How to Start a Business in Amsterdam?

Amsterdam is the second-largest city in the Netherlands and, aside from its world-class dining and nightlife, is truly known for its “Canal Rings” – a series of interconnected canals that form the backbone of the city. It is a cultural hub, filled with history and beauty, and is home to over 263,000 people. If you are considering setting up a business in Amsterdam, then congratulations – you are among the most sought-after city break destinations in the world!

Whether you are looking to take a gap year or year off, or want to make the move after your final year of University, there is plenty to do in Amsterdam to help you get started. With a low unemployment rate and lots of opportunities for students, it is a hub for business growth – and a perfect place to establish a career!

Here, we’ll explore how to start a business in Amsterdam – from drawing up a business plan to financing and finding workspace. We’ll also cover the different kinds of licenses and permits you may need to secure in order to operate a business in the country.

Where Can I Work?

Amsterdam is filled with historic buildings and beautiful parks. If you are looking to work in an office environment, then this city is paradise. With over 142,500 square meters of built-on workspace, there is plenty of choice for anyone looking for an office. You’ll also find a variety of retail and restaurant options, making it the perfect place to base a business. If you don’t want to work in an office environment, though, there are also plenty of other options available to you including coworking spaces and even house-sharing, if you are looking to save money.

How Do I Finance My Business In Amsterdam?

If you’ve ever been to Amsterdam, you’ll know that it is incredibly famous for its canals. These water features provide a beautiful view of the city and have earned it the nickname “The Venice of the North”. Unfortunately, these canals are also home to a lot of mosquitoes. If you want to ensure that you don’t have to deal with these annoying insects, then you should know that there is a service that specializes in creating a mosquito-free zone around your property. This service is called “Mosquito Guys” and offers eco-friendly solutions to rid your home of these pests. With over 150 active mosquito breeding grounds within a three-mile radius of your home, getting a mosquito netting or sprays could be expensive and ineffective – especially if you have a lot of property. Having your own private mosquito-free zone, however, is certainly a luxury that could be worth the investment in terms of annoyance-free living!

How Do I Incorporate My Business In Amsterdam?

One of the most crucial steps in starting any business is getting it legally registered with the local government. In the case of Amsterdam, this is called “Incorporating”. Once your business is incorporated, you can apply for a variety of licenses and permits that will enable you to operate. Let’s take a look at the different kinds of permits and licenses you may need depending on the nature of your business.

The Worksite Permit

Worksites are pretty self-explanatory – they are where you work. If you are looking for a place to work, whether it is in an office environment or not, then you should apply for a worksite permit from the municipal government. Just remember to register your business with the municipal government first before applying for this permit.

This permit is pretty self-explanatory – you will need to have a workspace available for up to six people. If you are looking for a commercial space such as a retail store or café, then you are probably going to need a lot more room than what is allowed for under this license. It is also worth noting here that if you are looking for a space for your business, then make sure to check out the non-industrial parts of Amsterdam first before heading to the more secluded areas – such as the parks – where you may find that there are already a lot of businesses based there. Finding a quiet corner in one of the city’s parks to do your business is one thing, but getting permission to do so is another matter entirely.

The Food & Beverage License

If you are looking to set up a restaurant or bar in Amsterdam, then you should certainly apply for a food and beverage license from the city authorities. This license, like the workspace permit, is pretty self-explanatory – you will need to have a place where people can eat and drink, provided it is not in an industrial area. You will also need to register your bar or restaurant with the local government in order to take advantage of certain discounts and to ensure that food-borne illnesses are prevented in the future.

This license does not allow you to sell alcohol in a restaurant or bar, so make sure to keep that in mind if you are applying for one of these permits. If you are already familiar with how bars and restaurants work in Amsterdam, then you know how difficult it can be to get a license to open one – especially outside of the tourist hotspots along the canals. The food and beverage license also does not allow for food trucks, pop-up shops, or vending machines, so make sure you research the different kinds of permits and licenses that your chosen business form may require before making the move. If you are looking for a one-stop shop to learn more about what licenses and permits you may need for your business, then visit the Netherlands Business Registry – a government website that provides updated information on starting a business in the country.

The Type 2 Vehicle Registration

Vehicles are pretty self-explanatory – they are modes of transport. If you are running a fleet of taxis or delivery vehicles for a commercial business, then you should apply for a Type 2 vehicle registration from the municipal government. Just be sure to register your vehicle with the government first and then apply for this license.

This registry allows for two or more adults who are related to be listed as co-owners of a vehicle. If you own a business and you are looking for a dependable and affordable form of transport to get your goods to market, then you may find that this is the registration for you – it’s cheaper than purchasing your own car and the insurance is probably cheaper, too! Having co-owners on the vehicle is also more convenient in case one of you needs some help running the business – or if one of the owners suddenly passes away.

Where Can I Advertise?

If you are looking for an effective way to attract customers to your business, then you should look into advertising. Just make sure to read the rules and regulations of your chosen advertising medium first – such as newspapers or magazines – before committing to any advertising costs. Many businesses in Amsterdam are small, independent shops that rely on word-of-mouth advertising and good, old-fashioned elbow grease to get their name out there. If you are looking for a creative and effective way to market your business, then consider looking into online marketing or even social media. There are a plethora of tools out there that can help you reach the right audience.

The Internet is filled with opportunities for online marketing, whether you are looking to promote your blog or website, or want to utilize live chats and web forums to build a community around your business. Social media is also a fantastic option – as long as you know how to effectively use the various platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook – to get the most out of them. If you want to learn more about how to advertise your business in Amsterdam, then consider looking into the Yellow Pages or searching online for “marketing companies” in the country.

Do I Need To Speak Dutch?

If you are looking to start up or run a business in Amsterdam, then you should certainly learn the language. Not only will you be able to communicate with the locals much more readily, but you will also be able to find the resources you need much more easily. There are many online resources, such as Duolingo and Memrise, that can help you learn Dutch quickly and effectively. Just make sure to get some native speakers to help you out along the way – whether it is with sign-language interpreters or native-speakers who are willing to tutor you for free!

There are many resources and opportunities available to you in the Netherlands if you decide to start a business there. From getting legally registered to finding workspace and financing to advertising and marketing, you’ll have no trouble finding what you need. Just remember to get all the proper licenses and permits in advance so that you don’t have to hassle with bureaucracy when you’re already overburdened as it is!