Residency permit for entrepreneurs in the Netherlands

On January 18, 2016 by Dutch Umbrella Company

Why begin a start-up in the Netherlands?

Do you have good ideas for starting your own company and do you think that you can make the difference? If so, then the Netherlands offers you a positive business climate. The country is full of innovative ventures, has a growing manufacturing industry, and there are also numerous scientific knowledge institutes, universities and related research institutes. Moreover, the fiscal environment is favourable for innovative start-ups. The Dutch government likes to attract talented entrepreneurs and knowledge workers from abroad.

Since 2015, entrepreneurs from outside the EU have been able to request a one-year residency permit. During that year, you are given the time to develop a business plan for an innovative product or service. However, the condition is that you must be supported by an experienced and reliable partner in the Netherlands.

After a year, the entrepreneur can extend his or her residency permit based on arrangements for independent foreign nationalities.

See here for the general and special conditions that you must meet to qualify for a one-year residency permit.

Why choose the Netherlands?

As stated above, the Dutch government is actively focused on promoting entrepreneurship and ‘bringing in’ start-ups, in the conviction that these are the driving forces behind the economy.

The government would like to offer ambitious entrepreneurs borderless opportunities to become successful. In that way, the government would like to make investment capital more accessible and the government offers countless incentives in the form of tax benefits and subsidies. The government also facilitates access to knowledge and innovation in the Netherlands and abroad, and here too regulatory incentives are available that you can take advantage of.

Innovative policy

High on the agenda are innovations that address the issues of food shortage, climate change and pollution and that help with making the transition to clean energy. The Netherlands has a strong position in life sciences, agriculture and horticulture, food, chemistry and water. To strengthen this position, entrepreneurs must be more innovative and must drastically reduce the time-to-market.

3 Goals

To once again underscore the fact that the Netherlands means business, the government has established the following three goals:

  • to place the Netherlands among the top five knowledge economies worldwide by 2020 (the Netherlands is currently in eighth place);
  • to increase Dutch expenditures on innovations to 2.5% of the gross national product;
  • to set up a public-private partnership that will invest EUR 500 million in knowledge and innovation in 2015.

Access for knowledge workers

Knowledge migrants from outside the EU can request a residency permit by means of an accelerated procedure. These organisations are so-called IND sponsors, which means that they are recognised by the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service as a supervisor of foreign knowledge migrants. The Dutch Umbrella Company is one such IND sponsor.


Are you a knowledge migrant and do you have questions regarding this subject? Send an e-mail to: