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Need a Startup Visa in the Netherlands? Get These 3 Documents Before Applying

Since 2019, I have the privilege to work on my biomedical communication startup “ScienceVisionary” in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and I am a non-EU founder who successfully obtained the startup visa. I have received many questions from founders asking me about the application process, so I decided to share my experience in a series of articles to break-down the steps to secure your startup visa. The weekly blog posts will cover the do’s and don’ts during the extremely stressful visa application process.

To get a startup visa is not an easy task, but it is manageable once you know the specific documents you need at each stage of your application. It is very important to secure these documents as soon as possible, so as to ensure you can submit your application in a timely fashion. As non-EU founders, visa disruption can literally kill your ventures in the Netherlands. It is a very serious matter.

I have listed the three documents you need to have at hand, even before considering to apply your startup visa.

1. KvK number
This number represents your company/incorporation at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel). The key point about this number is that it shows you have registered a company in the Netherlands.

Your company can be an eenmanszaak (one-man company) or B.V. (Dutch private limited liability company). Other forms of incorporation with a KvK number should work as well, but I have only personally met founders with eenmanszaak or B.V. I will elaborate the details about registering these companies in later blog posts.

2. Declaration of Facilitator
Facilitators, defined by the Dutch government, are the startup incubators and accelerators in the Netherlands. They will sign a “Declaration of Facilitator”. It is a government form provided to them by the RVO (The Netherlands Enterprise Agency, Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland). I am sponsored by ACE incubator. They are amazing experts in helping student, researcher or recent graduate to become startup founders. They have helped my business tremendously. 10/10 recommend.

In the case of applying for a startup visa, you must have a government recognized facilitator to sponsor you. You can find the list of the facilitators through this link https://english.rvo.nl/find-facilitator. These incubators and accelerators are recognized by RVO. Make sure you check the latest version. They re-evaluate the facilitators every year. Some might not be able to sponsor you anymore.

I will write a follow-up article about how you can get sponsorship from a facilitator. Sneak-peak: you will need to pitch your business like in the Shark Tank.

3. Bank statement of about 14,000 euros
You need a bank statement proving that you have a sufficient amount of money to sustain your life in the Netherlands for one year. This amount is 70% of the minimum wage of the Netherlands. You can check the minimum wage here. It changes every year.

After collecting all these documents, you can start to write your step-by-step plan, which is essentially a business plan. I will elaborate more about my startup experience in the Netherlands in up-coming weeks. Welcome to follow me on LinkedIn or Medium to make sure you will see the articles when they are published. For specific questions, you can message through my companies contact form workshop. I am very curious about your ventures and the challenges you are facing as a founder in the Netherlands. It might be something I have dealt with before and I will be happy to help a fellow founder.

Author profile

Jon Jieh-hen Tsung is part of the ACE alumni network.

“I quit medical research to become a scientific illustrator. Accidentally started a biomedical communication startup in the Amsterdam and loving the venture ScienceVisionary. More stories can be found on my YouTube channel.”

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