I Introduction

The Dutch American Friendship Treaty (hereafter DAFT) allows US nationals to start a business in the Netherlands. Successful applicants receive a residence permit which allows them to work on a self-employed basis as a freelancer, sole entrepreneur (eenmanszaak) or legal entity (a Dutch BV).

The DAFT allows US nationals to start their business under preferential conditions in the Netherlands. Therefore US nationals do not need to satisfy the points-based test which applies to non-EU businesses and can even await their visa and work permit while remaining in the Netherlands.

II Initial Steps

In order to receive a residence permit to operate a business under the DAFT, the applicant should collect the following information/documents before meeting with the IND (Dutch Immigration Office):

  1. Registration of the business with the Chamber of Commerce;
  2. Brief description of the intended business
  3. Opening balance sheet prepared by a qualified accountant or tax advisor that presents the minimum capital of Eur 4.500;
  4. A valid passport;
  5. Dutch business bank account with Eur 4.500 capital.

III Residence Permit

At the IND meeting you will receive a preliminary visa stamp in your passport and you have to await the final decision of the DAFT application. This may take up to 3 months and the governmental fee amounts to Eur 1.319 (2017). If the application is granted the residence permit will be issued on a renewable basis for one year. This permit will only allow you to work as an entrepreneur as stated in the business plan. If the applicant intends to work for an employer, then a new application for a work permit is required.

The residence permit will also state that the permit can be withdrawn if the applicant applies for public welfare benefits.

At renewal time, the IND will ask to see proof that the minimum required capital amount has been maintained without change during the year and that the annual minimum gross wages have been met.

OnestopTax BV can assist you with obtaining the DAFT residence permit by going through all the necessary steps.