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Netherlands

Business support

Updated 07/2009

Helping businesses

Private organisations

           Syntens   is a non-profit advisory body designed to help entrepreneurs in their innovation strategy, for instance by providing tailored recommendations, action plans for innovation, on-line advice, rapid diagnosis and workshops.

           TechnoPartner   offers help to people who are starting up a business based on a technical invention. In the process it calls on the services of knowledge centres, universities, large companies, banks and investors. It offers practical information, advice and support and helps businesses to obtain secure financing.

Public-private organisations

           New Business   is a Dutch agency offering management support to innovative entrepreneurs. Innovative start-up companies, ICT companies, medical and biotechnological organisations and business services are among those who are eligible. In addition, the agency provides a national network for sharing knowledge and exchanging experiences. New Business is a public/private cooperation initiative.

The Chamber of Commerce (KvK) is an independent starting point for new entrepreneurs and established businesses alike. Information focuses on start-ups, international commerce, business transfers and rules and regulations.

As their first port of call, entrepreneurs can seek free advice from KvK's website or from a KvK regional office. KvK offers either general counselling or will direct you to in-house or external specialists for specific questions.

The Chamber of Commerce also oversees compliance with a number of legal procedures, including the Commercial Registers Act.

Public organisations

           Marketing boards   and inter-branch organisations represent the interests of their member companies. They provide training for workers, quality control and joint export promotions. In most cases membership is compulsory. A marketing board represents the interests of all companies working on one product. An inter-branch organisation represents the interests of all associated companies active within the same branch of business.

           SER   advises the Dutch government on socio-economic policy.

The Agency for International Business and Cooperation (EVD) is the Dutch government's international business and cooperation agency. It promotes exports, imports and foreign investment by providing information, financial support programmes and targeted communication channels for Dutch entrepreneurs.

EVD's Hollandtrade.com website offers information on the Dutch market.

The Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA), part of EVD, helps foreign companies that wish to invest in the Netherlands.

           SME Netherlands   represents SMEs in the Netherlands. It aims to create a favourable business climate by focusing its activities on making autonomous business attractive.

The Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW) defends the common interests of Dutch business at both national and international level through cooperation with assorted regional associations.

Information from the Dutch government can be found on the Antwoordvoorbedrijven.nl website, which lists at a glance all the various relevant dos and don'ts, e.g. licences and requirements, laws and regulations, taxes and subsidies.

It is also possible to consult an advisor or send in questions via e-mail. Antwoord voor bedrijven is a Dutch government initiative with close collaborative ties to Dutch government ministries and other national, provincial, regional and local authorities.

The Higherlevel.nl forum is an online forum bringing together entrepreneurs and specialists from both the public and private sectors.

You can find information about foreign embassies and consulates in the Netherlands on the website of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Access to finance is crucial for setting up and running a business.

Help & advice

Help & advice

SOLVIT helps businesses deal with problems that arise when national authorities wrongly apply EU market rules.

E-mail a business organisation near you

The EU runs a network (Enterprise Europe Network) of local business organisations in most European countries that may be able to help you.

Choose your country and town and enter your enquiry below.

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