1. Find an available business space
When you open up a pop-up store, you are not immediately tied to a long-term rental contract. Therefore it is a useful way to test whether your business idea works. You can open a pop-up store in many places. For example, in an empty retail building or in an office that is for rent. Contact your municipality and anti-squat organisations to find addresses of properties that are vacant. Or visit real estate agents in your area.
2. Check whether the business space is suitable
Check with your municipality if you are allowed to use the business space as a shop. The type of business space determines whether the property is suitable for your business plan and which lease rules apply to you.
There are 2 types of business spaces:
- Medium-sized business spaces which are accessible to everyone. You sell products or services directly to the visitor. For example, a flower shop, café or clothing store.
- Other business spaces which are not directly accessible to everyone. such as offices, showrooms and factories.
Depending on the type of business space you rent, different rules apply for the duration of the rental contract, the notice period and rental protection.
3. Read the zoning plan
In the municipal zoning plan you can read which regulations apply to the business space you want to rent and whether you are allowed to carry out the activities that you have in mind. Contact your municipality to view the zoning plan.
If you are not allowed to carry out your business activities because they are not in line with the zoning plan, you can request a temporary exemption, dispensation or environmental permit. In order to do so, you have to schedule an appointment with your municipality.
4. Check the General Municipal By-Law
Each municipality has its own rules and regulations. Therefore, submit your plans for your pop-up shop to your municipality to find out if you meet all the requirements.
Many rules and regulations can be found in the General Municipal By-Law (Algemene Plaatselijke Verordening, APV) of your municipality. For example, the rules for opening hours, noise regulations and shop displays. You can find more information about the APV of your municipality via the Overheid.nl search tool (in Dutch).
5. Find out if you need permits
Permits you may also need:
All-in-one permit for physical aspects
Check whether you need an all-in-one permit for physical aspects (Omgevingsvergunning) for your plans. Do you want to advertise on your building? Or are you going to renovate? Then you may have to apply for an all-in-one permit for physical aspects.
Do you want to organise a party? For example, to celebrate the opening of your pop-up store? Then you may need to apply for an event licence.
6. Conclude a temporary rental contract
It is important to make agreements about the duration of the rental contract, because a pop-up store is a temporary store. If you rent a medium-sized business space, you are legally entitled to a notice period of 1 year.
Do you want to open a pop-up store for less than 1 year? Make clear agreements about this with the landlord and include them in the temporary rental contract.
In the lease you also make other arrangements about, for example:
- the rental price and payment term
- the VAT
- rent increase
- what adjustments you can make to the property
- agreements about maintenance
- municipal taxes
Also check whether the building meets safety requirements, such as fire safety, and make agreements about your responsibilities. You can download model contracts (in Dutch) from the Real Estate Council (Raad voor Onroerende Zaken, ROZ).
Temporary user agreement
You can also opt for a temporary user agreement if you want to rent a business space. You then pay a small fee to the landlord for the temporary use of the property or part of the property. A user agreement also has disadvantages. For example, you may not be entitled to rental protection. The Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK therefore advises you to have the user agreement checked by a lawyer.
7. Check whether your pop-up store is a business or a hobby
Is your pop-up store a hobby or a business? The answer to this question affects the taxes you have to pay. Find out when you are considered an entrepreneur by the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration.
8. Follow the steps in our checklist for starting a business in the Netherlands
Is this your first time starting a business in the Netherlands? Follow the steps in our checklist on how to start a business in the Netherlands. The checklist tells you which obligations you must fulfil if you want to set up a business, such as choosing a legal structure and registering with the Netherland Chamber of Commerce, KVK.
When you are finished with the checklist, continue with the steps on this page.
Are you already registered with the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce? For example, because you have an online shop and you have decided to sell your products in your pop-up store temporarily? In that case too, you must pass on your temporary address to the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce.
9. Check which (local) taxes you have to pay
When you rent a business space, you have to pay municipal taxes and fees. This includes sewage charges, property taxes (OZB) and waste taxes. Check with your municipality which taxes you have to pay.
10. Follow the food safety rules
When selling food and drinks, you must adhere to the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) rules for hygiene and food safety. For example, you must draw up a HACCP plan or use a hygiene code. The NVWA can check this and impose fines if you do not comply with the rules.