The coronavirus and your company: Dutch government measures to help businesses

This information is provided by

Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK | Government.nl | Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO | Tax and Customs Administration, Belastingdienst

The coronavirus COVID-19, and the measures taken to restrict the spreading of the coronavirus in the Netherlands, mean significant loss of turnover for many businesses. This article lists the measures the Dutch government is taking to help entrepreneurs affected by the crisis. Check this page regularly for updates.

5 June: step 3 of reopening society in the Netherlands

Step 3 of the gradual re-opening of society has taken effect on 5 June.

Step 4 is now planned for 30 June. To view all 5 steps and the re-opening timeline, see the Openingsplan (in Dutch). See also the article on Government.nl.

The main relaxations in step 3 affect shops, hospitality businesses, sports accommodations, museums and other cultural institutes, etc. Please consult the relevant articles to find out exactly what changes:

Check the news article on Government.nl.


These lockdown measures are in place starting 5 June:

  • All shops, including non-essential stores, may resume their regular opening times. This makes late-night shopping possible again. Selling alcohol is banned after 22:00. The number of customers allowed in shops has increased to one person per 10 m2. For all rules, see the article Rules for shops.
  • Hospitality venues may open from 06:00-22:00 and can offer indoor and outdoor seating, with a maximum of 4 people per table. Seating must be assigned and no people are permitted to sit at a bar. A maximum of 50 customers applies for both indoor and outdoor areas. As always, hospitality entrepreneurs must perform checks and register customers. Self-service is not allowed, nor is entertainment with tv screens or live performances. No more than 2 sittings of dinner can be served per table, per evening. For all rules, see the article Rules for the hospitality sector.
  • Banks, city halls, and funeral parlours are open. The maximum number of guests allowed at funerals is still 100.
  • People may receive no more than 4 visitors (aged 13 or over) to their home, both outdoors and indoors.
  • Adults may do sports in groups of up tp 50 people, indoor and outdoors. If the sport requires it, the 1.5 metres distance does not have to be kept. Changing rooms and showers can be used again. Clubhouses may reopen. Health checks and registrations are necessary. Face masks need to be be worn indoors, except during sports.
  • Children up to age 17 can participate in competitive matches again, without spectators. Matches for people over 18 are not allowed, unless between members of the same sports club. Read the rules for gyms, sports, and fitness centres.
  • Outdoor recreational equipment, such as canoes, boats, and bicycles, can be rented out.
  • Secondary schools can open fully from 31 May on, and are obliged to open by 7 June. All schools will receive enough self-tests to have pupils and teachers tested twice per week as a preventative measure.
  • All contact profession businesses are open. This includes hairdressers, beauticians, chiropractors, medical contact profession businesses, such as dentists and physical therapists, and sex workers.
  • Indoor cultural and artistic activities are allowed, such as music, dance, or theatre lessons. Health checks and reservations are mandatory.
  • Theatres, cinemas, and museums can open again. A maximum of 50 visitors applies, unless the venue has over 1,000 seats. In that case, a maximum of 250 visitors are allowed. Health checks and reservations are mandatory.
  • Saunas, spas, and tanning salons can reopen. Health checks and reservations are mandatory.
  • Casinos and play facilities, such as indoor playgrounds, can reopen. Health checks and reservations are mandatory.
  • Libraries are open. Health checks and registration are mandatory, and where possible visitors will be assigned fixed seats (for use of computers, for instance). Find more information here (in Dutch).
  • Community centres may provide services to vulnerable people.
  • The advice that public transport is for essential travel only has been lifted. The new advice is that you should aim to travel outside peak hours, where possible.
  • Working from home if possible is still advised. Internal teams can now gather in person for training and development.
  • Face masks are compulsory for public indoor spaces.

Travel restrictions and exemptions

As of 1 June, persons who are exempt from the EU entry ban may travel to the Netherlands from the South Africa, India and all Middle- and South-American countries by air.

Negative COVID-19 test results (in Dutch) are mandatory for travellers from countries that are marked as extremely high risk or high risk, or where an alarming variant of the coronavirus has been established. They must also observe a 10-day quarantine period when they enter the Netherlands.
For full and up to date details on the conditions for travelling into the Netherlands, check the Government.nl Visiting the Netherlands page.

If you want to travel from the Netherlands to a foreign country, please use the travel advice website to check the situation in that country and the countries you will be passing through.

Financial measures

There are several economic support measures in place for businesses affected by the corona crisis. Measures such as NOW, Tozo and TVL will continue to be expanded and amended as seen fit by the government. Businesses and self-employed professionals who have been hit hard by the recent measures will continue to receive support.

  • NOW3: Employers with more than 20% turnover loss can apply for the Temporary Emergency Bridging Measure for Sustained Employment (NOW,Tijdelijke Noodmaatregel Overbrugging voor Werkbehoud) to receive compensation of their employees' wages from October 2020 - July 2021. NOW1 and NOW2 are now closed. NOW 3 is divided into three periods: 1 October 2020 until 1 January 2021; 1 January until 1 April 2021; from 1 April until 1 July 2021. The NOW scheme will be extended until 30 September 2021.
  • Tozo3 and 4: Self-employed professionals can apply for Tozo, the temporary benefit to bridge the loss of income over the months October 2020 - September 2021 in the municipality where they live. Check with your municipality how to apply.
  • TVL: The Reimbursement Fixed Costs Scheme for SMEs and self-employed professionals aims to compensate companies for fixed costs other than wage costs. You can apply for TVL once every 3 months, until 30 September 2021. There is a separate scheme for Q1 2021 for starting entrepreneurs who have registered with the Chamber of Commerce between 1 October 2019 and 30 June 2020.
  • Extra TVL support for hospitality businesses: Hospitality businesses that have had to close due to the second corona wave will be able to apply for an extra compensation on top of the TVL in the 4th quarter of 2020 to reimburse the costs of stock and adjustments. The maximum amount is €20,160. This amount comes to an average of €2,500 per entrepreneur. This scheme, the Horeca Stock and Adjustments (HVA), is still being worked out.
  • Extra TVL support for events businesses and their suppliers: Events businesses and their suppliers that applied for TVL during the 3rd quarter of 2020 will receive an extra fee in the 4th quarter of 2020 and 1st quarter of 2021, based on the summer TVL fee. €11 million has been reserved for this. More information follows.
  • Subsidy for cancelled events: From 1 July 2021, events organisers will be able to organise events again. If the event has to be cancelled due to corona restrictions, they can reclaim the costs incurred. See Subsidy scheme for events cancelled due to corona measures.
  • TVL Stock Support Closed Retail (opslag Voorraad Gesloten Detailhandel): retail businesses that have had to close their doors, and that have applied for TVL, will receive a supplement for the stock they have been unable to sell. Read more about this supplement in the TVL article. Check the list of retail SBI codes that qualify (in Dutch).
  • Extra support for the cultural sector: The government allots €454 million to providing extra support for cultural organisations and events.
  • R&D subsidy scheme for the mobility sector (RDM): For companies active in the automotive, aviation, or maritime industry, a subsidy is available for research and development. If your R&D investments have been strained because of the corona crisis, you may be eligible for the R&D subsidy scheme for the mobility sector.
  • Travel: A credit facility or voucher bank for travel guarantee funds is being set up by ANVR sector organization, the SGR guarantee fund and the government. Through this voucher bank, the travel guarantee funds can obtain an additional loan from the government. The guarantee fund can thus provide temporary credit to a travel organization that have issued vouchers for package tours.
  • TONK: Entrepreneurs faced with financial difficulties as a result of the corona measures. This scheme, the Temporary Support for Necessary Costs (TONK), runs through municipalities and is open until 30 September 2021. Read more about TONK.
  • RBC: To help businesses that suffered damages because of rioting and looting in the first week of the curfew, the government and insurance companies will install a fund, the 'Regeling bedrijvenschade corona-rellen' (Arrangement for businesses damaged by curfew riots) to compensate those damages that are not covered by the usual business insurances and that fall under the policy's deductible excess (eigen risico). Businesses that have not taken out insurance will also be eligible for this compensation. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency will execute the scheme. It will open in mid-February.
The government regularly announces updates and extensions to the existing measures. Read the article News: more corona support measures for entrepreneurs for the latest information.

Help for employers and employees

  • Read the article Employer during the corona crisis to find out what you can and must do to keep the workplace safe.
  • NL Werkt Door: Employers can use the NLWerktDoor! (The Netherlands keeps on working, in Dutch) website to offer or look for temporary employees on loan. The scheme was set up by the Employee Insurance Agency UWV, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, several municipalities, employers, and trade unions.
  • NL Leert Door: On 1 August, the government launched a temporary support scheme NL Leert Door (The Netherlands keeps on learning) for the career development and training of anyone, working or not, from age 18 to retirement. On the hoewerktnederland.nl (in Dutch) website, you will be able to find free online courses and self-development advice. The first stage of NL Leert Door, the free-of-charge advice program applications, has now reached its limit of 22,000 applicants and is closed.

Credits and guarantees

  • BMKB-C: From 16 March 2020 to 31 December 2021, the SME credit guarantee (BMKB) scheme is extended to help SMEs that are affected by the coronavirus secure bank guarantees and bridge financing.
  • BL-C: For agricultural entrepreneurs, the equivalent of the BMKB-C is the Credit Guarantee scheme for Agriculture (BL-C).
  • GO: The Business loan guarantee scheme (GO) has been extended until 31 december 2021.
  • Microcredit: Entrepreneurs who have a loan from microcredit provider Qredits do not have to repay their loan for a period of 6 months. During this period, the interest will be reduced to 2%. The government supports Qredits with 6 million euros.
  • Small Credits for Corona Guarantee Scheme (KKC): SMEs with relatively small financial needs may be eligible for a bridging loan of up to €50,000 under the Small Credits for Corona Guarantee Scheme (Klein Krediet Corona garantieregeling or KKC). This credit measure has been extended until 31 december 2021.
  • Re-launch credit for SMEs: SMEs can apply for credit to help them get back on their feet after the corona crisis. Qredits extends credit and advice. Application is possible from 1 June.
  • Tozo: Self-employed professionals can apply for Tozo, a loan to bridge the loss of income in the municipality where they live. Check with your municipality how to apply.
  • Tozo for entrepreneurs living abroad: If your company is in the Netherlands, but you live abroad (in the EER or Switzerland), you can apply to the municipality of Maastricht for a business loan.
  • Growth Facility Scheme: The intended phasing out of the Growth Facility Scheme has been extended to 15 juni 2023.
  • Proof-of-concept funding: Businesses that make use of the Proof-of-concept funding scheme (VFF) or the Innovation credit scheme (IK) can apply for a repayment extension. Also, no interest will be levied on the VFF.
  • Export credit insurance: The government has extended the export credit insurance facility.
  • DTIF: The Dutch Trade and Investment Fund (DTIF) has been extended to include pre-delivery advances.

Expired measures:

  • TOGS: The Reimbursement for entrepreneurs in affected sectors scheme (TOGS) expired on 26 June 2020. It was replaced by the TVL scheme.
  • COL: Startups and scale-ups were able to apply for the 'Corona-Overbruggingslening' (Corona Bridging Loan or COL) until 16 May 2021.
  • Compensation for turnover loss for horticultural businesses and potato farmers: Horticultural businesses (food and ornamental) and farmers who produce processing potatoes could claim compensation for part of their turnover loss until 18 June 2020.
  • Indirect Emission Costs Subsidy Scheme (ETS): The Indirect Emission Costs Subsidy Scheme (ETS) was made available sooner. It closed 15 April.
  • TOFA: The Temporary Bridging measure for Flex Workers or TOFA compensates flex workers that have been laid off after 1 March due to the corona crisis, and who cannot claim benefits. Application at the UWV closed on 27 July 2020.
  • Temporary support for local media: the Temporary Support for Local Media scheme for the period 15 September - 15 December2020 has closed.

Tax options for entrepreneurs

The Dutch Tax Administration has taken several measures to help entrepreneurs. Are you having difficulty repaying taxes or bank loans? There are also possibilities for payment and tax and loan repayment extensions.

Call the Tax Information Line

Since the information on the tax options offered to entrepreneurs during the coronavirus crisis is mostly only available in Dutch, it would be wise to consult the Tax Information Line if Dutch isn't your first language. The number for resident entrepreneurs is +31 (0)800 0543; non-residents can call +31(0)55 538 53 85.

It is also a good idea to ask someone - your accountant, for instance - to help you.

Several municipal and regional taxes have also been extended:

Tools

If you need help finding out for which scheme you are eligible, try using one of the following tools:

  • The Corona Calculator (in Dutch): employers organisation VNO-NCW and MKB Nederland have prepared this tool to help you find the schemes you're eligible for, and calculate their impact on your financial position. In Dutch.
  • Krijgiktozo (in Dutch): a tool to see if you are eligible for the temporary benefit for self-employed professionals Tozo. In Dutch.
  • Rekenhulp omzetverlies (Turnover loss calculator, in Dutch): this tool helps you find if if you qualify for the NOW scheme. In Dutch.


Rules and protocols for businesses

Check the rules for your business sector in these articles. The rules and protocols have been drawn up by the government together with the sector organisations.

You can also check with your own sector organisation (in Dutch) about the corona rules.
It is mandatory to wear non-medical face masks in public indoor spaces for everyone aged 13 or over. The article Face masks and your company explains how this obligation works.
Do you have complaints related to the corona virus about the safety of your workplace or the conditions in which you have to work? Or do you see fraud involving corona-related subsidies or schemes? Then report it to the Inspectorate SZW. You can do so using this form.

Coaching by Entrepreneurs Sounding Board

The Foundation Entrepreneurs Sounding Board (Stichting Ondernemersklankbord, OKB) offers free coaching to SMEs that have been affected by the corona crisis. Read how to apply.
To protect your employees, your clients, and yourself, follow the RIVM advice:
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Cough and sneeze into the crook of your elbow
  • Use paper tissues
  • Don't shake hands
  • Keep at least 6 feet distance from each other

General health measures

  • People must work from home, unless it is vital that you work on site.
  • When indoors in a public place, wear a face mask that covers your nose, mouth and chin.
  • Everyone in the Netherlands who has symptoms of COVID-19 can apply for a test. If you or one of your employees starts having complaints that correspond with the coronavirus symptoms, stay at home and apply for a test. If you test positive, aid the GGD with their contact tracing.
  • The travel restrictions for travel into the Netherlands from India, South-Africa or any of the South-American countries have been lifted per 1 June. They can enter the Netherlands, provided they can show two negative test results: from a corona test and a 'rapid test'. After arrival in the Netherlands they must self-quarantine for ten days, also when the test results were negative. Border workers are mostly exempt. Read the Government.nl checklist for detailed information.
  • The government no longer advises against travel to countries with a low infection rate. Countries with code green or yellow can be travelled to for recreation. For countries with code red a negative travel advice remains in force. Travel advice can be found here.

Information and advice

You can turn to these organisations for further information and advice:


General health

National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, RIVM

Government.nl


Business and work

Netherlands Chamber of Commerce (KVK) Coronaloket

Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO)

TechLeap.nl

Inspectorate SZW

Travel / immigration /emigration

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND)

The Netherlands and You

International resources


European Commission

World Health Organization (WHO)

FME, technology sector organisation

This information is provided by

Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK
Government.nl
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Tax and Customs Administration, Belastingdienst