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Starting a business as a minor

This information is provided by:Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVKNetherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVKTax and Customs Administration, BelastingdienstTax and Customs Administration, Belastingdienst

It is possible to start your own business while you are still under 18? You do have to ask permission from your parents or guardians to take important decisions. Just like adults do, you have to register with KVK and pay taxes. Do you make a profit? That does not have consequences for your child benefit (kinderbijslag).

Check that your commercial activities qualify as a business

When do you have a business? KVK and the Belastingdienst (Dutch Tax Administration, in Dutch) use several criteria:

  • how much profit you make
  • how independent you are as an entrepreneur
  • how much money you invest in your business
  • how much time you spend on your business
  • what the value of your company is
  • how many customers you expect to have
  • how much risk you run with your business
  • which provisions you have made for liability

Under 18? You are a minor

The Burgerlijk Wetboek, the Dutch Civil Code, states that minors can only perform legal actions if they have permission from their legal representatives. In other words, your parents or guardians. This includes actions such as taking out a subscription for a mobile phone, a bank loan, and signing contracts. Bring a parent or guardian when you go to KVK to register. If you are 16 or 17 years old, you can apply for limited legal capacity (handlichting). If it is granted, you can perform these actions yourself.

Do you not want to keep asking your parents for permission to perform legal actions? You can apply to the district court for limited legal capacity. With it, you are no longer considered handelingsonbekwaam legally incapable. And you are responsible for your own actions.

You can only apply for limited legal capacity when you are 16 or 17 years old. You need your parents’ or guardian’s permission to apply. You cannot nominate anyone else. Once you turn 18 and become a legal adult, the limited legal capacity is automatically cancelled.

Under 16? You need permission for everything

Are you under 16? You cannot apply for limited legal capacity yet. You will have to ask your parents or guardian for permission for every major action. They will have to give the permission in writing. And they are responsible and liable for your actions. Can you not get permission? Then your legal action is invalid. Your parents or guardian have 3 years in which to undo your action.

Register your business with KVK

You have to register with KVK, this is no different for minors. KVK usually takes care of your registration with the Tax Administration as well. Bring a parent or guardian to the appointment at the KVK office. Unless you have limited legal capacity, in which case you can simply bring proof of that.

When you start a business, you have to choose a legal structure. Use our helpful tool to choose a legal structure that suits you.

You have to pay taxes

If you make a profit, you have a source of income. The Belastingdienst will likely view you as an entrepreneur for income tax purposes. This means you have to pay taxes over the profit you make with your business.

You have to file your income tax return yourself. You will also receive an assessment for the Healthcare Insurance Act premium. How much you have to pay depends on your income.

Your tax return impacts your parents’ tax return as well. They are taxed for any capital you have in Box 3.

In addition to income tax, you will probably have to pay turnover tax (btw, VAT) on products or services.

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