Do you want to do business online with a Dutch government organisation? You may need to log in with eHerkenning. For example, if you need to file tax returns, you want to apply for a permit, or if you want to apply for a subsidy.
What is eHerkenning?
More and more government organisations require eHerkenning to use their services digitally. eHerkenning ensures government organisations know exactly with which company and with whom they are dealing. It also shows if these people are authorised to act on behalf of that company. An eIdentity (EID) key (eHerkenningsmiddel) can be purchased from recognised service providers.
In the Netherlands, there are two different eIdentity systems:
eHerkenning has been approved by the EU. This means you can use it to contact any European government body that offers its services digitally. Read more about how to apply for eHerkenning.
How to apply for eHerkenning
To purchase an eHerkenning key in the Netherlands follow these steps:
In order to use eHerkenning, your company or organisation must be registered with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (KVK). Your company may not be eligible for registration with KVK, if so read the paragraph 'Foreign Businesses'.
Please note: sole traders who are not registered with KVK can use eHerkenning for certain government services. They can use it for services from the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst) and the Employment Insurance Agency (UWV).
The government organisation with which you want to do digital business selects a security level at which to offer its services. Your eHerkenning key must have the same level of security or higher. There are 4 security levels: basic (EH2 and EH2+), substantial (EH3), and high security (EH4). EH3 is the most widely used security level. If you want to purchase eHerkenning for several employees, you may purchase eHerkenning keys for different levels, in order to access various services.
Please note: Consider if you need eHerkenning for services with a higher security level in the future. Will you apply for a subsidy at some point in time, for example? Or will you perhaps require an All-in-one Permit for Physical Aspects at some stage? If you want to increase your eHerkenning key at a later stage, you will have to upgrade your existing key.
You have to pay a purchasing fee for an eHerkenning key. The costs depend on which type you choose and on the level of security. Service providers may charge a once-only price and/or recurrent costs. An overview of the costs is available in the Recognised Service Providers Matrix.
You can purchase eHerkenning from one of the six recognised service providers. Besides the security level, also take note of the costs and the key type, the application procedure, the lead time, the replacement procedure and the possible Help Desk availability.
Please note: In order to authorise a member of staff for eHerkenning (assurance level 4), a government PKI certificate is required. PKI certificates can only be used for the person named on the certificate. Standard Business Reporting (SBR) certificates are organisation certificates, which cannot be used to authorise members of staff. The reverse also applies. The personal certificates required for eHerkenning cannot be used for SBR. Do not forget this when purchasing SBR software and/or an eHerkenning tool.
Your EID service provider keeps an authorisation register. In this register you record the name of the person who is authorised to do digital business with the Dutch government on your company's behalf in line with the eIDAS Regulation by the EU. You do so by assigning a legal representative or an 'authorisation manager' (machtigingenbeheerder) for your company. They inform your recognised service provider if there is a change in the authorisation or if the authorisation is withdrawn.
You can authorise an intermediary organisation to act on your behalf with eHerkenning. They can subsequently appoint one of their employees to represent them. An audit firm, for instance, may be authorised by their client to act on their behalf to apply for a subsidy or to set up a Message Box account. The firm then authorises one of their employees to be their actual representative. This is called chain authorisation. Not all eHerkenning suppliers support chain authorisation. Please take this into account when selecting your supplier.
e-Identification for foreign businesses
Foreign entrepreneurs cannot use Dutch eHerkenning tools. To purchase eHerkenning, you must be registered in the Dutch Business Register. This is not always an option for foreign entrepreneurs. To enable businesses and citizens in the EU to use e-identification cross-border, the eIDAS regulation came into force. As a result of the eIDAS regulation, entrepreneurs from the EU can log in with a recognised European means of electronic identification.