Rules for starting a business as a minor

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Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

In the Netherlands, if you are younger than 18 years of age, you are a minor. As a minor you need permission from your parents or legal guardians for legal actions regarding starting a business. You need permission to, for example make a purchase, borrow money, or sign a contract.

Do you want to perform legal acts without your parents' permission? And you want to be personally liable for legal acts performed in a commercial capacity? You can apply for limited legal capacity (handlichting). You have to submit an application to the district court for your place of residence (in Dutch). You must be at least 16 years old to do so. Limited legal capacity automatically expires when you turn 18. Minors younger than 16 always need their parents’ permission and they cannot apply for limited legal capacity.

Registering your business

There is no minimum age to start a business. The activities your company intends to undertake should be fitting for your age and you should be able to perform the work independently. You do need your parents’ or legal guardian’s permission to register your business with the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce (KVK). You can bring one of your parents or your guardian to you KVK appointment. Alternatively, you can have them sign a letter of consent (akkoordverklaring), proof of authorisation, or limited legal capacity.

Compulsory education

Even if you run a business as a minor, you must still attend school up to and including the school year in which you turn 16. If you are 16 and you have not graduated secondary education (havo or vwo) or intermediate vocational education (mbo), you do not have a starting qualification. Then you have to stay in school until you reach 18. If you earn money from your business, this may affect the amount of study finance you are entitled to.

Paying taxes

As a minor running a business you will have to pay taxes. The Dutch Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst) will decide if you qualify as an entrepreneur for income tax and turnover tax (VAT).

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