Message Box FAQ

Published by:
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

Please find below the most frequently asked questions about the Message Box for businesses.

Creating a Message Box

Your username is not subject to special requirements. Choose a username which is easy to remember. Your password must be 8 to 32 characters long and must contain at least one letter, one number and one special character (e.g. hyphen, underscore or asterisk).

Your Message Box name must not contain any spaces or capitals. Furthermore, a Message Box name must be unique. If the name you want is already in use, a notification will appear and you can think of a different name. We recommend that you choose a name that is the same as or similar to that of your business.

No, you cannot.

Creating and using a Message Box account is free.

Yes. Once created, a Message Box account will remain active.

Logging in/out

This depends on whether you are using an Answers for Business user account (foreign entrepreneurs) or an e-Identifier (resident entrepreneurs). You click on the facility you use in the Message Box login screen (opens in a new window).

  1. In the case of an e-Identifier, you will go to a page where you select the provider of your e-Identifier from a list. The exact login procedure depends on your type of e-Identifier.
  2. In the case of an Answers for Business user account, you will go to a page where you enter your chosen username and password. Can several people log into the same Message Box simultaneously? Yes, that is possible. You can authorize others to use your Message Box. You and your authorized users can login and operate simultaneously in the same Message Box.

If you have not used Message Box for half an hour, you will be logged out automatically.

The login screen of the user account includes a link to a form which you can use to set a new password. You can view your username(s). You have to choose a new password. You are allowed to enter a previous password.

You should contact the supplier of your e-Identifier. There are various reasons why it might not work:

  • The e-Identifier does not have the desired security level (at least level 2+).
  • The e-Identifier has expired or has been withdrawn.
  • You are using the e-Identifier incorrectly.

Sending messages

You can only send messages to government agencies falling under the Services Act. When sending a message, therefore, you select an organisation from the predefined list in the message recipient box.

No, every government agency has 1 central desk in Message Box. Your message is subsequently forwarded to the right department.

No. Message Box operates in a secure environment, which cannot receive emails from or send messages to an external email address. However, you can save messages and attachments on your own computer.

No, not via Message Box. However, you can save messages and attachments on your own computer and subsequently forward them using your own email. Government agencies can forward a message to another government agency via Message Box.

First, select 'Browse' and find the file on your computer. You then click on 'Attach'. You can attach all sorts of files, up to 15 files. Each file can be up to 100 MB in size. Please note that the file's name cannot contain any blanks or special characters and cannot start with a number, dot or hyphen.

You can find the forms on the website of the competent government agency. You can find their website on the page dealing with the permit in question. The page contains a link to the website of the government agency. If a regional organisation is involved (e.g. a local municipality), you can enter the name of the municipality.

Go to the page on this website about the permit in question. Enter the name of the municipality where you want to perform your activities and click 'OK'. You will then see a link to the website of the proper agency (e.g. the local municipality). You subsequently select this organisation from the address list in the message recipient box when you send a message.

An online form cannot be submitted via Message Box. If the procedure falls under the Services Act and the online form is the only way in which you can apply for the permit, the government agency has to ask you in the online form whether you want to handle the application via Message Box. In that case, you can indicate your Message Box name in the web form.

You can apply a digital signature to your document before attaching it to your Message Box message. A digital signature is a signature linked to the electronic data of your document. This prevents anyone from altering your document without invalidating the signature.

Messages will be automatically removed after 5 years. You will receive a notification 6 weeks in advance. We recommend, however, that you keep important documents (e.g. permits) on your own computer as well.

Saving messages and attachments

Open the message. In the screen, you can see the 'Save as PDF' button. Click this button and select 'Save'. You can save only one message at a time. The message will be saved on your computer in PDF format. You need Acrobat Reader to read PDF files. You can download this program free of charge from

Yes, you can. Open the message and click on the attachment. You then choose to either 'Open' or 'Save' the file. You can save only one attachment at a time.

No, you will have to save the message and the attachments separately.

Authorising users

You can authorise a person who works for you or is involved on your instructions in the completion of the procedure you want to handle via Message Box. This person could also be your accountant or trust office.

Authorised users can perform all Message Box actions, except authorise a person themselves or amend the details of your organisation.

This depends on whether you created your Message Box with an Answers for Business user account or with an e-Identifier. If you used an e-Identifier, authorisation takes place outside Message Box, in the Authorisation Register for your e-Identifier. Contact the supplier of your e-Identifier for this purpose. At present you can only authorise personnel from your company. In the case of a user account, authorisation in Message Box is divided into the following steps:

  1. The person you wish to authorise must first create a personal user account. This person should not register an organisation or create a Message Box account.
  2. The person you wish to authorise informs you of his or her username.
  3. Log into your Message Box account. Go to 'Settings' in the left-hand column and select 'Manage user account and authorised users'. This page opens in a new window. You may be asked to log in again.
  4. Click 'Manage organisation and authorisations'. Enter the username of the person you wish to authorise and add it. In this way, you can authorise various persons. When you have finished, click 'Save'.

If you created your Message Box with a user account, you cannot authorise anyone with an e-Identifier. The same applies in the reverse situation.

Yes, that is possible. Authorised users can log into and operate in the same Message Box at the same time with their respective accounts.

Again, this depends on whether you created a Message Box with an Answers for Business user account or with an e-Identifier. If you used an e-Identifier, you can withdraw an authorisation in the Authorisation Register of your e-Identifier. In the case of a user account, you log into Message Box and go to 'Settings' in the left-hand column. A recycle bin icon will be displayed next to the username of the person you authorised. Click the icon in order to remove the name and then click 'Save'.

You can ask the person who authorised you.

The person you wish to authorise probably registered an organisation with his or her user account. Therefore you can not authorise him. He will have to create another user account in order to log into your Message Box.

Changing your details

Log into your Message Box and go to 'Settings' in the left-hand column. In this screen, you can change the following details:

  1. Your organisation's name.
  2. Your email address and language selected for the confirmation of new messages.

If you have an Answers for Business user account, you can also amend the following details here:

  1. Your authorisations.
  2. The details of your user account and your password.

Cancelling your Message Box

You send an e-mail asking to cancel your Message Box to You need to supply the following information with your request:

  1. the name of your Message Box;
  2. the name of the contact (person);
  3. the telephone number;
  4. the e-mail address

Technical questions

Message Box will be updated with new features on a monthly basis. During these releases the application may be offline for a short period of time. However, both releases and regular maintenance are always scheduled for Saturday morning, which means the actual inconvenience should be minimal. On average, Message Box will be available 97% of the time.

A free app - EFLASH (Dutch) - will send you alerts about technical issues and regular maintenance activities. This app is available for iOS and Android and offers the following features:

  • Subscription to various kinds of notifications.
  • Status updates on technical issues.
  • Notification when technical issue is solved.
  • 5 Days availability of information about technical issues.

You should contact the supplier of the e-Identifier.

Please contact the Message Box service desk.

Log into your Message Box. Your Message Box name is shown on the page 'Settings' in the left-hand column.

Unfortunately, that is not possible. You can create a draft in Message Box, but you will need to save the message as draft first.

My question is not listed

If you have a question about a specific Services Act procedure, please contact the competent authority for that procedure via Message Box.

This website contains a general overview of rules, regulations, permits and taxes that apply to entrepreneurs as well as subsidies to which they may be entitled. If you cannot find what you are looking for on this website, please contact the Message Box service desk.

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact theNetherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO