Check the zoning plan
You need to know if you are allowed to set up a business at the location. The zoning plan tells you what is allowed at a specific site or area. For example, it says if shops or catering establishments are allowed. Visit the local municipality to see the zoning plan. Or use the Ruimtelijkeplannen.nl website (in Dutch). Here you can find details of all the spatial plans from local government, provincial government, and national government. For example, plans for the construction of new roads, or a new housing estate.
Deviate from the zoning plan
Does your development plan or the proposed use of the site not comply with the zoning plan? Then check with the municipality whether you can deviate (in Dutch) or object to a zoning plan. Sometimes you can get a temporary exemption. Or you can get your plan approved with an application for the All-in-one permit for physical aspects, the Omgevingsvergunning. This can cover a variety of factors, such as construction and the environment. Always provide good evidence to support your argument. You must show that your plans will not have a major impact on the surrounding area. You can apply for the Omgevingsvergunning via the municipality, or directly via the Omgevingsloket Online website (in Dutch).
Apply for the right permits
Most building developments and renovation projects require an all-in-one permit for physical aspects (omgevingsvergunning). Other permits may also be required for activities in certain sectors (in Dutch). For example, when starting a catering business. Some permits are not linked to a sector. Such as a permit to put advertising on the outside of a building. Do the permit check via Omgevingsloket Online (in Dutch) and then arrange your permit applications.
Check which environmental requirements you need to comply with
You must comply with environmental regulations. For example, your business cannot make too much noise. There are also rules about things like industrial waste. The Activities Decree specifies what you need to consider and which permits you need.
New planning application procedure
The new Environment and Planning Act (Omgevingswet) will come into effect on 1 January 2024. Until then, you can submit applications via the Activities Decree Internet Module (AIM, in Dutch). From 1 January 2024, you can use the new Omgevingsloket website (in Dutch).
Consider municipal taxes and water taxes
Check which local taxes you have to pay. Both owners and users of business premises pay property tax. Many municipalities charge cleaning fees if they process your business waste. In certain cases, you also pay waste disposal charges. Do you own business premises with a connection to the municipal sewerage system? Then you must pay sewerage charges. Are you going to advertise your business? You usually pay an advertising tax or a tax for the use of space on or above public areas. Find out what municipal and regional taxes there are.
Make an environmental analysis
An environmental analysis will let you know if it is wise to locate your business in a certain area. For example:
- Is there a market for your business there? Will you get customers from the area?
- Are there already more companies offering the same thing? Or are you the first?
- What does the zoning plan say? Are there any special rules?
Map out your business area
With the KVK Location Scan (in Dutch) and the KVK Company Counter, you can find out a lot about the area around your business location. This includes data on competitors, chances of success, potential customers, and local residents. This data is compared to the Dutch average.
Report a change of address to KVK
As soon as you move into the new location for your company, you must report the change of address within 1 week. Failure to do so may have consequences for your company’s liability.