Public-sector financing options in the Amsterdam Area

In addition to private-sector funding such as investments or loans, businesses looking for funding in the Amsterdam Area can access a range of public-sector financing options. New businesses are welcome in the country, and the government is actively stimulating business activity. There are financial instruments by the national government, incentives on local, regional and European levels, and subsidies, which are often tied to a specific field, theme or sector. Some options are open to businesses looking to expand to the Netherlands, others require a business be already set up in the country.

Subsidies for specific sectors

Sustainability and innovation are key priorities for the Dutch government and regional and local agencies are offering support for businesses making meaningful contributions in fields such as environment and energy. For example, the Sustainable Energy Transition subsidy scheme (SDE++) is directed at companies and organisations in sectors such as industry, mobility, electricity, agriculture and the built environment, who are producing renewable energy or applying CO2-reducing techniques.

The R&D tax credit (WBSO) offers compensation for R&D costs; other subsidies target health innovations, circular economy initiatives, and even sustainable shipbuilding.

And many other subsidies are available on a national level, for example if you invest in emerging markets.

Companies in the Netherlands can also apply for funding on a regional level, through the Regional Development Agencies (ROMs), and access EU-wide subsidies.

Finally, startups can look to a range of additional options for funding.

Government support for SMEs and scale-ups

Financial instruments utilised by the Dutch national government include the SME credit guarantee scheme (BMKB) for small-to-medium-sized enterprises. SME guarantees mean the government provides a guarantee to a bank loan when a business doesn’t have enough collateral – with the Ministry of Economic Affairs standing as guarantor. To be eligible, a business must be established in the Netherlands and employ no more than 250 workers.

Another option is the Growth Facility Scheme, which offers a guarantee to investors who provide venture capital to SMEs.

Then there’s proof-of-concept funding, which is directed at SMEs and startups with an innovative product or services. This is a loan that can be used for prototype development, market research and other early-stage activities.

Innovative companies that are a step further can also look into the Innovation Credit Scheme.

Dig deeper into the types of government funding available in the Netherlands.

Dutch fiscal policies

The Netherlands offers a stable business climate. Numerous bilateral tax agreements mean companies avoid double taxation and often provide reduced or no withholding tax on dividends, interest and royalties. As an open economy, the Netherlands has always given priority to a transparent and stable tax system that is flexible enough to anticipate the rapidly changing requirements of international economic flows.

European headquarters benefit from a broad participation exemption – 100% exemption for qualifying dividends and capital gains.

And for international employees, there is the 30% ruling, which allows employers to offer 30% of employee salaries tax-free.

These factors, combined with the wide range of financial incentives and a stable climate makes the country a solid, reliable choice for those looking for a base for international business operations.