Licence for private security organisation or detective agency

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

Do you want to set up or take over a private security organisation or detective agency in the Netherlands? You need a licence (in Dutch). You also need to request permission from the Ministry of Justice and Security or the local police for your managers and employees to perform this work.

There are various types of security organisations (in Dutch):

  • security firms that provide security for one or more other organisations
  • security departments that only provide security for their own organisation
  • private investigation firms (detective agencies) that carry out investigatory work for private citizens or for companies
  • firms that transport money and other valuables
  • private alarm centres
  • video surveillance centres

Operators of hotel and catering establishments who employ their own doormen, security staff or bouncers also need a licence.

Applying for a licence

You can obtain a licence and ministerial consent from the Ministry of Justice and Security via Justis (in Dutch). You can apply either online or in writing. A licence is valid for at most 5 years. Justis may grant you a licence for a shorter period of time. You have to renew your licence every time it expires.

Conditions for a licence

In order to be eligible for a licence, you must satisfy a number of conditions. Your employees must have the required diplomas, you can apply for recognition of these professional qualifications to Justis. There are also requirements concerning proof of identity, uniform and privacy.

Permission for managers, supervisors, and employees

Managers, supervisors, and employees need permission from the Ministry of Justice and Security or the local chief of police. If you are both a manager and an employee, you need to apply for permission for both roles.


Do you run a business in the hospitality sector? And do you employ bouncers or other security staff? You need a licence (in Dutch). You need to apply for renewal 3 months before your licence runs out.

Private alarm centres

Do you have a private alarm centre or video surveillance centre? You must be certified by Kiwa NCP to be eligible for a licence (in Dutch).

You may only have alarm equipment installed and maintained by qualified installers. These installers must have a declaration of reliability. Installers need to apply for the declaration of reliability to the chief of police of their residence themselves.

Certificate of suitability for dogs

Do you want to use a patrol dog or guard dog? You must have a certificate showing that the dog is suitable. When on duty, the dog handler must carry this certificate at all times. You can apply for the certificate to:

Offering armed security on ships

Do you want to offer armed security on ships moving through specific at-risk areas? You can apply for the PMSC-license to the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (Inspectie Leefomgeving en Transport, ILT).

Ban on establishing and dispensation

Special investigating officers (boa's), public prosecutors, police officers, or soldiers of the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee are not allowed to establish a security firm or detective agency. They are also not permitted to work for a security firm or detective agency.

For special investigating officers you can apply for dispensation through Justis (in Dutch).

Online application procedure via Message Box

Private alarm centres and detective agencies can also submit an application for a licence to Justis via Message Box. Message Box is a secure email system that enables you to exchange digital messages with Dutch government organisations.

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