Popular subsidies and schemes for business owners

The government offers various subsidies and schemes to help entrepreneurs financially. In particular, innovative and sustainable investments can count on many (tax) benefits. Wondering if you are entitled to these? Read more about six popular subsidies and schemes you can apply for today or soon.

Choose your subsidy or scheme

Research & Development tax credit (WBSO)

The WBSO encourages innovation at companies doing research and development (R&D). For example, the development of a technologically new product for your company.

The WBSO covers part of the (wage) costs and expenses you make for the R&D activities. You will receive a WBSO decision for this. Would you like to know whether you are eligible for the WBSO, or how much tax benefit you can receive? The WBSO tool (in Dutch) will help you on your way.

Three important conditions for the WBSO

  • Your business aims to develop a technically new and physical product or production process. Software and technical-scientific research also qualify.
  • The R&D work has yet to take place or is in progress.
  • You carry out the work in parts according to a plan.

On the RVO website, you can find all the conditions and submit an application. You will usually receive a reply within 3 months.

Do you have a bv or nv? After a WBSO decision, you may also be able to use the innovation box.

Environmental investment allowance (MIA) and the Random depreciation of environmental investments (Vamil)

Besides the WBSO, you also get tax benefits with the MIA and the Vamil. These are 2 schemes that are often combined for environment-friendly investments. For instance an electric carrier bicycle, a charging point for an electric car, or recycled building materials.

You deduct part of the investment from your taxable profit. With the Vamil, you decide when this happens. Together, the 2 schemes provide a net benefit of up to 14% of the investment amount.

Three important conditions for the MIA/Vamil

  • The investment is on the Environment List and meets all the requirements of this list. The Environment List is updated every year.
  • It concerns a new product costing at least €2,500.
  • You submit the application within 3 months after the investment.

On the RVO website, you can find all the conditions and submit an application. After the application, you can immediately apply the deductions in your tax return.

One deduction item you may combine with the MIA/Vamil is the Small projects investment credit (KIA). This scheme applies to general business assets, such as laptops and tools with a minimum investment amount of €450 each. Your total investment must be at least €2,600 in 2023.

Are you planning to buy a zero-emission company car? Before you purchase it, you may be eligible for the Subsidy scheme for zero emission commercial vehicles (SEBA). Until 3 months after the purchase, you can apply for the MIA.

Sustainable energy investment subsidy scheme (ISDE)

You can save energy and work on sustainability in many ways within your company. Are you installing a heat pump or solar boiler? With the ISDE, you get part of the investment amount back. Until the end of 2023, this subsidy is also available for small-scale wind turbines and solar panels.

The amount of the subsidy depends on the type of appliance and its energy performance. For a heat pump, for example, the subsidy is at least €500 euros.

Three important conditions for the ISDE

  • You apply for the subsidy before you buy the device.
  • You start using the device within 1 year after the decision on the subsidy application.
  • You have not previously made use of the ISDE. Nor have you used any other subsidy or scheme for the device, such as the Energy Investment Allowance (EIA).

On the RVO website (in Dutch) you will find all the conditions for the ISDE and you can submit an application. You will usually receive a response within 8 weeks.

STAP budget

In 2022, the government introduced the STAP budget (Incentive for Improvement of Labour Market Position) to promote schooling and personal development. With this scheme, you get a maximum reimbursement of €1,000 for training. As an entrepreneur, you can apply for the grant for yourself. Do you have employees? Then alert them to the existence of this scheme and invite them to apply.

Three important conditions fort he STAP budget

  • Submit an application at least 4 weeks before the training course starts.
  • The course to which the STAP budget applies must be listed in the STAP training register.
  • You have not used the STAP budget in the previous year.

Employees need to submit their application personally via the STAP portal of the Employee Insurance Agency UWV. You cannot do this for your employees. A new application period starts every 2 months. In 2024, you can no longer apply for a STAP budget.

SME credit guarantee scheme (BMKB)

Do you want to borrow money, but do you not have enough collateral to secure the loan? Through the BMKB, the government guarantees up to three quarters of your loan. This gives the lender more security and you can borrow more.

Three important conditions for the BMKB

  • You have a business with up to 250 employees.
  • Your company is not active in the following sectors: real estate exploitation, insurance and finance, agriculture and horticulture, fishery.
  • You have to pay a one-off commission on the BMKB credit granted. This amounts to a minimum of 3.9% and a maximum of 8.35%.

You can find all the conditions on the RVO website. A bank or other lender (in Dutch) participating in the scheme will apply for you.

Are you applying for a loan as a starter or is the loan intended for innovation or sustainability? Then there are extra favourable conditions (in Dutch).

More subsidies for business owners

There are more business subsidies and tax schemes for entrepreneurs. On Business.gov.nl you will find a complete overview of financing options. Using the filters, you can easily find out whether you are eligible for a subsidy and when the subsidy is valid.