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Registering a FinTech company and applying for licences

This information is provided by:Ministry of FinanceMinistry of FinanceNetherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVKNetherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVKNetherlands Enterprise Agency, RVONetherlands Enterprise Agency, RVONederlandse versie

Do you have a FinTech company? Like an investment app or crypto broker? Then you must comply with the Financial Supervision Act (Wet op het financieel toezicht, Wft) and other rules. Find out what this means for you and how the government supports Dutch FinTechs.

What is FinTech?

Do you provide financial services? And are you using new technologies? Then you work in the FinTech sector. FinTech is a combination of financial and technology. The FinTech sector in the Netherlands is growing rapidly: from 200 companies in 2016 to around 635 in 2019. Most FinTechs are active in:

  • online payment
  • financial software
  • business credit

Register or apply for a licence

You may need a licence or registration to trade in financial products or provide financial services. The Financial Supervision Act (Wft, in Dutch) regulates this. You apply for a licence to, or register with, De Nederlandsche Bank or the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets AFM. Do you provide various financial services or products? You may need multiple registrations and permits. There are separate licences for different financial sectors, such as credit institutions, investment institutions, insurers, payment institutions and crypto companies.

Apply for a PSD2 license for online payment services

Do you provide online payment services? Or do you offer products or services for which you need access or inspection of customers' payment accounts, such as a digital budget administration? You need an additional licence, the Payment Service Directive 2 (PSD2). PSD2 is a European directive for digital payment services. PSD2 allows account holders to determine themselves who has access to their payment account. Previously, only their own bank had access. You can apply for a PSD2 licence at De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) through their Digital Supervision Portal. You need eHerkenning to apply via the DLT. Read more about applying for a licence for PSD2.

More information about licences

On the De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) and Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) websites you can find more information per target group about the various licences and registrations, and for which activities you need a licence or registration.

Handle personal data with care

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR, Algemene verordening gegevensbescherming in Dutch) protects the privacy of your customers. This European regulation states that you must handle personal data with care. For example, you may not keep personal data longer than necessary. Read here how to comply with the GDPR.

Prevent money laundering

The government fights money laundering and terrorist financing by criminals. As a financial service provider you must cooperate with this. This is regulated in the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Act (Wet ter voorkoming van witwassen en financieren van terrorisme, Wwft). You are required to:

Compliance with the Sanctions Act

You are required to comply with sanctions imposed against specific individuals, companies or organisations. The United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU) and the Netherlands use these sanctions to try and protect international peace, security and justice, for example in the fight against terrorism. This could mean, for example, that you are no longer allowed to provide financial services to a person or company. Or that you have to freeze assets on behalf of a supervisory authority. You must check whether a sanction has been imposed on your customer. Read more about compliance with the Sanctions Act.

Relevant organisations

  • NFIA: the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency helps and advises companies that want to expand their international activities in the Netherlands;
  • Holland FinTech: branch organisation for the Dutch FinTech sector;
  • Dutch Banking Association (NVB): interest group for banks in the Netherlands;
  • United Payment Institutions Netherlands (VBIN): industry association for payment institutions in the Netherlands;
  • Dutch Association of Insurers: trade association for non-life and life insurers;
  • Techleap.nl: supports startups in raising capital and talent.

Expanding abroad?

The Innovation Attaché Network (IA-Network) helps companies identify opportunities for innovation abroad. They are available for startups and scale-ups and offer support in collaborations with foreign parties, advocacy and other matters. Visit the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) website for more information about the Innovation Attaché Network.

Contact the Ministry of Finance

The government wants to strengthen the position of the FinTech sector in the Netherlands. Do you have any questions or would you like to get in touch with the Ministry of Finance about this? Send an email to fintech@minfin.nl.

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