A guide to setting up a pop-up store in the Netherlands

Published by:
Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK
Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK

A pop-up store is a store that you open in a temporary place, such as an empty retail building. If you want to set up a pop-up store in the Netherlands, you must meet certain rules and regulations. The requirements may vary per municipality. This checklist is a guideline.

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.

Read more tips about finding a suitable location for your pop-up shop.

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.

The type of business space you rent determines the notice period and rent protection. Separate rules also apply to the term of the lease.

3. Check the environment plan

In the environment plan you can see which regulations apply to the business space you want to rent and whether you are allowed to carry out the activities that you intend. You can check the environment plan (in Dutch) via the online service counter Omgevingsloket.

Do your plans not fit in the environment plan? For example, because you want to open a pop-up restaurant in an old school, where this is currently not allowed. Then you can ask for a temporary exemption, dispensation, or apply for an environment and planning permit (Omgevingsvergunning). You can do this via the Omgevingsloket. Are you not sure which permits you need? Then do the permit check (in Dutch).

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. Check if you need permits

If you sell food and drinks, you may need an operating licence for a catering company. Do you serve alcohol? Then you must apply for an alcohol licence.

Other permits you may also need:

Environment and planning permit

Check whether you need an Environment and planning permit (Omgevingsvergunning) for your plans. Do you want to advertise on your building? Or are you going to renovate? Check if you need to apply for a permit.

Event licence

Do you want to organise a party? For example, to celebrate the opening of your pop-up store? Check if you need to apply for an event licence.

Music licence

Do you play music in your pop-up store? Then you must comply with music rights and apply for a licence to play music. You check if you need a music licence on Mijnlicentie.nl (in Dutch).

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 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 Tax 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 KVK.

When you are finished with the checklist, continue with the steps on this page.

Are you already registered with KVK? 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 KVK.

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. Always check with your municipality which taxes you have to pay.

You may also have to pay VAT and income tax to the Tax Administration. You then charge VAT on your product price, unless your products or services are exempt.

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.

Do you make and/or sell products? Your role in making or selling a product determines your responsibilities. Find out what you need to do to ensure products are safe.

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK