Go directly to content

To make your visit to our website even easier and more personal we use cookies (and comparable techniques). With this cookies we and third parties are able to collect information about you and your internet behaviour on our website (and possibly outside of our website). With this information we and third parties are able to adapt content to your interests and profile. In addition, cookies allow us to share information through social media. You can read more about our cookie policy on this page.

How to start a business

Mensen aan tafel

Starting a business

Starting a business in the Netherlands is a relatively straightforward process. Registration is done through the Chamber of Commerce. Their website provides excellent information about when to register a business, different business forms, legal requirements, and more general information and business culture in the Netherlands.

Once you have registered your company successfully at the Chamber of Commerce, they will inform the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration about your new company. There are different kinds of taxes that your company will need to pay. You can read more about taxes for businesses on the Belastingdienst.

Many people who start their own businesses will work as freelancers or self-employed professionals. Freelancers are commonly referred to as ‘zelfstandige zonder personeel’ (zzp’ers). Note that this is not a legal form for a business; you will be registered not as a zzp’er but as a sole trader or ‘eenmanszaak’. More information about freelancing can be found on the Chamber of Commerce website and on the government website.

Apart from the formal side of starting a business, it is valuable to have a supportive network and access to training and expertise in the process. The Chamber of Commerce also offers online webinars and offline seminars at the Groningen branch to support you while you start your business. They also provide an overview of the process in this brochure. Other means of support can be found by accessing the local start-up scene.

The IWCN website also has several pages of information on starting a business.

Hiring staff

There are several things that you should pay attention to when you are going to hire staff. The Dutch government has made a useful overview of what to do when hiring staff.


In Groningen, there’s Kwadraat and VentureLab North.

You can check out business.gov.nl for English-language information on financing your business, specifically for finding startup capital. You can find a business facilitator through the Netherlands Enterprise Agency.

Locally, the International Welcome Center North has plenty of resources for new businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs. You can also find regional facilitators through Founded in Groningen, and more information on start-up visas.

The main factor is whether you have a short-term or long-term visa – you can find out more through the section for start-ups on the IND website.