Checklist: Getting started
- Willeke Leensma
- Step-by-step plan
- 10 Sept 2019
- Edited 19 Jul 2022
- 3 min
- Starting, Managing and growing
You have just registered your company with the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce KVK. Congratulations! As a new entrepreneur, you have to arrange many things. Have you thought of everything?
There is a lot that goes into starting and running your own business. From determining your hourly rate and finding new customers, to setting up your business records and filing VAT returns. And what about your tax deductions? Find out with this handy checklist.
This checklist contains all the information you need to take the next steps for your company. For more English information, check out Business.gov.nl or watch this webinar about starting a business in the Netherlands.
1. Finding customers, retaining customers
Without customers there is no turnover, without turnover there is no business. Your first step is finding customers.
- Improve your marketing.
- How to find new customers.
- Tips for creating a company website.
- What is a suitable location for my company?
Networking is getting to know people, who can potentially connect you to others.
- Networking: building valuable relationships.
- How to deliver a convincing (elevator) pitch.
1.3 (Online) marketing and social media
As an entrepreneur, make optimal use of social media as a marketing tool.
- Use the KVK Company Counter to find out how many businesses in your area are offering the same type of products or services.
- Write a marketing plan.
- Personal branding: shaping your brand.
- Rank higher in search engines for free (in Dutch).
- Social media as a marketing tool.
2. Income matters
2.1 Hourly rate
You determine your hourly rate yourself. But how do you know what a good price is? What can you ask?
- Determine your hourly rate.
2.2 Money matters
- Make a financial plan.
- Find capital for your business.
- Open a Dutch business bank account.
- Benefits and insurances for self-employed professionals.
If you need money for your business, find out beforehand which type of capital best suits your investment. And what is involved.
- Looking for money? Check out financial support schemes from the government or through private investors and banks.
- See if you can apply for a subsidy.
- Questions about financing? Call the financing desk.
2.4 Quotation and invoice
A quotation is your offer to your customer. But how do you make it personal and clear?
- How to make a winning quotation.
- Download a sample quote (pdf, in Dutch).
- How do I create an invoice?
- Download a sample invoice (pdf)
3. Business records and taxes
3.1 Business records
Proper business records are important. But how can you keep those records properly?
- Points of attention for your business records.
- This is how you keep track of your hours.
- Business account required? (in Dutch)
- You are legally obliged to keep records.
The Tax and Customs Administration will never be fun, but they do try to make things easier. Save time and money with these tips.
- Register with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration.
- Everything about taxes for starting entrepreneurs.
- VAT: tax return for entrepreneurs.
- Take a look at the small business scheme (KOR).
3.3 Tax benefits
- What qualifies you as an entrepreneur for income tax?
- Pay less tax as a starter using tax schemes.
- Check if you are eligible for tax relief.
4. Laws and regulations
4.1 Company name and intellectual property
A good company name is recognizable, sticks, and makes it clear what you do.
- Do you want to change your company name?
- Check your company name as domain name.
- Your company name as a brand name.
- Protect your intellectual property rights.
- Copy and pasting images (in Dutch), what are the rules?
4.2 Entrepreneurial risk and pension
Doing business means taking risks, but how do you know which risks you run and how can you limit or cover risks?
- Draw up general terms and conditions.
- 10 important insurance policies for starting entrepreneurs.
If you are an entrepreneur, you do not build up a pension. Check your options and whether you are obliged to pay into a pension fund.
- Building a pension as a self-employed person.
- Check here how much pension you have built up already (in Dutch).
4.3 Part-time business
- What rules apply to part-time entrepreneurs?
- Check the what the GDPR means for you.
- Your details in the Business Register and your privacy.
Be alert, take measures, and make sure that your company and your website are protected against cybercriminals.
- Everything about preventing and recognising fraud.
- Do the cyber scan to see how you can optimally protect your business.
Laws and regulations, you cannot escape them. But in which situations do you need a permit?
- Conditions per business sector.
- Which permits do I need for my business location?
4.7 Collaborating with other entrepreneurs/freelancers
- Collaborating with a partner , the most frequently asked questions.
- The general partnership contract, set up clear rules.
- Check the liability of your business partner(s).