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Government information for entrepreneurs

Checklist for starting a private security firm

This information is provided by

Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK | Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO | Statistics Netherlands organisation, CBS

If you want to start a security firm in the Netherlands, you must contend with various government rules and regulations. You can use this checklist to quickly determine which obligations you must fulfil. This checklist serves merely as a guideline. You may need to fulfil other obligations as well.

1. Check whether you can stay in the Netherlands

Entrepreneurs who intend to stay in the Netherlands must fulfil a number of conditions. You will sometimes also require a residence permit. Our interactive tool Coming to the Netherlands as an entrepreneur can help you find out quickly if this is true for you, and tell you what other obligations you have to fulfil.

If you plan to start doing business in the Netherlands, you will also need to have or apply for a business bank account (IBAN). The Dutch Banking Association has created a Quick Scan to help you find out if you are eligible. Read how it works.

3. Apply for a private security firm licence

You need a licence to establish a private security firm. Managers of a security firm also need separate ministerial consent.

4. Apply for special proof of identity for your employees

Your employees must carry special proof of identity. You can submit an application for this proof of identity to the police force in the police district where your firm or agency is located.

5. Apply for approval of your uniforms

All employees that carry out security activities are required to wear a uniform that has been approved by the Minister of Security and Justice. Your uniform must bear the prescribed 'V' emblem.

6. Comply with the collective labour agreement (CAO) for private security firms

You are required to comply with the collective labour agreement for private security firms. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment has declared this CAO universally binding for your sector.

7. Register with the Dutch Commercial Register and Dutch Tax Administration

New businesses must register with the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce (KVK) Commercial Register. They will pass on your details to the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration. You therefore do not need to register separately with them.

Sole proprietors: VAT number procedure changes as of 1 January 2020

Do you want to start as a sole proprietor (eenmanszaak)? In that case, from 1 January 2020 onwards, the Tax and Customs Administration will issue your VAT number when you register at the Chamber of Commerce. When you register with the Commercial Register, the Chamber of Commerce will forward your registration to the Tax Administration, and they will process this to provide you with your VAT number. This may take up to five days. Before 1 January 2020, the Chamber of Commerce issued you with your VAT number directly when you registered your business. The change in procedure is necessary to protect sole proprietors' privacy; prior to the change, the VAT number was linked to the private citizen service number (BSN). Personal data were freely available in the Commercial Register. The Data Protection Authority (Autoriteit Persoonsbescherming) has ruled that this is a violation of the GDPR. If you were already registered as a sole proprietor with your citizen service number before 1 January 2020, the Tax Administration will issue you with a new VAT number. You don't have to undertake any action.

Statistics: enterprise births private security

Number of enterprise births private security.

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

This information is provided by

Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Statistics Netherlands organisation, CBS