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Government support for entrepreneurs

Residence permit

This information is provided by Netherlands Enterprise Agency

All European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationalsExternal link are entitled to stay in the Netherlands without a Dutch residence permit (verblijfsvergunning). Their passport or ID card is sufficient proof of their rightful stay. The EEA comprises the EU, Liechtenstein, Norway and IcelandExternal link.

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, will usually need to apply to the Dutch Embassy or Consulate for a provisional residence permit (MVV) and a residence permit at the same time.
  • Ambitious entrepreneurs (start-ups) 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 schemeExternal link, various conditions apply. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) checks and evaluates the start-up. If they have completed the conditions for obtaining a residence permit for self-employed professionals and have a formal statement from their supervisor, they may obtain the residence permitExternal link.
  • Employees who intend to work as an employee in the Netherlands for longer than 3 months, will usually need a GVVAExternal link (paid employment single permit). This is a combined permit to stay and work. For stays up to 3 months, or in some cases (students, asylum seekers, CroatiansExternal link), they will need a work permit (tewerkstellingsvergunning, TWV) as well as a separate residence permit.
  • To obtain a residence 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 conditionsExternal link.

Both residence permits and GVVA are issued by the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst, IND). Please check the External linkIND websiteExternal link or contact themExternal link to find out what applies to your specific situation.

Provisional residence permit (MVV) versus residence permit

Before you can apply for a residence permit, you usually require a provisional residence permitExternal link (Machtiging tot voorlopig verblijf or MVV). This is a visa that lets you enter the Netherlands and stay for longer than 90 days. Both individuals or Dutch employers (sponsors) can apply for an MVV on behalf of their employee or employees. You apply for the MVV and the residence permit at the same time. In some cases, you do not need an MVVExternal link.


When you apply for an MVV or residence permit, there are costs involved, for instance for drawing up and legalising documents. The costs depend on the country you come from. For more information, please contact the authorities in your own country. Be aware that if your application is denied, there will be no refund.

Registering with your municipality

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. You must do so within 5 days after your arrival. If you decide to leave the Netherlands for more than 8 months, you are required to deregister.

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency