The startup permit

In 2015 the Dutch government introduced the 'startup permit', a regulation that provides ambitious international entrepreneurs with a Dutch residence permit for one year in order to launch an innovative business while residing in the Netherlands. But it has transpired that one year is often not a long enough period for a startup to develop sufficiently for the founder to be able to apply for a residence permit for the self-employed, even if the company’s outlook is highly promising.

New and improved

As of 1 January 2016, this regulation has been revised. While the permit itself is still granted for one year, it is now easier for entrepreneurs to be granted a residence permit for the self-employed after the one-year period. In their application for the new permit, they can now include a reference letter from their facilitator. The combination of the startup permit and the residence permit for the self-employed gives international entrepreneurs up to three years to develop their business. This means that promising startups need not be forced to leave the Netherlands after the initial one-year period, provided certain conditions are met.