Logo of the Dutch governmentGo to homepage

Government support for entrepreneurs

Start a business with unemployment benefit

This information is provided by: Netherlands Enterprise Agency

It is possible to start your own company while retaining all or part of your unemployment benefit (WW). There are 3 options:

  • Use the start-up scheme: you will receive 29% less unemployment benefit, for a period of 26 weeks. You will need permission from the Employee Insurance Agency (Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen, UWV). You are permitted to use every hour necessary to build up your business during the start-up period.
  • Have your unemployment benefit reduced: you discontinue payment of that portion of your benefit that corresponds to the number of hours you will work as a self-employed person. The benefit amount will be reduced permanently. You immediately notify UWV of the hours you spend on your business.
  • Move off unemployment benefit altogether: you become completely self-employed without receiving any unemployment benefit. You must report this to UWV straight away.

When do you qualify?

You must have a business plan.

How to apply?

You can submit an application at any time to UWVExternal link.

This information is provided by:

Netherlands Enterprise Agency