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Licence for private security organisation or detective agency

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

If you wish to set up or take over a private security organisation or detective agency in the Netherlands, you need a licence. Find out more.

Do you wish 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 with the Ministry of Justice and Security.

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 and 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 (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. Private alarm centres and video surveillance centres must be certified by Kiwa NCP (in Dutch).

Permission for managers

For managers and supervisors within the company permission by Justis (scroll for application form pdf, in Dutch) is required. You can apply for this permission at the same time you apply for your licence (in Dutch). When granted, this permission is valid for the duration of the licence, with a maximum of 5 years. You need to apply for permission for every new manager or supervisor you hire.

Permission for employees

Your employees also need permission. This permission is granted by your 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. You need to apply for renewal 3 months before your licence runs out.

Certificate of suitability for dogs

Do you want to use a patrol dog or guard dog? You are required to present 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

A security firm of detective agency may not be established by special investigating officers, public prosecutors, police officers or soldiers of the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee. These persons are also not permitted to work for a security firm or detective agency. Dispensation is possible for special investigating officers 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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This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
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