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Self employed person

You wish to work in the Netherlands as an independent entrepreneur. You need a residence permit for this. What are the conditions for this residence permit? And how does the application procedure work?

If you want to work in the Netherlands as starting entrepreneur in a start-up, then other conditions apply.

Other conditions apply to persons with the nationality of an EU/EEA country or Switzerland and their family members.

Conditions

There are certain conditions that apply to everyone. In addition, you have to meet  the following conditions:

  • The activities you are about to do serve an essential interest for the Dutch economy. The product or services that you are going to offer must be innovative in nature for the Netherlands. To assess this, the IND requests advice from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO). The RVO is acting in this on behalf of the Minister of Economic Affairs. The essential interest is assessed on the basis of a scoring system.

    The scoring system consists of 3 parts:

    1. Personal experience (education, entrepreneurship, work experience)
    2. Business plan (market analysis, product/service, price, organization, financing).
    3. Added value for the Netherlands (innovation, employment creation, investments).

    The 3 parts together consist of a total of 300 points. At least 90 points are needed, with a minimum of 30 points for each part.

    If you have the Turkish nationality or you have the status of a long-term resident EC in another EU country, the scoring system does not apply.
  • You meet the requirements for practising your business or profession. This means that you have all the necessary licenses.
  • You are going to earn a sufficient and independent long-term income from your activities as an independent entrepreneur. This should be evident from the business plan.

Additional conditions for a freelancer

  • You have one or more commissions in the Netherlands that you, as a freelancer, are going to carry out.

Additional conditions for companies in individual healthcare

  • You are registered in the Big-register (Individual Healthcare Professions). It is only with this registration that a healthcare provider with a foreign diploma may operate in the Netherlands as a self-employed person.

Costs

This application costs € 1319.

Checklist documents

The application form lists the documents that you have to submit with the application.

You have to have official foreign documents legalised and translated into Dutch, English, French or German.

 

Steps in the application procedure

1. Submit application and payment

To travel to the Netherlands, you need a provisional residence permit (mvv). The mvv is a sticker that the Dutch representation places in the passport. In some cases, you do not need an mvv.

You apply for the mvv and the residence permit at the same time. You apply to the Dutch representation in your own country or the country of continuous residence]. The Dutch representation forwards your application to the IND.

After you have submitted the application, you will get a letter from the Dutch representation stating how the fees are to be paid. For the application form and information on how to submit the form and pay the fees, please contact the Dutch representation.

2. Receipt and check application

After your application has been received, the IND sends a confirmation letter. The confirmation letter states the date the IND has received the application. It also states the period within which the IND makes a decision.

The IND will then check to see if your application is complete and that the fees have been paid. Are documents missing, or are documents not correct? In that case, the IND will send a letter: a request to rectify the omission. This letter lists the documents that still needs to be sent. Send the requested documents before the mentioned date to the IND.

3. Decision

The IND checks to make sure that you meet all the conditions and asks advice from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO.nl part of the Ministry of Economic Affairs). The IND checks if you meet all the conditions. The IND has to make a decision within a period of 90 days.

  • Negative decision

    If you do not meet the conditions, you will not get an mvv and a residence permit. This decision is given in the formal decision. The IND will send the decision by post. You can apply for a review of this decision.

  • Positive decision

    If you meet all the conditions, you will get an mvv and a residence permit. The IND also informs the Dutch representation.

4. Collect mvv

​You collect the mvv from the Dutch representation where you have submitted the application form.

You have 3 months to collect the mvv. Please make an appointment for this with the representation. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months on the day you get the mvv.

5. Travel to the Netherlands

​Once you have collected your mvv, you can travel to the Netherlands. The mvv is valid for 90 days. The validity is shown on the mvv sticker. The mvv sticker shows 2 dates:

  • Effective date: as of this date the mvv is valid.
  • End date: as of this date the mvv is no longer valid.
The mvv allows you to travel within the Schengen Area.

Steps in the application procedure

1. Submit application and payment

​You do not have an mvv-required nationality. You are travelling to the Netherlands in your permit-exempt term. This means that you do not need a visa to travel to the Netherlands. You then have 3 months to apply for the residence permit in the Netherlands.

You submit this application to the IND. The form is at the bottom of this page. Send the application form together with the required documents to the IND by post. The IND then sends a letter stating how the fees are to be paid.

You have to give your biometric information at an IND Desk within 2 weeks after having sent the application. 

2. Receipt and check application

After your application has been received, the IND sends a confirmation letter. The confirmation letter states the date the IND has received the application. It also states the period within which the IND makes a decision.

The IND will then check to see if your application is complete and that the fees have been paid. Are documents missing, or are documents not correct? In that case, the IND will send a letter: a request to rectify the omission. This letter lists the documents that still needs to be sent. Send the requested documents before the mentioned date to the IND.

3. Decision

​The IND checks whether you meet all conditions and asks advice from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO.nl, part of the Ministry of Economic Affairs). The IND has to make a decision within a period of 90 days.

  • Negative decision

    If you do not meet the conditions, you will not get a residence permit. This decision is given in the formal decision. The IND will send the decision by post. You can apply for a review of this decision.
  • Positive decision

    If you meet all the conditions, you will get a residence permit.

Application forms and costs

Application form available at Dutch representation

For the application form and information on how to apply, please contact the Dutch representation.

Checklist documents

The application form lists the documents that you have to enclose with the application. 

You have to have official foreign documents legalised and translated into Dutch, English, French or German.

How to send documents to the IND:

  • You only send copies of your documents, single-sided and on A4 paper.
  • The copies must be complete and legible.
  • Write down your V-number or client number on each copy. If you do not know these numbers, then please write your name and date of birth on each copy.
  • Do not send USB sticks, CDs or DVDs.
  • You keep the original documents yourself. You have to show these documents to the Dutch representation abroad.

Costs application

This application costs € 1319.

  • Are you from San Marino or Israel? Based on the Benelux Treaty you do not pay for the application.
  • Do you have the Turkish nationality? Your application costs € 64.​​​​​​

Application forms and costs

Application for a residence permit with the purpose of residence ‘to work on a self-employed basis’7524

Use this form to start your application.

Checklist documents

The application form lists the documents that you have to enclose with the application.

You have to have official foreign documents legalised and translated into Dutch, English, French or German.

How to send documents to the IND:

  • You only send copies of your documents, single-sided and on A4 paper.
  • The copies must be complete and legible (clear enough to be properly read).
  • Write down your V-number or client number on each copy. If you do not know these numbers, then please write your name and date of birth on each copy.
  • Do not send USB sticks, CDs or DVDs.
  • You keep the original documents yourself. You have to show these documents to the Dutch representation abroad.

Costs application

This application costs € 1319. 

  • Are you from San Marino or Israel? Based on the Benelux Treaty you do not pay for the application.
  • Do you have the Turkish nationality? Your application costs € 51.​​​​​​

Download  

After the application

Collect your residence permit

The IND aims to have your residence permit ready within 2 weeks following your arrival in the Netherlands. The IND will send you a letter indicating when you can collect the residence permit. You do not have to make an appointment to collect your residence permit.

Check to see if the information on the residence permit is correct while you are still at the IND desk. If something is incorrect, please inform the IND staff member at once.

Registration with the municipality

Upon arrival in the Netherlands, you must register in the Municipal Personal Records Database (BPR)  in the municipality you are going to live.

To register with the municipality you need a legalised and translated  birth certificate. Take this therefore with you when you travel to the Netherlands.

TB test

You have indicated your intent to undergo a tuberculosis test (TB test) when you applied. You have to make an appointment for this with the Area Health Authority (GGD). You do this within 3 months after having received your residence permit. Please take the 'TB test referral form' with you to the appointment.

In some cases you are exempt from taking a TB test.

Take out health insurance

Anyone living in the Netherlands must take out health insurance. You do this within 4 months following your arrival in the Netherlands.

Validity residence permit

​The period of validity of the residence permit is up to 2 years. 

Right to work

The back of your residence permit shows if you are allowed to do paid employment. Your permit states 'arbeid in loondienst alleen toegestaan met TWV ('only allowed work in paid employment with work permit') This means that, with a residence permit to work 'on a self-employed basis', you may only work if your employer has a TWV for you.

Labour market notification 'work freely permitted'

Have you worked in the Netherlands for 5 years? Than you are free to work in the Netherlands. You do not need an TWV anymore.

Is your residence permit still valid for a least 4 months? You can replace your residencer permit for a document with the labour market notification 'arbeid vrij toegestaan' (work freely permitted).

Does your permit expire within 3 months? Apply for extension. Write on the form that you wish to have the labour market notification 'arbeid vrij toegestaan' on your new residence permit.

Legal obligations

​There are a number of legal obligations that apply to you.

The IND monitors your compliance with these legal obligations. Failure to meet these legal obligations may have consequences.

Further applications (extend or change) / return visa

Replace residence permit

Is your residence permit damaged, lost or stolen? In that case, have the residence permit replaced.

Extend residence permit

Is your residence permit due to expire soon? Apply for an extension.

Change residence permit

Has something changed in your situation that influences your residence permit? Please report this immediately to the IND. It may mean that the residence permit has to be changed.

Permanent stay

Having had a residence permit for a period of 5 years, you may apply for a permanent residence permit.

Becoming a Dutch citizen

Having had a residence permit for a period of 5 years, you may apply for Dutch citizenship.

Return visa

If you are awaiting a procedure, you do not have a valid residence document at present and you wish to travel outside the Netherlands, you may need a return visa to re-enter the Netherlands. This could be the case if your current residence permit is no longer valid or your current residence permit will expire during your stay outside of the Netherlands. To apply for a return visa you must meet certain conditions. ​

Provisional residence permit (mvv)

​The provisional residence permit (mvv) is a visa you need if you wish to stay in the Netherlands for more than 90 days.

Dutch representation

​This is the Dutch embassy or consulate.

Formal decision

​A formal letter with the decision on your application.

TWV

​A TWV is a work permit. The employer applies for a TWV with UWV (Netherlands Employees Insurance Agency). UWV examines among other things if there is no employee with the Dutch, EU/EEA or Swiss nationality that is qualified for the job. For more information about the TWV, check the website of UWV (only in Dutch).