Permits for your business

Published by:
Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK
Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK
Checked 7 Feb 2024
2 min read
Nederlandse versie

When you start a business, you may need one or more permits or licences. This depends on your industry. For instance, for serving alcohol, or for renovating your business premises. Find out where to go.

When do you need a permit or licence?

In many cases, you will need a permit. For instance, when you open a cafe. Or when you want to build or extend a business location. You may also need a permit to put up advertising. Or if you are going to do business in a recreational area.


Check if you need any business permits before registering your business at KVK. See step 1:

Registering your company, step 1 and 2Registering your company, step 1 and 2

Permits to work and stay in the Netherlands

Are you from outside the European Economic Area? Then you may need a residence permit and a work permit to live and work in the Netherlands. Make sure you know which residence documents you need before you start your business in the Netherlands. Use our Coming to the Netherlands as an entrepreneur tool.

If you hire foreign personnel, you may need to apply for a work permit for them. Or perhaps you want to hire a highly skilled migrant. Not sure what to do? Contact the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service IND for help.

Permits for your sector

The checklists on this website will help you identify the permits and licences you need to apply for in your business sector. For instance, if you want to establish a taxi company.

Environmental permit

Do you want to do change your business premises or its environment? Such as expanding or renovating your factory or offices? Or putting up a neon sign? You will need an environmental and planning permit (omgevingsvergunning).

Check whether you need an environmental permit

Through the permit check (vergunningcheck, in Dutch) at the Omgevingsloket you can check whether and which permits you need for activities that affect the environment. The permit check deals with rules from the Environment and Planning Act. You may need permits from the municipality that come from their local rules. Such as the General Municipal By-Law (APV) or the festivities regulation. These permits are not in the Omgevingsloket. Contact your municipality for more information about the rules.

Deviating from the environment plan

Sometimes your plans may not fit with the environment plan (omgevingsplan). In some cases you can still carry out your plans. You must apply for a special environmental permit for an out-of-scope environmental plan activity, BOPA (in Dutch). Take the permit check (in Dutch) to see whether you need to apply for a BOPA. You can also ask your municipality to deviate from the environmental plan. Contact your municipality about this.

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Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK