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 popular subsidies and schemes you can apply for.

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. 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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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 is a minimum of 3.9% and a maximum of 8.35%.

You can find all the conditions on the RVO website

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).

Innovation credit

If you are developing an innovative product or service with positive market prospects and substantial technical risks, you can apply for an innovation credit.

Three important conditions for the innovation credit

  • You can apply for a maximum of €10 million and must pay it back with interest.
  • You must provide all kinds of documents, which require a lot of preparation. For example, proof that your product or service will involve fewer and fewer technical and medical risks in the future
  • After the application, you will have an intake interview with an RVO adviser. After this, RVO, together with an external advisory committee, assesses the application.

Read more about the Innovation credit

Knowledge voucher for innovation (MIT)

Do you have an idea for a new product, production process, or service, but lack the expertise to implement it yourself? Then apply for a knowledge voucher through the MIT (SME Innovation Stimulation Region and Top Sectors) subsidy scheme. This enables you to buy in expert advice from an official knowledge institution (in Dutch). 

Three important conditions for the MIT

  • You spend the voucher of maximum €9000 at a knowledge institution.
  • You can use the voucher to pay a maximum of 70% of the cost of hiring he knowledge institution. 
  • You submit a signed assignment or quotation from the knowledge institution within 4 months of receiving the voucher. 

Find more information on the MIT Knowledge voucher scheme (in Dutch).

Early stage financing (VFF)

Banks often only give loans when you have a proof- of-concept (a simplified description of your idea that demonstrates that it can be used in practice). If you don't yet have a proof-of-concept, VFF (Vroegefasefinanciering) offers a solution. 

Three important conditions for VFF

  • The interest rate is high: 9.11% as of 1 January 2024.
  • Among other things, you must provide a concise business plan (for existing SMEs, a renewal plan) and a letter of intent from a prospective investor.
  • You must prove that you are an SME using the European Commission’s SME test

Are you an ambitious starter or SME in Groningen, Friesland, Drenthe or Flevoland? And have you been in business for fewer than 5 years? Do you have an idea for a product or service but need budget to develop your idea? Then apply for VFF directly. Are you an entrepreneur in one of the other Dutch provinces? Then you can apply for this loan through your Regional Development Agency

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.