Updated: Jul 30
So you want to start a business in the Netherlands with Startup Visa? Congratulations!
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.
Great, after your initial excitement, it is time to break down the process of obtaining Startup Visa so that you can kickstart your business exploration in the Netherlands. The requirements of Startup visa may sound overwhelming, but they would not be if you divide them into manageable chunks. In this blog post, I have broken down the process into primary tasks you do need to do to obtain the Startup Visa.
1. Have an innovative business idea
In order to be eligible for the Startup visa, you must have an innovative business idea.
What does 'innovative' mean? Your idea is innovative if it involves new technology or business model that improves production, distribution, marketing and efficiency.
In addition, your idea must be in the field of agriculture and food, creative industries, chemical industry, energy, high tech, horticulture, life sciences and health, logistics and water.
The examples include business ideas that involve new product-market combinations, address environmental/sustainability/social issues, combine multiple sectors for better efficiency.
Innovative ideas are everywhere! So do not get overwhelmed by the word 'innovation. Pause and think: What is your biggest source of satisfaction? What is your biggest source of frustration? What problem do you think the world needs to solve in 20 years time?
A little tip: Need help in brainstorming and identifying the building blocks for your business idea (i.e. value proposition, target customers, channels, revenue structure, cost structure, differentiators, etc)?
Shape of Green Business offers framework and guidance to help with your business idea generation and development for the Dutch Sector. Want to know more? Get your FREE 30-minutes chat now.
2. Have a sufficient financial resource
Way to go! Now you have your innovative business idea. The next thing you need is to get your finance sorted. As part of the Startup Visa requirement, you must have approximately at least € 15,000 in to cover your living expenses in the Netherlands for the maximum period of one year. You can prove this by showing the amount under your Dutch bank account or your country of origin's bank account.
A little tip: Make sure to plan your finance well in advance. You would not want to spend too much time in the application process without having your finance sorted out yet.
3. Get a supportive facilitator to back you up
A facilitator is essentially a business mentor. Having a reliable and experienced facilitator is critical to support your Startup Visa application. More importantly, a facilitator will help you to accelerate the development of your business idea in the Netherlands.
There are a number of facilitators in the Netherlands that are approved by the RVO.
Once you identify and develop the building blocks of your innovative business idea, it is time for you to get out there and pitch your business idea to potential facilitators.
Once you find an awesome facilitator who is excited to support developing your business idea under the Startup visa, you can come into an agreement and move ahead with the application documents for submission to IND.
A little tip: Make sure that you have a strong story when you pitch to your potential facilitators. You must have a clear value proposition both for your business idea and for your facilitator.
Need help in developing your pitch and story for your facilitator? Or simply need help in connecting with potential facilitators?
Shape of Green Business has a network of facilitators that we can connect you with. We can also help you to develop the pitch and story of your business idea that clearly communicates its values to your potential facilitators. Want to know more? Get your FREE 30-minutes chat now.
4. Develop a solid Step-by-Step Plan
Great, now you are all set to develop your Step-by-Step Plan document!
This Step-by-Step Plan document is the key document that you will use to convince IND that your business idea is innovative for the Dutch sector. Your document must clearly describe your product/service, value proposition, market potential, cost structure, revenue structure and other fundamental building blocks of your business. Moreover, you also need to outline the activities that you will do within the period of one year to develop your business in the Netherlands.
For this reason, it is critical that you define each of the building block of your business idea and more importantly, clearly describe it in a simple and compact manner. The simpler your document is, the better it is for IND to understand what your value proposition is and to approve your application.
In addition, your document should also give financial projection of your business. The IND wants to know when do you expect to start making sales and profit with your business.
A little tip: Business development and writing skills are fundamental to get this right. Pay attention to clearly explain the key building blocks of your business idea and to put them in the right and simple words on paper for maximum comprehension by the IND. Remember, the IND has no idea about who you are and what your business idea is. The Step-by-Step Plan is the main document that the IND will use to judge your business idea.
Need help in defining the building blocks of your idea? Or you need help in developing your Step-by-Step Plan for the Startup Visa application?
Shape of Green Business can help you. We can guide you throughout the business development process and ensure that you only answer the critical questions without wasting time. On top of this, we can help you developing your Step-by-Step Plan. We can provide you the template, structure and guidance for the content of your Step-by-Step Plan. Want to know more? Get your FREE 30-minutes chat now.
5. Ensure your application documents to IND are in order and of high quality
You are almost there! Now it is time to make sure that you have the following documents in order:
Application form for Startup Visa application. You can get this from the IND website.
Agreement with your facilitator
Step-by-Step Plan (a SOLID one!)
Registration statement from the Chamber of Commerce of your Company (if you are still based outside the Netherlands, you can register your company once you reach the Netherlands)
Registration statement from the Chamber of Commerce of your facilitator
Proof of finance. This can be done either:
Bank statement from a Dutch bank account (if you are already based in the Netherlands)
Bank statement from your country of origin's bank account (if you are still based outside the Netherlands)
A little tip: Still feeling overwhelmed by the Startup Visa application process? No worries, we got you covered.
Shape of Green Business is specialised in business coaching and application process for your Startup Visa. We can provide you with the strategic shortcut to help you reach your goals with your Startup Visa application in the Netherlands in a guided and orderly manner. Want to know more? Get your FREE 30-minutes chat now.