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Government information for entrepreneurs

Corona measures for businesses in the border regions

This information is provided by

Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK

Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium are all taking different measures to deal with the corona crisis. Entrepreneurs living in the Netherlands and working in Belgium or Germany, or vice versa, may be entitled to some financial measures from the Netherlands and some from Belgium or Germany. This article lists the main support measures per country.

Travel restrictions lifted, caution still advisable

Both Belgium and Germany have reopened their borders for incoming and outgoing travel. However, you are still at risk of (spreading or getting) coronavirus, and you may still be checked for symptoms at the border. Always check the Ministry of Foreign Affairs travel advice (in Dutch) before you travel to:

Dutch corona measures in the border region

Temporary bridging measure for self-employed professionals (Tozo)

The Dutch government offers self-employed professionals the Temporary bridging measure for self-employed professionals (Tozo). Tozo offers two kinds of help: support for the cost of living, and a business capital loan. The scheme is for self-employed professionals living AND working in the Netherlands. In order to help entrepreneurs who live OR work in the Netherlands, the government has devised additional conditions:

  • If you live in the EER or Switzerland, but run your business in the Netherlands, you can apply for a business capital loan under Tozo conditions. Applications must be sent to the municipality of Maastricht. You cannot apply for Tozo support for the cost of living.
  • If you live in the Netherlands, but run your business in Belgium or Germany, you can apply for Tozo support for the cost of living. You cannot apply for a Tozo business capital loan.

It is not possible to apply for Tozo yet if you live OR work in the border region. The Dutch government is still working out the exact conditions for the border regions.

Temporary Emergency Bridging Measure for Sustained Employment (NOW)

In the Netherlands, employers can use the NOW to apply for a substantial compensation of the wage costs. Does your business have a Dutch business address? Then you can apply for NOW. If your business is located in Belgium or Germany, and you have one or more employees for whom you pay social security premiums in the Netherlands, you can apply for NOW for them.

Reimbursement Fixed Costs for SMEs (TVL)

If you live in Belgium or Germany and run a business with its address in the Netherlands, and the business is in trouble due to the government measures against the virus spreading, you may be eligible for the TVL scheme (this replaces the TOGS scheme, which expired on 26 June).

Taxes

If you live across the border, but pay taxes in the Netherlands, you can make use of the tax measures that are in place. Payment extensions for several taxes, for instance, and lower tax interest rates. See the article Tax measures.

Payroll tax and cross-border workers

The corona crisis forces many employees to work from their homes. Or they are forced to remain at home. If you employ workers who live in Germany and have to work from or stay at home, you can still withhold Dutch wage tax from their pay.

Support measures in Belgium

Bridging benefit

If you live in the Netherlands and work as a self-employed professional in the Flanders region of Belgium, you can apply for a bridging benefit from the social insurance fund – provided you pay your main occupation (hoofdberoep) social insurance premiums to the Belgian social insurance fund. You are not eligible for this benefit if you already have a different source of income.

Under normal conditions, the benefit is only available for entrepreneurs who live and work in Belgium. This extension for self-employed professionals living in the Netherlands and working in Belgium is temporary.

Read more about the conditions for the bridging benefitExternal link (in Dutch). You can also apply for a reduction of or exemption for paying social insurance contributions.

’Corona hinderpremie’, compensation for affected businesses

If your business in Flanders has had to close due to the corona measures, you may be eligible for the so-called ‘Corona hinderpremie’. This is a one-time compensation of

  • €4,000 for businesses that have had to close completely due to federal measures, or
  • €2,000 for businesses have to close during weekends due to federal measures

Some businesses are entitled to an extra €160 compensation per day that they have to remain closed. You can apply for the .

Corona turnover compensation

Entrepreneurs with a business in Flanders that has not had to close, but has suffered a turnover loss of over 60% will be able to apply for a turnover compensation (compensatiepremie). The scheme is not open yet. Check the Flemish government website for more information.

Wages for living – Leefloon

Do you live in Belgium, and work in the Netherlands as a self-employed professional? Then you may be eligible for wages for living – so-called Leefloon. Whether or not you are eligible depends on your situation. You can find out by contacting the Public Center for Social Welfare (OCMW) in the municipality where you live.

More measures in Flanders, Brussels and Wallonia

The several administrations in Belgium have more measures in place to help businesses cope with the corona crisis, such as tax payment extensions, short-time working benefits. You can find a full list of all measures on the following websites. This information is also relevant for Dutch entrepreneurs who run their business from a fixed place in Belgium.

  • Flanders: Agentschap Innoveren & Ondernemen (VLAIO, in Dutch)
  • Brussels region: 1819, FAQ for entrepreneurs
  • Wallonia: 1890 (in French), FAQ (in German)

Support measures in Germany

In Germany, the government is taking extensive support measures to help entrepreneurs through the crisis. You can find an overviewExternal link (in German) of the Konjunkturpaket (launched 3 June) on the German government website. The main provision in this new set of measures is a decrease of VAT tariffs. If you have questions concerning your German business and speak German, you can call the special coronavirus hotlines for entrepreneurs.

The Border info point can give you the latest updates on German measures, and what they mean for businesses in the border region.

Useful link

The SVB, the organisation responsible for the execution of Dutch national insurance schemes, has published an articleExternal link listing the measures in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany for cross-border workers and entrepreneurs.

ReadExternal link the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) information on international trade with Germany.

This information is provided by

Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK