Subsidies and tax schemes for self-employed professionals

Published by:
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
2 min read

The Dutch government offers small and starting businesses the option to apply for several subsidies and tax schemes. Find out if you are eligible for one or more.

As a self-employed professional or zzp'er, you may be eligible for several subsidies and tax schemes intended to promote entrepreneurship. To make use of them, it is important that the Netherlands Tax Administration considers you an entrepreneur. Also, for most schemes you need to spend at least 1,225 hours per year on your business.

Subsidies and tax schemes

Regional subsidies

Regional Development Companies (ROMs in Dutch), provinces, the government, and the EU offer a package of subsidies for businesses located in their region. Use the Subsidies en regelingen tool on Ondernemersplein (in Dutch) to select your region or to find national or EU subsidies.

Sectoral subsidies

You can apply for a number of subsidies based on your business sector. For example, if you work in construction, or provide personal services. Use the Subsidies en regelingen tool on Ondernemersplein (in Dutch) to select your sector.

Subsidies for specific activities

If you want to make your business more sustainable, or start trading internationally, you can apply for specific subsidies. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency RVO offers the Subsidie- en Financieringswijzer (in Dutch). You can select for which activity you want to find a subsidy and for which country.

Private business ownership allowance

If you pay income tax in the Netherlands as an entrepreneur, you will be eligible for the private business ownership allowance (zelfstandigenaftrek). This will reduce your taxable income. You have to pay income tax if you are a sole proprietor.

Tax relief for new companies

The tax relief for new companies (startersaftrek) is an increase in the private business ownership allowance for new businesses.

SME profit exemption

The SME profit exemption (MKB-winstvrijstelling) is a deduction for small and medium-sized enterprises. The number of hours you work for your business does not matter.

Small businesses scheme (kleineondernemersregeling, KOR)

If you run a small business in the Netherlands with a turnover below €20,000, you may be eligible for the Small Businesses Scheme (kleineondernemersregeling, KOR). If you use the KOR, you do not charge or pay VAT.

Working partner's abatement

If your partner works in your business for no pay, you may apply for the working partner’s abatement (meewerkaftrek).

Tax-deferred retirement reserve

Entrepreneurs in the Netherlands can build up a pension in a way that allows them to pay less tax than on 'normal' savings.

Discontinuation relief

If you end your business, you may be eligible for discontinuation relief (stakingsaftrek).

R&D tax credit (WBSO)

If you, as a freelancer/self-employed professional, spend at least 500 hours a year on research and development work, you may be eligible for the R&D tax credit (aftrek voor speur- en ontwikkelingswerk).

Funding options and loans


The microcredit facility is available for (start-up) businesses in need of a loan or guidance. This scheme consists of a loan of up to €50,000 and coaching.

More information

Find more information about types of subsidies and schemes. And see the overview of Subsidies and tax schemes on this website.

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO