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.nl/English.
4. Register at KVK
Before opening your diving school, you need to register in the Dutch Business Register of KVK. This registration costs a one-off fee of €75. You do not need to register at the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration (‘Belastingdienst’). That happens automatically. 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:
- Via phone number 088-2277700
- Via contact form (in Dutch)
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.
Make a privacy statement
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 Dutch Tax and Customs 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). As an entrepreneur you do not build up pension automatically, as someone in employment does. You need to arrange it yourself to supplement the basic pension from the government. There are different possibilities. Read more about building up pension.
11. Arrange an administration
Well-maintained 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.
Consider a business bank account
It is not mandatory to open a business bank account, but it is handy. Then your private and business administrations are kept separate.
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.