Types of subsidies and schemes

Published by:
Netherlands Enterprise Agency RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency RVO
Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK
Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK

The government supports entrepreneurs in various ways. Sometimes you can get money or a loan. But the government also helps by making certain things easier, or by introducing you to people who can help you with your plans. And do you have a project that is in line with the EU? Then you may be able to apply for a European subsidy.

All types of subsidies and schemes

The overview Financing your business lists many forms of government support. Sometimes the help is purely financial, but often the government also helps you in other ways.

In the Netherlands, subsidies are usually executed by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency RVO. You can use their subsidy finder to search for subsidies or financing that suits your business.


With a subsidy, you receive financial support from, for example, the national government, the province, or a municipality. This financial support can take various forms. Sometimes you receive money, but it is also possible that you have to pay less tax, or that you receive vouchers, with which you can, for example, hire an advisor.

Credits and loans

The government also provides funding and loans. You will of course repay a credit or loan, but under favourable conditions. For example, you pay less or even no interest. Sometimes you can get a tax benefit.

Deposits and guarantees

With a credit guarantee scheme such as the BMKB, you borrow money from a bank or other financier. You will need to pay this back. Because the government stands as a guarantor for (part of) your loan, the financier is certain that they will get their money back. So, the financier runs less risk. The government will repay the loan, or part of it, if you are no longer able to do so. This makes it easier for you to get the loan.

Tax schemes and benefits

Tax schemes and benefits allow you to pay less tax if you meet certain conditions. For example, because you have just started your business, or because you are setting aside money for your pension.

Collaborative Programs

The government also grants subsidies in collaborative programs, where companies or (social) organisations work together on a project. For example, the government can grant you a permit more easily, provide good information, or resolve bottlenecks in legislation and regulations.


A benefit is money that you receive from the government, for example because you are unemployed or incapacitated for work. This money is usually paid every month, so that you can pay your fixed costs. Some entrepreneurs start from unemployment benefits. Sometimes you can hire an unemployed or partially disabled employee for a certain period of time while they keep their benefits.


In a contest, you can submit an idea, a product, or a project. A jury then determines which entry has won. The prize can be a sum of money, but sometimes the winner gets help, or is allowed to actually implement his idea or project.

The government supports projects that it considers important

The government considers certain topics important. It supports these subjects in various ways. For example, by helping entrepreneurs active in that area. If you work in one of these areas, there may be a suitable arrangement for you.

Research and innovation

When you engage in research and innovation, the government may be able to help you by making a contribution towards the wage costs during research. There are also (regional) subsidies with which you can investigate whether your innovation is feasible.

Energy and environment

There are various schemes that help if you invest in energy or environmentally friendly products and the generation of renewable energy.

International business

Do you conduct business in developing countries and emerging markets? And is international business new to you? Various international subsidies and schemes are available.

Hiring and training staff

Sometimes support is available if you hire staff with a distance to the labour market. For example, to modify a workplace. Or to hire someone with a so-called trial placement.

Agricultural sector and Arts and culture

Do you work in the agricultural sector or in the arts and culture sector? There are various grants and schemes available in these industries.

European subsidies

Are you working on projects related to the European Union (EU)? Then you may be eligible for a European subsidy. Via a 'Call for proposal' (a public tender) you can submit a project proposal that corresponds to the policy area and meets the conditions. The granting of subsidies should not lead to profit. You cannot apply for a subsidy with retroactive effect for a project that you have carried out in the past.

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Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO