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.


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 are registered in the Trade Register of the Chamber of Commerce (KvK).
  • You meet the requirements for practising your business or profession. This means that you have all the necessary licenses.
  • You are going to earn sufficient 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.

Conditions for residence based on the Dutch American Friendship Treaty or Dutch Japanese Trade Treaty

  • You meet the conditions that apply to everyone.
  • You have the American or Japanese nationality.
  • One of the following applies to your situation:
      • You do business between the Netherlands and the United States or Japan; or
      • You develop and lead the general business of a company in the Netherlands, and you have invested or are in the process of investing a significant capital in said company.


This application costs € 1379.

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.


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 your residence permit. For this, you have to make an appointment online at the IND desk stated in the letter. Keep in mind that it is not always possible to visit an IND desk at short notice. Therefore, please schedule an appointment in time.

Check to see if the information on your 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 (BRP)  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.

Please contact your municipality in advance to check which (legalised and translated) documents/ certificates you need to take with you.

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.

Familymembers of self-employed persons are allowed to work without a work permit. The residence permit states 'arbeid als zelfstandige toegestaan. arbeid vrij toegestaan, TWV niet vereist' ('work as a self-employed person allowed free from restrictions, work allowed free from restrictions, Work permit not required')

Labour market notification 'work freely permitted'

Have you worked in the Netherlands for 5 years? Then 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 residence 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. ​

Significant capital

​The significant capital you need to invest depends on the corporate structure: 

The IND does not consider borrowed capital to be part of the significant capital.

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. For more information, check Regular provisional residence permit (mvv).

Dutch representation

​This is the Dutch embassy or consulate.

formal decision

​A formal letter with the decision on your application.


​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.