Starting a business in The Netherlands in ten steps

Flags UN Johan de Wittlaan (1)


For English speaking starting entrepreneurs I made a ten step plan. It is based on the ten steps in Dutch from the Chamber of Commerce in The Netherlands. You don’t have to take the steps successively, you can work on some of them simultanuously. I wrote these steps with expats and startups in mind who allready live in The Netherlands.

For English speaking starting entrepreneurs there is a seminar 19 april 2018 in The Hague Starting a business in the Netherlands

If you understand Dutch, in 2018 we organize three times the KVK Startersdag. In 2018 organiseren we de KVK Startersdag drie keer. Op 10 maart 2018 in Amsterdam/Arnhem/Breda, op 30 juni 2018 in Rotterdam/Zwolle/Urmond en op 3 november 2018 in Eindhoven/Groningen/Utrecht. Op deze 3 data kun je ook het online programma van de KVK Startersdag volgen. Lees meer over de KvK Startersdag

1. Are you an entrepreneur?

Analyse your skills, experience, motivation and ambition. Do tests, look into the mirror, ask your partner, friends and family. Think of a product or service that you will provide and describe all the ten steps in a business plan. Hire a coach. Follow your passion!


Non profit coaching:


Coaching (commercial):

Business plan:

Thanks to my colleague Margreet Niemansverdriet I found this usefull Ebook for Startups.

It is also available in Dutch.

Klik om toegang te krijgen tot StartupWerkboekEng.pdf

2. Explore the market and analyse the trends in your sector.

Do research on your competitors, your clients and environmental factors. Determine your unique selling points.


3. Make a financial plan and check if you need funding.

Calculate your turnover and your costs to see if it is profitable. Determine your rate. Search for a sponsor or use your savings.

For a financial plan see Business plan under 1 or use the smart funding canvas


More alternative finance options (Dutch)

Overzicht vormen alternatieve financiering


Is crowdfunding a viable option for your business? Fill in the scan (English)

Find a platform (Dutch):

A few crowdfunding organizations with information in English:

In control of the company: entrepreneurs on their financial literacy

4. Come up with a name for your company

Check the Trade Register of the Chamber of Commerce, type the name in Google and check the Trademark Register to see if it is available.

You also want to reserve the domain name and the name on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.

5. Choose a legal form

Every legal form has the three aspects establishment requirements, liability and tax system. Use them as criteria to make your choice.

6. Organize your administration and bookkeeping

Find a digital system that you can use and/or hire a bookkeeper.

Find a bookkeeper or an accountant:

The Dutch VAT (BTW) explained (in English)

VAT and business

7. Limit your risks by making up terms and conditions and select necessary insurance

Ask for terms and conditions at a branche association. Go talk to an insurance adviser to hear what risks there are.

Expat insurances

8. Check if there are special requirements

For some business ideas you need professional qualifications, licenses or have to meet a zoning plan.

9. Register at the Chamber of Commerce and the Tax Authority

Make an appointment online with the Chamber of Commerce for registration at one of the offices. The Chamber of Commerce also provides a VAT nummer on behalf of the Tax Authority.

10. Execute your marketing plan, find customers and go networking, networking, networking!

Take action. If you think networking is a challenge, don’t worry, you are not alone. Take up a training to develop yourself. Practice makes perfect. (Dutch)

Usefull websites:

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