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Starting your own driving school

This information is provided by:Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVKNetherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVKNederlandse versie

To start your own driving school, you first need to train to become a driving instructor. You also need to be insured for liability and accidents. And your vehicle needs to comply with all set requirements. Read what you need to arrange to start your own driving school.

1. Train to become a driving instructor

To give driving lessons, you need to complete a training for the basic certificate B at the institute for certification and examination in the mobility sector (IBKI). The exam consists of a theoretical exam and a practical exam. This training takes an average of 6 months. When you pass the exam, you get a WRM licence (in Dutch) and the basic certificate. And you need to have worked as an intern for at least 20 hours.

Register at ibki.nl (in Dutch) and read what the requirements are.

2. Buy or lease a lesson vehicle that complies with the requirements

For your diving school you need a vehicle, such as a car or motorcycle. You have 3 options:

  • You buy a new lesson vehicle
  • You buy a second-hand lesson vehicle
  • You lease a lesson vehicle

A lesson vehicle has to be a standard model and comply with 3 requirements:

  • Double controls: a second clutch pedal and brake pedal
  • Extra mirrors so you can keep an eye on traffic
  • An L-sign on the roof: the other traffic can clearly see that it is a lesson car

The lesson motorcycle has to comply with requirements as well, such as a valid Dutch licence plate and a clear L-sign on the front and back.

At CBR.nl you read more about vehicle requirements (in Dutch) for driving schools.

3. Determine your hourly rate

You determine the lesson prices yourself. Calculate beforehand what you need to support yourself financially. Then you can see how many driving lessons you need to give to get the minimum turnover. Do not forget that you need to pay income tax and income-dependent Health Care Insurance Act (Zvw) contribution. And remember to arrange your insurances and pensions. A turnover calculation can give clarity. Read more about hourly rates at KVK.

4. Register at KVK

Before opening your driving school, you need to register in the Business Register of the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce KVK. This registration costs a one-off fee. If you register as an eenmanszaak (sole proprietorship), you do not need to register at the Netherlands Tax Administration (Belastingdienst). KVK will pass on your details.

If you want to set up a bv (private limited company), a civil-law notary will take care of the registration at KVK and the Belastingdienst.

Check what you need to prepare before registering at KVK.

5. Register at CBR

For reserving exams, you can register at the Central Office for Motor Vehicle Driver Testing (Centraal Bureau Rijvaardigheidsbewijzen, CBR). You can register in 2 ways:

You pay a one-time entry fee and an annual contribution. Read more about the registration agreement (in Dutch).

6. Comply with the CBR exam requirements

Is your student ready for the theoretical exam, interim exam, or practical exam? Then you can reserve an exam at CBR. You need to comply with the requirements of CBR, such as an authorisation from your student and a Statement of Health (Gezondheidsverklaring).

7. Insure against risks

Starting your own driving school means taking risks. You are personally liable for financial consequences. For example, if you get sick or are involved in an accident. You can take out insurance against many risks. In any case you have to take out a third-party liability insurance for motor vehicles (WA insurance).

These insurances are also important for a driving school:

  • Employer's liability insurance for traffic (aansprakelijkheidsverzekering werkgever verkeer)
  • Passenger accident insurance (ongevallenverzekeringen voor in- en opzittenden)
  • Legal assistance insurance (rechtsbijstandverzekering)
  • Buildings insurance (opstalverzekering)

You can also consider insurance against occupational disability (arbeidsongeschiktheidsverzekering, AOV).

Read more about arranging business insurances.

8. Draw up general terms and conditions

With general terms and conditions you clarify which rights and obligations you and your clients have. It is not mandatory to draw up general terms and conditions. If you establish general terms and conditions, there are rules you need to follow. For example, you cannot set up unreasonable conditions and you have a duty of disclosure.

9. Hiring staff

If you want to hire staff, you have to comply with the Working Conditions Act (Arbeidsomstandighedenwet or Arbowet). Hiring staff starts with good recruitment and selection. You also need to register as an employer at the Tax Administration (Belastingdienst). And you have to conduct a risk assessment and evaluation (RI&E), in which you outline the safety and health risks and the measures you take against them.

Read more about hiring staff.

10. Build up pension

You have the right to a basic pension from the government when you retire. This is arranged in the statutory old age pension (AOW). If you work in employment, you automatically save for an additional pension. As an entrepreneur you do not build up this additional pension automatically. You need to arrange it yourself. There are different possibilities. Read more about building up pension.

11. Keep an administration

Well-kept business records give you insight into your financial position. If you want to apply for tax benefits, you have to comply with the hours criterion. You can maintain your administration yourself or outsource it. You have to keep business records at least 7 years.

12. Arrange your tax returns

You have to pay turnover tax and income tax. You can file taxes yourself with the Tax Administration. If you do not want to do so, you can let someone else do that for you. For example, a bookkeeper, accountant, or a tax adviser.

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