Open a Restaurant

in the Netherlands 

Open a Restaurant in the Netherlands

Are you excited to start a restaurant business in the Netherlands? The Dutch love eating out and while traditional Dutch foods like stroopwaffels (sweet waffles), rolmops (pickled herring), Dutch sausages, oliebollen (large donut-like dumplings), zoute drop (salty liqorice) and of course cheese, are extremely popular with tourists and locals alike, the food scene in the Netherlands have been influenced by cultures from all over the world.


The growing worldwide ‘foodie culture’ has made the Netherlands and a popular culinary destination and the perfect place to start a Dutch business in the food industry.


INCO’s consultants are experts in business development in the Netherlands and they can help you to start a Dutch business to take advantage of all the tasty opportunities. Call one of our consultants now!

The restaurant industry in the Netherlands is carefully regulated by the Dutch government, and there are many rules and regulations you have to comply with before starting a Dutch business to operate a restaurant in the Netherlands.

Requirements for starting a restaurant in the Netherlands

When you open a restaurant in the Netherlands, you have to comply with strict rules and regulations set out by the Dutch government. These rules and regulations are based on European Union legislation concerning the transportation, preparation, and processing of food and beverages. These include the following:

  • Comply with strict hygiene codes set out by the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority, as well as Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points system regulations.

  • Certain design requirements as set out by the Establishments Layout Requirements Act, including the following. These requirements deal with things like kitchen location, number of WCs, air conditioning systems, electrical and water systems, and noise levels.

  • Staffing requirements that include the ages of staff, food safety training and competence, foreign work permits, injury risk, and emergency evacuation plans.

  • Fire safety requirements that include local authorities issuing fire safety certificates upon inspection.

  • Environmental regulations such as waste disposal.

All these regulations can make starting a restaurant business in the Netherlands a lengthy process. INCO’s highly experienced consultants can help you fast track the process by informing you about all the relevant regulations and how to meet them. Call a consultant today!

How do I set up a restaurant in the Netherlands

  • The first thing you have to do when starting a Dutch business is to register a Dutch company with the Dutch Trade Register, which must include the mandatory NACE (Nomenclature of Economic Activities) number. For financial businesses, the numbers are as follows (depending on the type of operation):
    Section I; Division 56; Group 56.1 - 56.3; Class 56.10, 56.21, 56.29, 56.30.

  • Once you have registered your Dutch company you need to apply for certain licenses and/or permits. Some of these include the following:

-  Food license (mandatory).

-  Alcohol license to serve alcoholic beverages.

-  Terrace permit if your restaurant has a terrace where you will be serving food.

-  Music license if you want to organize events.

-  Gaming license (if you intend to have gaming machines in your restaurant)

-  Permit for selling tobacco

-  Building & renovation permit when purchasing a house or building

  • You can only start operating your restaurant once all the relevant licenses and permits have been granted.

As you can see, there are many licenses you require when starting a restaurant business in the Netherlands. Our company formation agents know all the relevant licenses, when you need them, and how to obtain them quickly and easily. We know exactly which forms to submit and to whom. 


Call us now to discuss how we can help you to get the right licenses and open your restaurant business in the Netherlands ASAP!

Why choose INCO to help you to start a restaurant in the Netherlands?

  • INCO has helped many entrepreneurs to set up a restaurant in the Netherlands.

  • Our agents have solid experience with the process of incorporating a company, including starting a Dutch BV, and they know the formalities of starting a restaurant in the Netherlands.

  • We can connect you to the relevant authorities and regulatory bodies and provide you with business development services.

  • Our consultants can help you to draw up an effective business plan so you can start a Dutch company and open your restaurant as soon as possible.

  • INCO can help you to secure funding for your restaurant.

  • Because INCO is a Dutch company, we know the Dutch restaurant market well and can guide you to set up a business such as a Dutch BV in the Netherlands quickly and easily. This makes us the best local business partner for your restaurant business in the Netherlands.

  • When you start a Dutch business, you are going to need skilled employees with the right permits and certifications. We can connect you to top recruitment agencies to ensure that you get the best talent for your restaurant.

We are the perfect restaurant business partners. Call us now!

Frequently asked questions:

Do I require a license to operate a restaurant in the Netherlands?

Yes, there are many licenses that need to be applied for depending on the type of activities. We can help you apply for them all.

Why is The Netherlands such a good place to start a restaurant?

  • Continuous rise in disposable income for Dutch citizens, which has led to an increase in people dining out.

  • The Dutch are very open-minded and embrace things like different cuisines.

  • The Netherlands is a major tourist destination.

  • Worldwide rise in ‘foodie culture’.

  • Restaurant sector is one of the highest growing sectors in the Netherlands.

  • High consumer confidence in foodservice establishments.

  • Strict regulations ensure ultimate food safety and quality.

  • The Netherlands has a very stable and resilient business environment.

How long does it take to start a restaurant in the Netherlands?

Starting a Dutch company usually takes between 2-5 days, but since you require a license to open a restaurant business in the Netherlands, it may take a bit longer. Call us to find out more.

Can I start a restaurant in the Netherlands as a non-Dutch or EU citizen?

Yes. The Dutch government allows foreigners to start a Dutch company or bring their existing business from abroad. However, certain legal conditions apply and all non-Dutch citizens are required to have relevant work and residence permits.

Are you excited about opening a restaurant in the Netherlands, but you are unsure whether the Dutch market is the right one? Or if you are considering other EU countries like Sweden or Croatia, feel free to schedule a free consultation with one of our Dutch business development agents to discuss why the restaurant sector in the Netherlands is the perfect place to start a Dutch company.


We can help you determine your business proposition, as well as the services you aim to provide and give input and expert guidance on how to present this to the Dutch market.


Inco Business GroupToolkit



Our experts have combined their knowledge and strengths to create a tool we call the Business Toolkit.

The Business Toolkit will help you and entrepreneurs from around the globe to truly understand the Dutch market, regulations and laws. And will enable you to take a deep-dive the many business-related topics.

This way you will easily get up to speed with our Company formation process, Dutch Tax & Accounting and our corporate services. 

Make sure to check out our handy checklists, explainer video's and extensively written Whitepapers too!