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Company Formation
Entity Management 
Residency for Entrepreneurs

What is the best startup visa in Europe for entrepreneurs, that gets you a guaranteed residency permit?

Dutch residence permit for foreign startups are very popular mong entrepreneurs worldwide, but especially South Africa, India and Turkey. As many might have heard, House of Companies is the ideal partner for relocating to the Netherlands. Dennis Vermeulen, the CEO, offers comprehensive assistance with startup visa applications, branch registration in the Netherlands (priced at €550), and bookkeeping services (basic requirements at €1,000 per year).

What is the ‘startup visa’?

The ‘startup visa’ offers foreign entrepreneurs a fantastic chance to work as an entrepreneur in one of the world’s most innovative environments. When you arrive, your permit is valid for a year, during which you must prove they have sufficient resources and an innovative product or service. The government wants to know if your venture has potential, so finding an experienced business mentor, known as a facilitator, is crucial.

To submit your application, you’ll need proof of guidance from an experienced organisation and a valid kvk number. The ind consults various agencies to ensure everything is in order. Once your application is approved, you’ll get the chance to start your entrepreneurial journey. To ensure that the facilitator supports your growth, the facilitator may offer mentorship and access to a network of business contacts.

Even though the permit may expire less than 2 years, it’s your opportunity to establish yourself as a leading entrepreneur. Remember, the self-employment permit aims to cultivate startups that moved less than less than 2 years ago but have immense growth potential.

Top 3 Startups Visas in Europe

Top 3 Startups Visas in Europe: For a startup entrepreneur looking to establish their business in Europe, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain offer some of the best options for obtaining a visa.

Why is the Netherlands most popular for Indian, South African and Turkish entrepreneurs to apply a startup visa and live here? (compared to South European countries or EasternEuropean countries)

The Netherlands has emerged as a

premier destination for Indian, South African, and Turkish entrepreneurs seeking a startup visa, thanks to several compelling advantages vis-à-vis Southern and Eastern European countries. One significant factor is the country's low taxes on businesses, making it financially attractive for startups to set up operations and thrive without being burdened by onerous fiscal responsibilities.

Communication barriers are minimal as many government agencies in the Netherlands are English speaking, facilitating smoother interactions for entrepreneurs who might otherwise struggle with the local language. This ease of doing business is further enhanced by the country's online and simplified corporate management systems. Processes such as company registration and compliance can be handled efficiently online, minimizing red tape and enabling startups to focus on growth.

Furthermore, the Netherlands boasts a high standard of living, which is a significant draw for entrepreneurs and their families. From excellent healthcare and education systems to a vibrant cultural scene, the quality of life here is exceptional. Businesses also benefit from access to a great market of consumers, with major economies like Germany, France, and the UK nearby, offering extensive opportunities for market expansion and collaboration.

The simplicity of obtaining a startup visa in the Netherlands cannot be overstated. The procedure is straightforward and efficient, compared to the more cumbersome processes often encountered in Southern or Eastern European countries. This streamlined approach makes the Netherlands a preferred choice for enterprising individuals eager to establish their startups in a supportive and conducive environment.

In order to live in the Netherlands and operate a startup, one must apply for a residence permit through the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO). The Dutch government recognizes the importance of foreign nationals in the Dutch economy and provides the necessary channels for them to stay and work in the country.

To apply for a residence permit for startups in the Netherlands, a startup entrepreneur must meet the requirements set by the Immigration and Naturalisation Service. The entrepreneur must also register their business with the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce and apply for a provisional residence permit through the Dutch consulate or embassy before arriving in the country. An experienced facilitator can play an active role in helping the startup entrepreneur in the process of obtaining a residence permit and setting up operational management on a self-employed basis.

Residence permit for foreign startups

If you need a residence permit to stay in the Netherlands as a startup entrepreneur, your innovative business must meet certain criteria. Prospective entrepreneurs must apply for the residence permit upon their arrival. A temporary residence permit is initially issued and valid for one year. Ensure you read what the requirements are for both the startup entrepreneur and the facilitator involved.

To obtain residence permits in the Netherlands, your business must have an entry in the business register through the register of the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce. Your facilitator must support and assist you throughout this process. Upon setting up, your startup will be registered in the official business register of the Netherlands.

If your permit is nearing expiration, check if your current permit and did it expire. If so, you may apply for an extension to still live in the Netherlands and continue your entrepreneurial journey. A valid residence permit allows you to operate your business in the Netherlands for a year.

It is important to note that entrepreneurs have the option to either start the branch immediately or wait until the startup visa is approved. However, it is advisable to initiate the process early, as media attention and company registration on Dutch websites can significantly impact the application in a positive way.

One effective strategy to enhance search engine optimization (SEO) and increase visibility is through a Dutch press release about market entry. Additionally, engaging with tech forums can generate interest and potentially lead to coverage of the product or service, further boosting visibility. Furthermore, having a local branch simplifies the process of demonstrating financial resources in the Netherlands, as it facilitates the opening of a bank account, which can now be done online.

Now let's take a closer look at the Dutch Startup Visa Procedure, which outlines the general requirements and necessary documents for a successful application:


How do you apply for the Dutch Startup Visa?

Applying for the Dutch Startup Visa can be efficiently managed through a remote procedure is possible. The process involves connecting with the House of Companies, which is instrumental in facilitating your application. The House of Companies can connect you to a facilitator who will oversee the progress of your application. Moreover, the House of Companies will deal with all corporate and accounting matters, ensuring a seamless and professional experience throughout the application process.

General Requirements Dutch Startup Visa:

  1. Collaboration with a Dutch-based mentor (facilitator): House of Companies, as a trusted partner, will connect entrepreneurs with a facilitator who will guide them through the process.

  2. Innovative product or service: Entrepreneurs must have a unique and innovative product or service that sets them apart in the market.

  3. Step-by-step business plan: A detailed business plan is required, outlining the development of the idea into a viable business.

  4. Registration in the Trade Register of the Chamber of Commerce (KvK): This step can be completed after the visa approval.

  5. Sufficient financial resources: Entrepreneurs must demonstrate that they have approximately €14,000, to cover living expenses once they arrive in the Netherlands.   

  • Do you already have a business plan? If yes, great! But consider that you need to highlight your focus on innovation. For example IT companies, especially active in AI, will have an easier way to claim innovativeness. This trend highlights that any industry can be innovative, leveraging new technologies and ideas to stay ahead of competitors. Moreover, your product does not have to be ready yet to be recognized as innovative. The concept or prototype stage may already demonstrate sufficient innovation, attracting interest and potentially securing investment or partnerships.

Required Documents for Startup Visa:

  1. Application form: House of Companies will provide entrepreneurs with the latest version of the application form. Official foreign documents must be legalized and translated into Dutch, English, French, or German.

  2. Company registration in the Trade Register (if available): If the company is already registered, this document should be included.

  3. Step-by-step plan: This plan must provide detailed information about the organizational structure, roles, tasks, legal form, personnel, enterprise purpose, product/service innovation, and first-year development activities.

  4. Financial Proof: Entrepreneurs must demonstrate that they have sufficient financial resources to reside and set up a business in the Netherlands for at least one year. This can be achieved by either transferring €14,202 to the facilitator's bank account or by showing financial support from another person, which should be reflected in a Dutch bank account.

  5. Agreement with the facilitator: This document clearly states the nature of the mentoring relationship, including the conditions and the facilitator's potential interest in the company.

Moving on to the application processing and costs, entrepreneurs should be aware that the processing time can take up to 90 days, with startup applications being prioritized and estimated to take around 7 weeks. As for the costs, there are several fees involved, including the startup facilitator fee of approximately €2000, the IND application fee of €317, and the facilitator membership fee of €175 per month for a (flex) desk, which also includes event participation.

Once the application is submitted, entrepreneurs will go through a facilitator acceptance process, which involves an interview to discuss the innovation and product-market fit. This step is crucial in determining the suitability of the business for the Dutch market.

For those seeking additional support and guidance throughout the startup visa process, Dennis Vermeulen offers consultancy services at a retainer of €1,750, charged at €175 per hour.

This consultancy includes a detailed business plan covering financial forecasting for three years and addresses various aspects of living and working in the Netherlands.

To get started with House of Companies, entrepreneurs can use the provided payment links for branch registration and consultancy charges.

The advantage of working with House of Companies is that Dennis can register the branch remotely, eliminating the need for a local address until entrepreneurs are settled with an incubator or startup facilitator.

The necessary documents for the process include a passport copy for each Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO) who owns more than 25% of the company, proof of address (such as a utility bill or bank statement not older than 3 months), and statutory documents of the legal entity registering a branch (such as Memorandum of Association, Articles of Association, Formation Deed, Shareholders Register, and Current Appointment Report).


Getting started with House of Companies


You find two payment links below. 1 for the branch registration, and 1 for my consultancy charges. The final invoice will be provided once the work is completed, which includes the preparation of the business plan, and the application process. 

I can register the branch remotely, and avoid the requirement of a local address, untill you are settled in with theIn the meantime, please feel free to send me:

- Copies of passports for each Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO), who is a shareholder owning more than 25% of the company

- Proof of address (such as a utility bill or bank statement) that is no more than 3 months old

- Legal documents for the entity registering a branch (Memorandum of Association, Articles of Association, Formation Deed, Shareholders Register, Current Appointment Report)

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to schedule a (whatsapp) call or send me an email. incubator/startup facilitator (at least in paper, no need to work from there, at all). 


For further questions or to schedule a call, entrepreneurs are encouraged to contact Dennis via WhatsApp or email.


Once the necessary documents are submitted, entrepreneurs can expect the application processing time to take up to 90 days, with priority given to startup applications. During this time, it is recommended to have the required funds available, such as the €14,202 or proof of financial support from a Dutch bank account. Additionally, entrepreneurs should be prepared for an interview as part of the facilitator acceptance process to discuss the innovation and product-market fit.


Frequently Asked Questions about the Startup Visa

1. What is a Dutch Startup Visa?

The dutch startup visa is a residence permit for foreign startups who want to establish an innovative business in the Netherlands. It allows foreign nationals to live and work in the country.

2. How can I apply for a Dutch Startup Visa?

To apply for a Dutch Startup Visa, you need to meet certain requirements set by the dutch government. This includes having an experienced facilitator and an innovative business idea that can contribute to the dutch economy.

3. What are the steps to obtain a Startup Visa in the Netherlands?

The process of obtaining a Startup Visa involves applying for a provisional residence permit and then completing the necessary steps to acquire the full residence permit for startups. It's essential to read what the requirements are and work closely with the netherlands enterprise agency (RVO).

4. Do I need a facilitator to apply for the Dutch Startup Visa?

Yes, as a startup entrepreneur, you must have an experienced facilitator who will guide you through the process of establishing your business in the Netherlands and assist you in meeting the necessary criteria for the residence permit.

5. Can I work in the Netherlands with a Dutch Startup Visa?

With a Dutch Startup Visa, you are permitted to work in the Netherlands and actively operate your startup business. This visa is designed to encourage entrepreneurial activity in the country.

6. How long can I stay in the Netherlands with a Startup Visa?

The Startup Visa initially provides a temporary residence permit to foreign entrepreneurs. If your business proves successful, you may be eligible to apply for a full residence permit for startups to live and work in the Netherlands.

Still need more info on the  Dutch Startup Visa ?

Contact us at info AT, or use our contact form to schedule a personal consult, free of charge! Also check out the FAQ below! And our Netherlands Country Guide!

How do I prove my product or service is innovative?

To prove your product or service is innovative, begin by providing explicit examples of its unique features and functionalities. Highlight how it addresses unmet needs or solves existing problems more efficiently than current alternatives. Conducting benchmarks against competitors can further substantiate these claims. Additionally, consider gathering customer testimonials and case studies that underscore its positive impact. Finally, support your argument with industry awards, patents, or expert endorsements to solidify your product’s or service’s innovative status.


Is the Netherlands a high-tax country?

The Netherlands is often perceived as a high-tax country, particularly due to its layered tax system. Notably, corporate tax in the Netherlands is a significant consideration for businesses, although the country also offers various incentives such as the innovation box regime to encourage research and development. Additionally, salary taxes in the Netherlands are among the highest in Europe, which impacts both employers and employees. This combination of taxes contributes to the overall perception of the Netherlands as a high-tax jurisdiction.

How does the startup visa work?

The startup visa program for an entrepreneur in the Netherlands involves several critical steps to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. Initially, the applicant must focus on finding a facilitator, a recognized entity that can support the startup's development. Next, the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) meticulously checks the entry criteria to confirm eligibility.

Entrepreneurs should note that they cannot entirely rely on public funds; instead, they must have financial backing, either from their country of origin or other sources. They need to provide concrete proof that they are financially sound to support their living expenses and business activities in the Netherlands.

The applicant must show sufficient funds, where the amount must align with the requisite criteria for non-EU nationals. Notably, the Netherlands ranks among the top countries providing such entrepreneurial opportunities, but adherence to condition 4, among others, is mandatory for a successful application.

What does the business plan need to cover?

So, what does the business plan need to cover? Basically, it should include all the requirements for your startup if you're aiming for that precious Startup Visa. Don’t forget the essentials like your business idea (why its innovative, and how you figure product market fit in the Netherlands), target audience, market analysis, and financial projections. If you’re stuck or need some guidance, House of Companies can totally assist you in preparing the perfect business plan. They’ve got your back, making sure everything’s on point!

What is a recognised facilitator?

A recognised facilitator is an entity or individual known for expertly managing and guiding collaborative processes and innovation ecosystems. In this context, organisations like The Next Web and Frank and the Backs have played crucial roles. However, notable shifts have occurred as entities like B. Amsterdam stopped as facilitator, as well as CIC in Rotterdam. These changes reflect the dynamic nature of the innovation landscape, where the demand for adept facilitation remains paramount for fostering growth and development.

Who can apply for the startup visa?

The Dutch startup visa is intended for all non-EU nationals who wish to establish an innovative business in the Netherlands and meet specific criteria. Applicants must collaborate with a recognized facilitator, demonstrate the innovative nature of their business idea, and present a detailed business plan. Additionally, they must have sufficient financial resources to reside in the Netherlands.

Moreover, the MVV requirements apply to nationals from certain countries, necessitating a preliminary stay authorization. The MVV requirements include an obligatory visit to the local Dutch embassy or consulate for an assessment and to submit relevant documentation.

Successful applicants for the Dutch startup visa can benefit from residing in a dynamic business environment, receiving guidance, and leveraging the Dutch startup ecosystem to innovate and grow their ventures.

Do foreigners pay taxes in the Netherlands?

Foreigners in the Netherlands are subject to local taxation policies without discrimination based on nationality. Income tax is charged via a salary tax for employees, and this applies universally to both Dutch and non-Dutch nationals. Small entrepreneurs might also deal with income tax (SP), but typically, a SME will pay corporate tax.

Regardless of citizenship, once an operation or asset is within the Dutch jurisdiction, it will be taxed accordingly. However, tax treaties may offer short-term residents specific advantages, potentially mitigating the fiscal burden.

Can I apply for the Startup Visa while im travelling (as tourist) in the Netherlands? (MVV)

Yes, you can apply for the Startup Visa while traveling as a tourist in the Netherlands, but there are specific steps to follow. First, you must submit your initial application online. The online submission startup visa application process requires you to provide comprehensive details about your business plan, your innovative product or service, and your facilitation by a recognized facilitator. After completing the online submission, you will need to download pdf and handover to embassy. This document contains all the pertinent details about your application. The next step involves visiting the Dutch embassy in the country where you are legally residing or traveling. It's crucial to have all the required documents in order and seek an appointment in advance. Successfully fulfilling these requirements will enable you to proceed with your Startup Visa application while in the Netherlands as a tourist. 

What is the Dutch Startup Visa?

The Dutch Startup Visa is a specific type of residence permit designed to encourage foreign nationals to establish an innovative business in the Netherlands. This visa allows startup entrepreneurs to live and work in the Netherlands for a period of one year, during which they are expected to develop their product or service. It provides a fantastic opportunity to become part of the vibrant Dutch economy.

What is an experienced facilitator?

To be eligible for the Dutch Startup Visa, the entrepreneur must meet several criteria: they must collaborate with an experienced facilitator, create an innovative business offering either a new product or service in the Dutch market, and their business plan must be endorsed by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO). Additionally, the entrepreneur must have sufficient resources to live in the Netherlands during the initial year.

What is the Dutch startup visa?

The Dutch startup visa is a special residence permit designed specifically for startup entrepreneurs. This visa allows foreign nationals to live and work in the Netherlands to develop their innovative business. One of the primary goals of this visa is to foster entrepreneurship and innovation within the Dutch economy.

Who is eligible to apply for the Dutch startup visa?

To be eligible for the Dutch startup visa, you need to meet several requirements. The primary ones include having an innovative product or service, being under the guidance of an experienced facilitator, and demonstrating a viable business plan. It is crucial for the entrepreneur to actively participate in their business in the Netherlands and not just hold a passive role.

What role does a facilitator play in obtaining a startup visa?

A facilitator is an essential part of the Dutch startup visa process. This entity or individual supports the startup entrepreneur with various aspects of their business, such as marketing, operational management, and research. The facilitator must be recognized by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) to be eligible under the program.

How does one go about finding an experienced facilitator?

Finding the right experienced facilitator is crucial for the success of your application for a Dutch startup visa. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) provides a list of recognized facilitators. You can also connect with local business organizations in the Netherlands, such as the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, to find potential facilitators. Networking within business communities can help secure a reputable facilitator.

What kind of businesses qualify as innovative startups?

For a business to be considered innovative under the Dutch startup visa scheme, it must introduce a new or substantially improved product or service to the Dutch market. This could be in terms of technology, process, product, or service innovation. The innovation should have the potential to provide added value to the Dutch economy.

What documents are needed to apply for a Dutch startup visa?

When you apply for the Dutch startup visa, you will need several key documents, including a valid passport, proof of sufficient financial means, a comprehensive business plan, and details about your facilitator arrangement. Additionally, you may be asked to submit details that demonstrate the innovative nature of your business and its value proposition. The exact requirements can be found on the IND website.

An experienced facilitator is an organisation or individual that guides and supports the startup entrepreneur. They provide practical assistance and mentorship to help the new business succeed. The organisation acting as a facilitator must be recognized by the RVO and must be established within the Dutch economy. They play a crucial role in helping foreign nationals navigate the local business landscape.

How do I apply for a residence permit through the Startup Visa program?

To apply for a residence permit through the Startup Visa program, the entrepreneur must complete a step-by-step process. First, they need to find an experienced facilitator and develop a comprehensive business plan. Next, they must submit their application to the Netherlands Enterprise Agency 


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House of Companies launches the Entity Management Portal wrapped in an entrepreneurial community.
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House of Companies launches the Entity Management Portal wrapped in an entrepreneurial community.

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