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A guide to obtaining a self-employed Dutch visa for entrepreneurs



The Netherlands is appealing for individuals who want to start both small and medium-sized companies. With a flexible taxation system and a legislation that favors foreigners who want to move to the Netherlands, the government encourages those interested in self-employment.

In order to become self-employed, foreign citizens have the option of applying for entrepreneur visas with the Immigration and Naturalization Department.

Let’s see what the conditions for becoming a self-employed entrepreneur in the Netherlands are.

Different conditions for EU and non-EU citizens

The first thing to keep in mind is that the conditions for obtaining a self-employed visa differ based on the nationality of the applicant. While citizens coming from EU-member states do not need to apply for a residence permit when entering the country, non-EU citizens must first obtain a residence visa and then start the procedure of registering as a self-employed entrepreneur.

The assessment of those immigrating to the Netherlands with the purpose of becoming self-employed will be made by the Immigration and Naturalization Service or by the Enterprise Agency depending on the type of activity to be undertaken. Those who need assistance in obtaining a self-employed visa can contact an immigration lawyer in the Netherlands.

Requirements for obtaining a Dutch self-employed visa

There are several conditions to be fulfilled in order to obtain a self-employed visa in the Netherlands. These conditions depend on whether the applicant plans of working as a freelancer, work for their own companies or work in the healthcare sector.

The most stringent requirements, however, apply to those starting a business and become their company’s employees, let’s say a Dutch investment fund. In their situation, the National Enterprise Agency will review their application based on a system which implies acquiring points for:

  • a viable business plan;
  • education;
  • experience as an entrepreneur;
  • experience in the chosen field of work;
  • connections with the Netherlands;
  • solvency;
  • innovation and investments;
  • creation of new jobs.

Those who apply for the self-employment visa as freelancers will also be required to sustain their application through one or more work requests.

No matter the type of visa requested, the applicant must prove he or she has funds to sustain themselves for the first year in the country. Also, the applicant must obtain at least 90 points of the total 300 available.

These are just a few of the requirements to be met when applying for a Dutch visa as a self-employed entrepreneur in the Netherlands. Most of the times the successful application depends on the applicant’s experience and the business plan which must be carefully crafted.


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