25 ideas for starting your own business

You want to start your own business, but you are not sure what kind. Unfortunately, KVK does not have a list of great ideas for your business, but you can be inspired by the 266,000 who started their own business in 2022. Here are the 25 most popular business activities in the Netherlands.

When starting your own business, it is always a good idea to look at your own strengths. What do you excel at and what would other people pay you to do? In 2022, 266,101 businesses, to be precise, were registered in the KVK Business Register, most of which launched an online shop, while organisational consultancy and construction also score highly. Perhaps you can find your future calling in the top 25 business activities of 2022. And who knows, you might just find the niche market you have been looking for.

Top 25 business activities

Activity

 Number of new business owners

1

Online shop*

21,748

2

Organisational consultancy (in Dutch)

15,484

3

Residential and commercial construction and renovation

13,066

4

Midwifery, physical therapy, psychotherapy practices, and other paramedical practices and alternative healers

10,803

5

 Day care for disabled and elderly people, home health nursing and welfare services

9,648

6

Various forms of education

9,144

7

Event catering (in Dutch)

7,094

8

Barbers, hairdressers (in Dutch), and beauticians (in Dutch)

6,821

9

Graphic design, interior design, fashion design (in Dutch)

5,848

10

Outpatient youth care, social work, and counseling and welfare work

5,806

11

Software development, production, and publication, such as security software

4,809

12

Hardware and software consultancy (in Dutch)

4,751

13

Consultancy firms (in Dutch) in various fields (from valuations to wine consultancy and from coaching athletes and artists to consulting game design)

4,673

14

Engineering firms, technical design and consulting.

4,617

15

Creative artists, such as writers, composers, painters, sculptors, and restorers

4,301

16

Public relations agencies

4,280

17

Sports and leisure education

4,224

18

Performing arts and entertainment

3,998

19

Cleaning (in Dutch) buildings

3,935

20

Freight transportation by road, driver services, and courier services (in Dutch)

3,909

21

Design services, photography (in Dutch), translation and other consultancy

3,803

22

Private security

3,458

23

Restaurants, cafeterias, and ice cream parlors (in Dutch)

3,423

24

Electrical engineering

3,355

25

Childcare (in Dutch)

3,324

(Source: KVK Business Register – January to December 2022)

Online shops are still a popular choice among new business owners, although the number of new online shops decreased considerably compared to 2021, when 26,676 businesses started a new online shop. Thousands of new online shops shot up during the corona pandemic, but it is important to remember that no 2 online shops are alike. In fact, the activity ‘online shop’ is an umbrella term for multiple different types of activities. These are the most frequently launched online shops in 2022:

 

Top 5 new online shops

 

Main activity

Number of new business owners

1. 

General products and miscellaneous non-food items

7,259

2. 

Clothing and fashion accessories

4,819

3. 

Homeware and gardenware

4,674

4. 

Food and personal care products

1,959

5. 

Leisure products

1,652

(Source: KVK Business Register - January to December 2022)

 

KVK Regional data

Want to know how your region is doing and how many new and established businesses there are in a particular branch? Check out KVK Regional data (in Dutch).

Ready to take the plunge? For everything you need to know about starting your own business, check out our page for starting a business.