Applying for eHerkenning

Published by:
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

Do you do business with a Dutch government organisation? Such as applying for a permit or a subsidy? You can often do this online with eHerkenning. A safe way to log in to various government organisations. Read here what exactly eHerkenning is and how to request a login.

What is eHerkenning?

eHerkenning is an electronic identification, a kind of DigiD, for companies. With DigiD citizens can log in securely at various government agencies. Companies do this via eHerkenning. You need only 1 way to log in to multiple agencies. With eHerkenning you can, for example, apply for a permit or subsidy.

For which companies is eHerkenning?

eHerkenning is a business login tool and is intended for all businesses. You may use eHerkenning even if you are not registered with KVK. For instance if you are not required to register with KVK, or if you are unable to.

e-Identification for foreign businesses

Foreign entrepreneurs cannot use Dutch eHerkenning tools, since they are usually not registered in the Dutch Business Register. To enable businesses and citizens in the EU to use e-identification cross-border, the eIDAS regulation came into force. As a result, entrepreneurs from the EU can log in with a recognised European means of electronic identification.

Using eHerkenning abroad

Also as a result of the eIDAS regulation, eHerkenning can be used across the border in a number of European countries. Dutch companies and organisations can use eHerkenning to arrange matters online with foreign service providers that support the login method. You must make sure your eHerkenning tool is suitable for this. Contact your supplier for more information and help.

Affiliated organisations

You can log in with eHerkenning at a large number of organisations. Think of municipalities, water boards, provinces, ministries, and implementing organisations. For example, you can apply for a Certificate of conduct online with eHerkenning at the Ministry of Security and Justice.

Applying for eHerkenning

You apply for the eHerkenning login to an approved supplier. And you must pay for the application and use of eHerkenning. How much you pay depends on the supplier and the service you purchase. In the supplier overview, you will find all approved suppliers and their products and prices.

Check which assurance level you need

There are different security levels. The level of assurance you need, depends on the service offered. To apply for an environmental permit, for example, you need a login at level EH2+. But for a patent application, level EH4 applies. Your passport or identity card will then also be checked. The service provider where you want to log in indicates which assurance level you need for its online service.

These are the assurance levels:

  • EH2+: log in with a username, password, and an additional SMS or PIN code.
  • EH3: Log in with a username, password, and an additional SMS code, PIN code (via token), or an app with a QR code.
  • EH4: Log in with a PKI certificate (a digital signature) or 2-factor authentication. PKI stands for Public Key Infrastructure. A PKI certificate makes it possible to communicate securely online with Dutch banks and the tax administration.

You can always use eHerkenning for services with the same or a lower assurance level. But never for a higher level. If you want to increase your eHerkenning key at a later stage, you will have to upgrade your existing key or buy a new one.


An eHerkenning login is personal. You cannot share or transfer it. So, you request eHerkenning per person and per service. Authorisations are mandatory for all assurance levels. For you, and for all employees who do business with the government on behalf of your company. This authorisation must be registered with your eHerkenning supplier. Authorisation can only be issued by someone who is authorised to sign within your organisation or an authorisation manager.

Authorise intermediaries (chain authorisation)

You can authorise an intermediary organisation to act on your behalf with eHerkenning. They can then 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. All eHerkenning suppliers support chain authorisation, but you cannot login with all government service providers via chain authorisation.

eHerkenning for multiple companies

You can link different KVK numbers to 1 eHerkenning key. You can also arrange authorisations for your employees per KVK number. Your supplier can help you with this.

Reimbursement eHerkenning tool for tax return

Have you purchased the eHerkenning tool 'Belastingdienst eH3 login tool' for your tax return? Then you can apply for compensation at

Is eHerkenning mandatory?

With the arrival of the Digital Government Act (wet Digitale Overheid), the national government is making the use of eHerkenning mandatory for government organisations. In addition, more and more (government) organisations are asking to log in with eHerkenning.

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