What is a valid proof of identity?

What does KVK consider a valid proof of identity, when do you need to show ID, and what are the rules when you send in a copy of your ID? Find the answers here.

What is a valid proof of identity?

A valid proof of identity is:

  • a Dutch or foreign passport
  • a Dutch driving licence or moped driving licence (category AM)
  • a European identity document, issued by an EEA country
  • a Dutch identity card for aliens (residence permit, foreigner identity card or W-document, or privileged person's identity card)
  • a Dutch aliens passport
  • a Dutch refugee passport


  • If a foreign identity card (e.g. from Poland, Romania) does not have a signature, a second proof of ID must be added. This must have a signature.
  • If there is no signature on your foreign identity card, you will need to add a second official proof of identity. This second ID must bear your signature.
  • Your proof of identity must not have expired.

When do I need to provide proof of identity?

  • If you register a business in the Dutch Business Register (Handelsregister).
  • If you will be taking up a position at a business that is already in the Business Register. For instance as director, partner or authorised representative of a business.
  • If you accompany a person registering as entrepreneur, partner, director or authorised representative, and act as spokesperson or interpreter/translator for them.

I live abroad. How can I provide proof of my identity?

Even if you live abroad, you will have to identify yourself in person at one of our branches in the Netherlands. Unless the rules for your change or registration explicitly state that you can do this by post

You should bring a valid proof of identity, together with an original extract from the foreign population register of your municipality. You can also bring another supporting document, for example from an official institution or a bank. The document must:

  • state your private address;
  • be an original, not a copy;
  • be no older than one month. 

If it is not possible for you to come into one of our offices in person, send in the following documents together with your registration:

  • A legalised copy of a valid proof of identity;
  • An original extract (or a legalised copy thereof) from the foreign population register of your municipality, or another supporting document, such as from an official institution or a bank, on which your private address is stated, provided that proof is no older than one month.
  • Your private address must be legible and not consist of Chinese characters, for instance. To be legible, your address details must be translated into English, German, French or Dutch. The translation does not have to be made by a sworn translator.

Note: if you want to register as a sole proprietor (eenmanszaak), you also need a Citizen Service Number (BSN) to register. You can obtain your BSN by registering your Dutch private address with your municipality, if you live in the Netherlands, or by registering your foreign private address in the Non-residents Records Database (RNI). Once registered in the RNI, you are allowed to remain in the Netherlands for a maximum of 4 months.

How can I provide proof of my identity if I live on a Wadden Sea Island?

If you live on one of the Wadden Sea Islands (Waddeneilanden), we prefer that you provide proof of your identity in person, at one of our branches. If that is not possible for you, you can print and fill in your registration form and send it in completed and signed, together with a copy of your proof of identity certified by the municipality.

Rules for a printed proof of identity

In some cases, you must send in or bring a printed copy of your proof of identity. The following rules apply:

  • The Netherlands Chamber of Commerce KVK has a public duty. To protect your privacy, you may make your photograph unrecognisable and your nationality illegible using a sticker or a marker. You are not permitted to hide other details. Or you can use the Dutch government's KopieID app (in Dutch) for this purpose.
  • Copy or print the front and back of your proof of identity. 
  • To register UBOs in the UBO register, you must also add a colour copy of the UBOs' proof of identity (both front and back). You are not allowed to make the nationality on these copies illegible, but you may make the photograph unrecognisable.
  • Do not make the number of the passport or driving licence illegible.
  • Print the ID copy on an A4 sheet of paper.

Why am I required to provide proof of my identity?

You have to provide proof of your identity, so that we can guarantee that the details of persons registered in the Business Register are correct. In addition, if a spokesperson or an interpreter/translator accompanies you when you register, they must also provide proof of their identity. That is because we want to verify the identity of the person who in effect handles the registration.

What is a legalised copy?

This is a copy with an official stamp, for instance from a civil-law notary, consulate, embassy or municipality.