Do you want to start a business in the Netherlands? European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals are entitled to stay in the Netherlands without a Dutch residence permit (verblijfsvergunning). Your passport or ID card is sufficient proof of your rightful residency in the Netherlands. The EEA comprises EU countries, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland.
Nationals from outside the EEA and Switzerland
For nationals from outside the EEA and Switzerland there are several possible situations. Some examples are:
- Entrepreneurs who intend to stay in the Netherlands for longer than 3 months. You will usually need to apply to the Dutch Embassy or Consulate for a provisional residence permit (Machtiging tot voorlopig verblijf, MVV) and a residence permit at the same time.
- Ambitious entrepreneurs (startups) who want to start an innovative business in the Netherlands may apply for a 1-year residence permit as starting entrepreneur. To be eligible for this start-up scheme, various conditions apply. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency checks and evaluates the startup.
- Migrants who intend to work as an employee in the Netherlands for longer than 3 months, will usually need a GVVA (paid employment single permit). This is a combined permit to stay and work. For stays up to 3 months, they will need a work permit (tewerkstellingsvergunning, TWV) as well as a separate residence permit.
- Highly skilled migrants who are employed by a recognised sponsor and meet the income requirements are eligible for a residence permit, so do not need a work permit.
- Foreign investors who want to live in the Netherlands need to satisfy additional conditions, among others a minimum investment sum of €1.25 million in a Dutch company and an obvious added value to the Dutch economy. Read all the conditions. Please note: this permit is no longer available from 1 January 2024.
Both residence permits and GVVA are issued by the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst, IND). Please check the IND website or contact them for more information on Netherlands visa applications and to find out what applies to your specific situation.
Provisional residence permit (MVV) and residence permit
Before you can apply for a Dutch residence permit, you usually require a provisional residence permit (Machtiging tot voorlopig verblijf, MVV). With this visa you can enter the Netherlands and stay for longer than 90 days. Both individuals and Dutch employers (sponsors) can apply for a provisional residence permit on behalf of their employee or employees. You apply for the provisional residence permit and the residence permit at the same time. In some cases, you do not need a provisional residence permit.
Costs for a Dutch residence permit
When you apply for a provisional residence permit or a residence permit, there are costs involved, for instance for drawing up and legalising documents. The costs depend on your country of origin. For more information, please contact the authorities in your own country. Be aware that if your application is denied, there will be no refund.
Residence permit and BSN number
In addition to a residence permit, you might need a citizen service number (burgerservicenummerBSN). Generally, if you intend to stay in the Netherlands for more than 4 months, you must register with the municipality you are going to live in. In the Netherlands, anyone who registers with the municipality, automatically receives a BSN number.
You must register within 5 days after your arrival. Are you leaving the Netherlands for more than 8 months? You are required to deregister.
Residency in the Netherlands
Do you plan to apply for permanent residency in the Netherlands? Find out how to apply for permanent residency.