6 reasons to start a business in the Netherlands with the Startup Visa

Updated: May 18, 2019

Since 2015, the Dutch government passed a regulation to encourage non-EU nationals to launch their business in the Netherlands with the Startup visa. Read here to learn more about the requirements.

As a non-EU national, the Netherlands offers abundant opportunities for you to develop your business especially in the field of agriculture and food, creative industries, chemical industry, energy, high tech, horticulture, life sciences and health, logistics and water.

In this blog post, I want to share with you a number of major reasons why:

1. Startup Visa for non-EU nationals

The Netherlands has definitely one of the most welcoming immigration policy in Europe. The Dutch government has recently set up Start-up Visa to make it easier for non-EU nationals to start their own business in the Netherlands.

This means that you can apply for the start-up visa after you graduate or once your search-year permit ends. At later stage, you can either apply for a self-employed residence permit for up to 3 years or a work permit for up to 5 years.

I did the former, so it is indeed possible!

2. Tax benefits as an entrepreneur

You will get a lot of tax benefits as an entrepreneur in the Netherlands. There are several tax benefits known as ondernemersaftrek (entrepreneur’s deduction). These tax breaks include self-employed deduction (zelfstandigenaftrek), starters deduction (startersaftrek), SME profit exemption (MKB-winstvrijstelling)! These tax benefits really help you in your first three to five years of starting up a business.

A flash tip: I highly recommend you to first start your business as one-person company (freelance or ZZP'er) to simplify your tax requirement before you eventually incorporate yourself under a limited company (BV “Besloten Vennootschap met beperkte aansprakelijkheid”).

3. International business climate

The Netherlands is centrally located as a business hub in Europe. The travel infrastructure is well-established which makes it is very easy to go in and out of the country. In particular, it certainly makes it attractive for people from every part of the world to come to the Netherlands with the recently-released Start-up visa.

The Dutch, generally, speak better English than any non-English native speaking European countries. A large number of startups and multinationals that are based in the Netherlands can have an easy access to validate ideas and sell their product/service across Europe and beyond.

4. Strong community and solid network of start-up facilitators

The Dutch start-up scene is considered to be one of the most important in Europe. Amsterdam is one of the most dynamic cities of Europe and is home to supportive community of start-up founders and young entrepreneurs. Other cities including Utrecht and Wageningen are catching up with the number of entrepreneurial initiatives.

Startup Visa requires you to have a facilitator as a mentor to help you accelerate your business in the Netherlands. There are a number of well-reputed facilitators in the Netherlands including Rockstart, YES! Delft, Startup Amsterdam, Impact Hub and StartHub that are specialised in different fields to support your start-up idea.

Click here to find out more about the role of a facilitator in your Startup Visa application process.

5. Early stage financing

Depending on what your business is and how you are approaching it, eventually you would need funding in order to grow your business. You can start with your own capital, but it is common that you have a limited resource as a fresh graduate.

Fortunately, funding sources are abundant in the Netherlands including seed funding, angel investment, or other financial means. See this diagram to see the number ….

6. Working culture and quality of life

The Netherlands is made up of an egalitarian society. Every person is treated equal, which is how it is supposed to be. The big plus points of working with the Dutch is that they are open-minded, open for discussion and feedback, and respect your time. More importantly, they work hard, yet they highly put importance on work-life balance.

Additionally, The Netherlands has one of the highest quality of life in the EU. The country has one of the highest GDP per capita, low crime-rate and low-unemployment rate, high quality of education, innovative business environment, and many more reasons.

Consequently, the people who live in the Netherlands are satisfied living in the country.

Imagine your possibilities in a country that works together and facilitate you as entrepreneurs to start-up, explore, and scale up your business.

Source: Leapfunder, 2010

Are you a non-EU national who is looking for opportunities in the Netherlands with Startup Visa?

Do any of the situations below apply to you:

  • You are interested to explore the Netherlands with Startup Visa but you do not know where to start or how to start;

  • You have a few business ideas but they are not yet concrete and you are unsure which idea to choose for;

  • You have a solid business idea but unsure about what to do next with the Start-up application process or still looking for a facilitator to back you up

If YES to any of the above, then you are in the right place. Shape of Green Business (SGB) helps non-EU nationals with business coaching and application process for Start-up visa.

SGB gives a handholding support along the roadmap described above with the business coaching for non-EU national and application process for the Startup Visa. SGB broadens the scope for non-EU nationals who want to explore opportunities in the Netherlands beyond finding a job and work permit.

Contact us and get your FREE 30-minutes consultancy to discuss your personal situation and how SGB can help you to achieve your goals with Startup Visa in the Netherlands.

What are you waiting for? Get in touch and take your first step!