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

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.

Third set of financial measures announced

From 1 October, the third set of economic support measures for businesses affected by the corona crisis will come into place. Several existing measures, such as NOW, Tozo and TVL will be extended, with new conditions. Read the details in the article Third set of corona support measures.

Financial aid

  • NOW3: Employers with more than 20% turnover loss will be able to 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.
  • Tozo2: Self-employed professionals can apply for Tozo2, the temporary benefit to bridge the loss of income over the months June through September in the municipality where they live. Check with your municipality when you can apply.
  • TVL: The Reimbursement Fixed Costs Scheme for SMEs aims to compensate SMEs in selected sectorsExternal link for fixed costs other than wage costs, and replaces the TOGS measure, that closed on 26 June. Application is possible from 30 June through 30 October.
  • Extra support for the cultural sector: The government has allotted €300 million to providing extra support for cultural organisations and events.
  • SET: Caregivers can apply for the special corona-related Incentive scheme eHealth at Home: SET COVID-19 2.0. The available funds are for care providers who invest in a structural setup for digital care. The scheme runs from 27 July - 30 November (unless funds run out sooner).

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: From 1 July, employers can access the NLWerktDoor!External link (The Netherlands keeps on working) website. This platform is a place where businesses can 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.nlExternal link 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

Expected measures

These measures have been announced, but have not yet been fully worked out or launched. Check this page regularly for changes.

  • Compensation for legal aid: Legal aid lawyers, mediators and curators who experience more than 20% income loss due to the corona crisis will receive additional compensation.

Expired measures:

  • TOGS: The Reimbursement for entrepreneurs in affected sectors scheme (TOGS) expired on 26 June. It is replaced by the TVL scheme.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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 Measure checkerExternal link: an intreractive pdf by the KVK and Business.gov.nl that guides you through 5 questions, in English.
  • The Corona CalculatorExternal link: 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.
  • KrijgiktozoExternal link: a tool to see if you are eligible for the temporary benefit for self-employed professionals Tozo. In Dutch.
  • Rekenhulp omzetverliesExternal link (Turnover loss calculator): this tool helps you find if if you qualify for the NOW scheme. In Dutch.

Rules for businesses

There are rules in place for several types of businesses, to which they have to adhere to keep the coronavirus in check. Read this article to find out more about which rules apply to which sector.

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 adviceExternal link:
  • 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 are advised to work from home, if possible.
  • Everyone in the Netherlands who has symptoms of COVID-19 can apply for a testExternal link. If you or one of your employees starts having complaints that correspond with the coronavirus symptoms, stay at home and apply for a test.
  • Safety regions can impose rules on top of the national ones, to address specific risks in their area. Find your safety regionExternal link (in Dutch) to find out if additional rules apply.
  • The travel restrictions that have been in place for travel into the Netherlands for most non-EEA countries since March can be lifted or re-instated for individual countries, according to the current situation there. The restrictions apply to travellers without valid residence permits or visa. An exception to the ban is in place for highly skilled migrants, sports professionals and journalists, and for food, medicine and medical equipment transports. The exception also applies to people who make an important contribution to Dutch business life, especially SMEs. Read the article on The Netherlands and youExternal link for full and up to date details on who is and who is not allowed to travel into the Netherlands.

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

Netherlands Chamber of Commerce (KVK) Coronaloket

Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO)

TechLeap.nl

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