Types of visas
Dutch startup Visa
Ambitious entrepreneurs from outside the EU, EEA, or Switzerland may apply for a temporary residence permit for the Netherlands via the Dutch startup visa program. With this visa, entrepreneurs and business people have a year to launch their innovative businesses. It is required that you get guidance from a knowledgeable facilitator. This assistance enables you to develop from a start-up into a fully functional firm.
This visa has 5 conditions:
- Working together with an expert facilitator
- The entrepreneur must show a step-by-step plan on how to advance their startup to a fully functioning business.
- The startup must offer an original innovative product/service not already offered in the Netherlands.
- The entrepreneur and the facilitator must be registered in the chamber of commerce (KVK)
Freelancers, business owners, and one-person startups are recognized as ZZP’ers (zelfstandige zonder personeel), or self-employed without staff in the Netherlands. Thus, the process is quite comparable to establishing a business or registering a corporation. You will need certain documentation (residence permission, address, etc.) in addition to other requirements to join the ZZP. Before the introduction of the Dutch start-up visa in 2015, this was the only way to start a business here in the Netherlands. As such, the Dutch startup visa is considered to be an improvement on the Entrepreneur visa since it gives you 1 year to establish your company.
Highly Skilled Migrant Visa
This option is often overlooked, but entrepreneurs can also start their own company with a highly skilled migrant visa. Entrepreneurs can start a business next to their full-time job with much fewer restrictions compared to the Dutch start-up visa or the Entrepreneur visa. The advantage of this option is there are no income requirements for your company. You can keep your company running even if you are not making a profit from it, as long as you still have a valid highly skilled migrant visa.