Acquiring a
Startup visa

THE STARTUP VISA IN THE NETHERLANDS

If you are a Startup based outside the European Union, it might be difficult for you to relocate your business to Europe. However, in The Netherlands, this is no longer the case, thanks to the so-called Startup Visa.  

The Netherlands is open for business, with a particular interest in innovative companies. Of any size! This is why the Netherlands introduced a residency program especially for startup companies, that are still in their founding phase and developing their product.
 

INCO has a lot of experience with Startup Visas (see Success Cases) and we work with facilitators throughout the Netherlands, such as B. Amsterdam, and Cambridge Innovation Center. In fact, INCO is part of these communities ourselves as well, so we are able to show you around!

 

Download the Factsheet or contact our Incorporation Team for a full proposal and overview of the incorporation procedure for your specific situation. 

 

Who can apply for the Startup Visa in the Netherlands?

Since January 1st, 2015, the Dutch government welcomes ambitious entrepreneurs outside of the EU to easily start a business in The Netherlands through the Dutch Startup Visa. This visa grants entrepreneurs a one-year period to build or expand an innovative company in The Netherlands.

 

One of the requirements for this scheme is that the startup works with an approved startup visa facilitator. The role of the facilitator is to introduce the entrepreneur to the Dutch/European market and provide support and guidance throughout the duration of the startup visa. This can be done by providing introductions, invitations to relevant (networking) events and offering mentoring sessions on business development in the Netherlands/Europe.


General Requirements

  • Working together with a trusted and experienced mentor (facilitator) that is based in the Netherlands; (INCO works with several Facilitators)

  • A product or service that is innovative;

  • The start-up entrepreneur has a step-by-step plan to develop their idea into a business;

    • our company owns the intellectual property (in your case, an IT platform, for example, preferably as innovative as possible) which is a competitive advantage and allows you to grow fast;

    • Ideally, your founding team is complete and committed, which allows you to do sales, grow the company and build the product without outside dependencies.

  • The start-up entrepreneur and the facilitator are registered in the Trade Register of the Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel); (can be done after receiving the startup visa)

    • You have an operational marketing plan to grow internationally;

    • Ideally, you are serving customers with the first version of your product or service already or expecting to do so within a couple of months;

    • The start-up entrepreneur must have sufficient financial resources to reside and live in the Netherlands for one year. (approx. euro 14.000) 

 

Read more information on the website of RVO.
 

How does a Dutch startup company find a Facilitator?

Check the overview of Facilitators at the website of RVO, and check which facilitators are focused on your industry or type of company

  1. Fill in the application form (using INCO”s input!)

  2. The facilitator will decide to have the first call or not. This will be an intro call with me and the purpose is to get a better idea of the entrepreneur and what they are working on. (typically within 1 week). In the case of B.Amsterdam, the 'jaarplan' is already important. Meaning, you should have a clear vision of what you like to achieve in the first 12 months, and how you ensure that after 12 months the company will be profitable, and be able to pay you both a fair salary. In the attachment, we covered this with the 5 milestones, which you should describe in detail. Especially on how to make a turnover, and how you will get the visitors/sales. Remember, the goal here is to create jobs, for which you need to be able to make a profit.

  3. After this, they discuss with the team and when it seems like a fit, they'll invite for a second call (or visit) with their startup visa coaches. This call/visit will be a more in-depth look into the business plan and a chance for the mentors to meet the entrepreneur. (within 2 weeks after the first call) (possible via video call, if a visit is not possible)

  4. The decision to continue with facilitation or not is made after the call/visit/interview and they will let the applicant know  (approx 1-2 weeks)
     

Moving forward with the application of the Startup Visa

The first step towards the Startup Visa is to share your draft Business Plan or marketing plan so that we can see how your company (will) look like. Based on your input, which we can discuss also during a call, we can make a preliminary assessment on the chances of getting the Startup Visa. 

 

Questions that are important, will relate to your Company & Product (proposition), such as:

  • What will it look like? (office/location, how you get clients, products, investment, etc.).

  • Can you also send us your CV, with your personal background, and current situation (employed, own company?)

  • Please also consider that the Startup Visa will require you to relocate to the Netherlands and live here, and rent an apartment. You need to have personal savings of at least 14.000 EUR to funds your first months here. Do you have these funds available?


The final marketing/business plan, together with a prototype/patent description, and promo-video, would be a solid foundation for the interview with a Facilitator at this stage.


Duration
We have had cases where the applicant got approved within 3 weeks after handing in their docs at IND but they have also seen applicants finally getting approved after 3 months. It depends on how complete the documents are, and the agenda of the IND.

Our Services| Full Assistance in Company Formation + Startup Visa

Below you find an overview of the services that we can provide and the budget that you should consider for each service. 

 

Company formation (executed by INCO)

  • Company registration - 1.000 -  1500 euros 

  • Local representative/secretarial service (bank account, VAT application, letter translation, compliance requirements, and 12 hours support)- 1500 euros per year


Start-up permit application (in cooperation with Facilitator)

  • Fixed fee (starting at) € 750. Fee depends on the quality of the initial business plan that is provided.  

Our fees concerning the Startup Application include:

  • prior to checking the business plan and giving advice on improvement (a separate quote can be provided to draft a plan)
    As the IND does not put very strict requirements on the business plan, we do not directly get involved in the writing of the business plan during the initial evaluation.
    However, the business plan is still important, because it can demonstrate to the facilitators how serious you are about the business and your commitment to the project. We will provide improvement advice based on our experience in previous cases.

  • recommending you to our facilitators 

  • giving you advice about the legalization of documents

  • checking all the documents whether they are correct

  • conducting correspondence with the IND (if relevant)

  • following up the application and giving instructions when additional documents are required (if relevant)
     

More Information

1,500-3,500 euros (depending on the quality of your business plan draft)

 

Facilitator

  • The facilitator may ask for some extra fees, as mentioned earlier in this brochure (on average € 2.000). It all depends and will be charged by the facilitator

All the fees above exclude VAT (if applicable) and government fees. 

More Information
The IND's website provides a lot of information on the regulations concerning the startup permit. You can also reach the IND by phone at +31 (0)88 043 0430. 

Download our Fact Sheet here.

YOUR BUSINESS TOOLKIT

FREE ACCESS TO ALL THE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW

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!

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