he is not simply a shareholder or financier.

    The step-by-step plan must at least contain:
    – the structure of the organization
    – the roles and tasks
    – the legal form
    – the personnel
    – the purpose of the enterprise
    – a description of the idea for the product or service and why it is innovative (see condition 2)
    – the activities in the first year
    – a description of the planning and activities for the business
  • The Startup entrepreneurs and facilitators are entered in the Commercial Register of the Chamber of Commerce:
    The startup entrepreneur must be entered in the Commercial Register of the Chamber of Commerce. It is an important step in order to be able to make decisions regarding future enterprise. The facilitator must also have a Chamber of Commerce number. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency checks the entry in the Commercial Register.
  • There is sufficient money (sources) to reside and live in the Netherlands:
    The startup entrepreneur must have enough income to be able to reside, live, and set up a business in the Netherlands. They may not rely on public funds, such as welfare benefits. Proof of sufficient resources must be presented and the entrepreneur can show by way of a bank statement that he has sufficient money in his account. The amount must be available for the startup entrepreneur’s entire period of residence (maximum 1 year).

If your Netherlands visa application is approved, they will send you a message that you can pick up your provisional residence permit at the Dutch consulate or embassy.

What is next?

The startup visa gives entrepreneurs the chance to stay and to work for a maximum of one year in the Netherlands. At the end of Year 1, there is the option of applying for a permit to work on a self-employed basis.

Source: Government information for entrepreneurs

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