Business license in the Netherlands

Depending on the type of business you will run, certain permits, licenses or other documentation may be required.

Do I need a business license to run a business in the Netherlands?

In most cases, you will NOT need a business license to run a business in the Netherlands. There are a few exceptions, but most business activities do not require a license. The business licenses that are required in the Netherlands are mainly for certain types of businesses, such as restaurants. But also for specific industries such as transporting goods on the road, working with dangerous goods etc.


For trading companies that conduct import and/or export activities a EORI-number is often required. With the EORI number Customs identifies economic operators in the same way in all Member States. This yields efficiency benefits for those economic operators and customs alike. (EORI-number = Economic Operators Registration and Identification number). You can either create your own EORI number if you are declaring your own goods. However, most businesses importing goods use a freight forwarder (in Dutch: expediteur) or other third party to arrange the goods declaration. Find an overview of reliable providrs in this freight forwarders database.

You can apply for an EORI-number at the website of the Dutch Tax and Customs Authorities (Belastingdienst). Furthermore, you can check the validity of an EORI number on this website.


If you sell products to people in other European Union countries, you have to calculate the VAT for that country. This is usually the case with ecommerce. You also have to pay for and arrange the transport yourself. However, if the value of your imports is less than €150 per shipment, you can use the import scheme. This means that you don't have to declare VAT to the tax authorities of other EU countries. You will still have to report and pay this VAT every month, but you don't have to pay VAT when importing the goods. You do this through the IOSS portal of the country your business is registered in.

We can help you register and report in the IOSS portal in the Netherlands. Read more in our IOSS guide.

Registration for employers

If you are employing personnel for the first time, you must register as an employer with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration. You will then receive the necessary forms to meet your payroll tax obligations.

Sector specific

Other special or industry specific permits and licenses may be required. For example for the food, transport or pharma industry. If you want to sell alcohol or tobacco, for example, you need to be aware of the specific rules.

Financial services licence (Wft)

The Financial Supervision Act (Wft) sets out the rules that financial service providers must follow. This includes companies that provide crypto services. The Dutch Central Bank (DNB) and the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) are responsible for making sure these rules are followed. If you are thinking of starting up a financial service provider or fintech in the Netherlands, make sure to read this article.

What are the requirements for obtaining a business license in the Netherlands?

The requirements for obtaining a business license in the Netherlands vary depending on the type of business activity. However, you could be asked for documents as for example:

  • proof of business identity (kvk number)
  • proof of registration with the Dutch tax authorities (if applicable)
  • proof of registration with the Social Security Agency (if applicable)
  • business plan or feasibility study

How can I obtain a business license in the Netherlands?

If you want to obtain a business license in the Netherlands, you will need to contact the relevant government agency. The process for obtaining a business license can vary depending on the agency. Typically, you will need to submit an application and provide some documentation, such as your company's Articles of Association. You may also be required to attend an interview or take a test.

If you have any further questions, please contact us or fill out the form on this page.



Transport licenses

A large part of the Dutch transport industry is regulated. This means that you will need some sort of haulage license if you want commercially transport goods or people using the Dutch infrastructure.

We offer assistance with all transport licenses. The most common one is the Euro License for road transportation. You need one if you have at least one vehicle with a payload of more than 500 kg. A Euro license applies to domestic and cross-border transport within the European Union and must be renewed every 5 years.

Please note that a Euro license requires a registered transport manager. This can be your local manager or an externally hired manager. Please contact us if you have any questions about this.

Price for Euro haulage license application: €750

Financial services

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