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Government support for entrepreneurs

What is an SME?

This information is provided by

Netherlands Chamber of Commerce | Netherlands Enterprise Agency

In the Netherlands, microbusinesses, small and medium-sized businesses all fall under the header MKB: Midden- en Kleinbedrijf, or Small and Medium-sized Enterprises. But what are the criteria for being an SME?

EU definition

The EU-definition, last revised in 2015, is:

  • Number of employees: fewer than 250

And either of the following two:

  • Annual turnover: equal to or less than € 50M OR
  • Total value of assets on balance sheet: equal to or less than €43M

Read the full definition on the EU websiteExternal link. The EU also offers a user guide in several translationsExternal link.

N.B.: In 2018, the EU started a consultation to revise the definition again. It is not yet clear when this new definition will be launched.

In the Netherlands

When determining if a business is eligible for an SME grant or subsidy scheme, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency uses the EU criteria. However, the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce uses different criteria to determine in how much detail a company has to deposit their annual financial statements. If you think your company is medium-sized, take care to find out if you meet their criteria. They are:

  • Number of employees: fewer than 250

And either of the following two:

  • Annual turnover: equal to or less than €40M OR
  • Total value of assets on balance sheet: equal to or less than €20M

Find out more on the website of the Netherlands Chamber of CommerceExternal link.

Any further questions?

Please contact the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce

+31 (0)88 585 2222

This information is provided by

Netherlands Chamber of Commerce
Netherlands Enterprise Agency