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Government information for entrepreneurs

Professional qualifications and diplomas

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

You do not require a separate diploma or permit in order to establish a business in the Netherlands. However, you are only allowed to practise certain professions if you meet specific requirements. There are regulated professions and professions that are subject to certain professional competence requirements.

Regulated professions in the Netherlands

A regulated profession is one where access to or practice of a profession is restricted to those who meet the professional qualifications required by law. In the European Union's Regulated Professions Database you can find the list of the regulated professions in the NetherlandsExternal link, with a reference to the related organisation.

Recognition foreign diplomas and professions

European agreements with regard to the mutual recognition of diplomasExternal link provide access to regulated professions in other Member States. Nuffic's National Contact PointExternal link can inform you about the status of your national diploma in the Netherlands and possible access to a Dutch regulated profession. Nuffic is the Netherlands Organization for International Cooperation in Higher Education. You can also have your foreign credentials evaluated by IDWExternal link (International Credential Evaluation).

European Professional Card

If you are an EU citizen, you can apply for a European Professional Card (EPC) from the EU. This provides recognition for the following regulated professions:

  • pharmacist
  • nurse, responsible for general care
  • physiotherapist
  • real estate agent
  • mountain guide

You can apply for the European Professional CardExternal link online. This card, which is an electronic certificate that works via the Internal Market Information System (IMI), simplifies the procedure for getting your professional qualifications recognised in another EU country.

European Regulated professions database

Check the EU Regulated professions databaseExternal link to find out which professions are regulated in which Member States. The database also contains information about the professions and statistic data on cross-border activities regarding regulated professions with an interactive map.

Professions subject to professional competence requirements

In addition to the regulated professions, there are professions that are subject to professional competence requirements. Some of these are:

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This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO