Using online government services in the Netherlands

This information is provided by

Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK

If you intend to do business in the Netherlands and want to make use of online services by the Dutch government, 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 (eRecognition) 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 providersExternal link (in Dutch). Charges apply. There are several levels of eHerkenning token, depending on how secure your identification needs to be. For example, you can apply for several subsidies with a level 1 token. Still, it might be a good idea to buy a higher level token. That way, you won’t have to 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 Identification (eID), Authentication and Trust ServicesExternal link. 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 eIDAS hereExternal link.

How do I implement eIDAS?

Do you want to incorporate eIDAS in your business? Download the eIDAS checklistExternal link by the European Commission, which helps you choose suitable eDIAS solutions for your business. Read more on how to implement eDIAS into 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 Dutch Tax and Customs Administration, 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 formExternal link. 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 from abroadExternal link. You can choose someone else to take care of your affairs with DigiD AuthorisationExternal link. 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

This information is provided by

Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK