Last update: 18 December 2023

You want to apply for a residence permit as a start-up. Read what the requirements are and how to apply for the residence permit. 


  • You meet the general requirements that apply to everyone.
  • You work together with a reliable mentor: a facilitator. This cooperation must be written down in a signed contract between you and the facilitator.
  • Your company is innovative in the following situations:
    • The product or service is new to the Netherlands.
    • The start-up uses new technology in production, distribution and/or marketing.
    • The start-up has a new way of working and organising.
  • See the website of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (in Dutch: Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland or RVO) for more information on innovative entrepreneurship.
  • You play an active part in the organisation. This means that you must be more than just a shareholder or financier.
  • You have a step-by-step plan to go from idea to company. The RVO assesses the start-up and sees whether you meet the requirements for the step-by-step plan. The step-by-step plan sets out the following information:
    • The structure of the organisation
    • The roles and responsibilities
    • The legal form
    • The personnel
    • The company’s goals
    • A description of your innovative product or service
    • A description of the planning and activities involved in setting up the company
  • You and the facilitator are registered in the Trade Register of the Chamber of Commerce (in Dutch: Kamer van Koophandel or KvK).
  • You meet the income requirements. You can prove this in 2 different ways:
    • You can show a bank statement demonstrating that you have enough money in your account.
    • Having another legal entity or natural person, for example the facilitator, finance your stay. The amount of money must be available for your entire stay (1 year at most).

Requirements for facilitators

The RVO keeps a list of facilitators who meet these requirements.

  • The facilitator has experience with mentoring innovative start-ups.
  • The facilitator is financially healthy.
  • The facilitator has not been granted suspension of payment or been put into liquidation and has no negative equity capital.
  • The facilitator does not have a majority interest in the start-up company. 
  • The facilitator is not your child, parent, grandparent, uncle or aunt (family up to and including the third degree).
  • The facilitator has a deputy within the organisation.

Process and costs

These are the steps in the application process for the residence permit:

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Application forms

Written application forms

More information on access to and the possibilities in Business Portal

Your facilitator can submit this application online via the Business Portal.

Written application forms

The residence permit

Find out what else you need to know about the residence permit:

TB test

Did you indicate at the time of the application that you will take a TB (tuberculosis) test? Then make an appointment at the Municipal Health Service (in Dutch: Gemeentelijke Gezondheidsdienst or GGD). Do this within 3 months after you have received your residence permit. Take with you to the appointment:

Working with the residence permit

It says on the back of your residence permit whether you are allowed to work as an employee. The residence permit reads ‘Work as an employee only allowed with a work permit (in Dutch: arbeid in loondienst alleen toegestaan met TWV. This means that you are only allowed to work as an employee if your employer has a work permit (in Dutch: tewerkstellingsvergunning or TWV) for you.

Legal obligations

You have an obligation to provide information. This means that you must inform the IND of changes in your situation. Read more about your obligation to provide information.

The IND checks whether you meet your obligation. If you do not, you may get an administrative fine

Validity of the residence permit

The maximum term of validity of the residence permit is 1 year. After 1 year you can apply for a residence permit as a self-employed person. You must, however, meet the requirements for this residence permit.

Other applications

Replacement of the residence permit

Has your residence permit been damaged, lost or stolen? Then have the residence permit replaced. Visit the web page residence permit damaged or change details or residence permit lost or stolen.

Extend the residence permit 

It is not possible to extend the residence permit as a start-up.

Apply for a different residence permit

After 1 year, you can apply for a residence permit as a self-employed person. You must meet the requirements for this residence permit. In addition, you must provide a declaration from the facilitator showing that you have successfully completed a mentoring process of at least 3 months.