Using online government services in the Netherlands

Published by:
Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK
Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK
2 min read

If you intend to do business in the Netherlands and want to make use of the Dutch government's online services, you need a digital identity. In the Netherlands, government organisations use eHerkenning, DigiD, and eIDAS. Find out what they are for and how to apply.


eHerkenning is a standardised login system for businesses. With eHerkenning you can make use of online government services for your business. For example, if you want to apply for a permit, subsidy or assessment applications. You need an eHerkenning token for this. Dutch government organisations are increasingly using eHerkenning as a digital port for authorisation.

Where do I purchase an eHerkenning token?

An eHerkenning token can be purchased from recognised service providers. Charges apply. There are several eHerkenning levels, depending on how secure your identification needs to be. If you will be using eHerkenning for different government services, choose a high-security level token. That way, you won’t have to upgrade your token or apply for a new one, should you need to communicate with the Dutch government on a higher security level. Read this checklist on what you need to do to purchase an eHerkenning token.


eIDAS stands for electronic Identities and Trust Services. It ensures that European citizens and businesses can use their own national digital identification system to safely access digital services in other European countries. Although the EU regulation on eIDAS was adopted by the Netherlands, not all Dutch government services are accessible with eIDAS yet. For the time being, you may still need eHerkenning or DigiD. Read more about the European eIDAS regulation.

How do I implement eIDAS?

Do you want to incorporate eIDAS in your business? Download the eIDAS checklist by the European Commission, which helps you choose suitable eDIAS solutions for your business. Read more on how to implement eDIAS in your business activities. Please note: not all EU countries make use of a notified eID system.


A DigiD (Digital Identity) is an online identity. With a DigiD you can safely access online (semi)governmental services in the Netherlands. The DigiD consists of a username and a password and is linked to your citizen service number (BSN).

Do I need a DigiD?

If you intend to live and work in the Netherlands, you need a DigiD in order to make use of online government services. For example, if you have to file income tax with the Netherlands Tax Administration (Belastingdienst), if you need to apply for benefits or allowances, or for the Message Box government communication service. If you have a business without legal entity (sole proprietor, general partnership), you can use your DigiD for filing your income tax return. You are not legally obliged to apply for a DigiD, but without a DigiD many online government services will be inaccessible to you. Check with the government organisation for alternatives.

How do I apply for a DigiD?

You can apply for a DigiD with the DigiD application form. You will need a citizen service number in order to apply. Within approximately 3 days you receive a letter with your activation code. Read how you can collect your DigiD outside the Netherlands. You can choose someone else to take care of your affairs with DigiD Authorisation. For example, if you need your tax advisor to file your taxes. Be careful who you authorise to prevent abuse of your data.

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK