Holland entrepreneur visa
Are you an entrepreneur considering establishing a start-up in the Netherlands? Cohen, Decker, Pex, Brosh is an Israeli law firm specialized in immigration and visas to the Netherlands. In this article, we discuss the application procedure for a Holland entrepreneur visa.
If you are looking for an innovative, ambitious, and bubbling environment for your start-up abroad, the Netherlands may have exactly what you need. Listed as the fifth competitive economy worldwide, the Netherlands offers entrepreneurs and investors a thriving business climate, fast and reliable digital and physical infrastructure, and a central European location for transportation and business contacts. Apart from the right conditions to make your enterprise thrive, the Netherlands offers an excellent living environment for you and accompanying family members with high-quality (international) education, healthcare, and entertainment.
Start-up residence permit
A foreigner seeking a Holland entrepreneur visa must apply for a start-up residence permit. This start-up residence permit is initially valid for a year, to get the business started. After this one-year residence permit, they may apply for extension. In order to apply for any residence permit, the entrepreneur must meet three general conditions:
- A valid passport
- Absence of criminal records
- Tuberculosis test
For more information on these general requirements, please refer to our article on working in the Netherlands. For a start-up residence permit, you must meet an additional five specific conditions, which we discuss more in detail below. These conditions apply to any person planning a start-up, regardless of nationality.
Condition 1: Facilitator
The first condition for beginning a start-up in the Netherlands as a foreign entrepreneur, is to have a facilitator. The term refers to a business mentor with whom you start an official cooperation, evidenced by a signed agreement. The facilitator can provide any support you need, such as marketing, research, or operational management. You may start a collaboration with any of the facilitators recognized by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, or you can suggest a new facilitator to the Netherlands Enterprise Agency. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency will assess if the suggested facilitator meets the requirements, which are; experience as a facilitator for start-ups, financially sound history (no bankruptcy and no negative equity), and no major interest in the start-up, for instance as a family member of the entrepreneur up to third degree.
Condition 2: Innovation
The second condition for establishing a start-up in the Netherlands as a foreign entrepreneur, is that your start-up is innovative, whether you offer services or a product. Your start-up is considered innovative if at least one of the following three conditions are met: 1) Your service or product is not yet being offered in the Netherlands; 2) Production, distribution or marketing of your service or product is based on new technology; 3) The business model \ organizational setting is innovative.
Condition 3: Step-by-step plan
The third condition for beginning a start-up in the Netherlands as a foreign entrepreneur, is that you have a step-by-step plan that will help you transform your initial concept into a real business. In this plan, you detail the structure of the organization, the assigned roles and tasks, the personnel, the legal status of your business, and the purpose of your business. Also, you describe the innovative aspect of your start-up (see above) and the describe the activities you plan to undertake to set up the start-up. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency will review whether your step-by-step plan suffices.
Condition 4: Trade Register
The fourth condition for beginning a start-up in the Netherlands as a foreign entrepreneur, is that both you and your facilitator are registered in the Trade Register of the Chamber of Commerce (KVK). In order to register, please refer to the website, where relevant forms and information are offered in Dutch and in English. Note that if you want to be taking important decisions regarding your start-up in the future, you must describe how you play an active role in the start-up in the registration forms of the Trade Register of the Chamber of Commerce.
Condition 5: Sufficient financial means
The fifth condition for beginning a start-up in the Netherlands as a foreign entrepreneur, is that you have sufficient financial means. The required amount of income per month for self-employed is € 1.270,08 from July 2020 until December 2020. Please refer to the following website for updated norms: https://ind.nl/en/Pages/required-amounts-income-requirement.aspx#Application_residence_permit_self-employed_person.
As a start-up entrepreneur, you may not rely on public funds for income. Rather, you should have independent income either through funds in your own account or through support of another person, for example the facilitator. The funds/support must cover the entire stay of the residence permit, which will be one year in case of a start-up residence permit.
You can start the application online, after you have made sure to meet the conditions described above. The Naturalisation and Immigration Service (IND) will review your application together with the Netherlands Enterprise Agency. It will take up to 90 days to process your application. Applicants for a start-up residence permit do not need an entrance visa (MVV), regardless of their nationality. Please refer to our article on residence permits to read more about the differences between residence permit only and a TEV. Refer to the article on family members of foreign workers to learn more about the opportunities for inviting your family members to stay with you in the Netherlands.
When your one-year start-up visa expires and you wish to stay in the Netherlands in order to continue offering your product or service, you will have to request a residence permit for self-employment. You may reside in the Netherlands with a self-employment residence permit for as long as you meet the conditions for this permit. Please refer to the following website to read more about the transition from a start-up residence permit to a residence permit for self-employment: https://ind.nl/en/work/working_in_the_Netherlands/Pages/Self-employed-person.aspx
Are you excited about the Netherlands as location for your start-up? You may be overwhelmed by the different steps you have to take in order to meet the conditions for a start-up residence permit. We are here to assist you in every step you take. Contact Lawyer Joshua Pex in Jerusalem / Tel Aviv for assistance