Ukrainian refugee: registration at KVK

Are you a Ukrainian refugee who is now living in the Netherlands? If so, you can work in paid employment. It may also be possible to work as an entrepreneur but the conditions are very strict. Learn more about what you need to register at the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce KVK and to have your own business.

Paid employment is the easiest option

The easiest way for Ukrainian refugees to work in the Netherlands is in paid employment. Currently, employers do not have to apply for a work permit for Ukrainians who fall under the Temporary Protection Directive.

Are you an entrepreneur in the Netherlands and you want to hire someone from Ukraine? Find out what you need to do.

Starting a business in the Netherlands as a refugee

There are strict rules for starting a business in the Netherlands as a refugee. This is to prevent situations where refugees are exploited. An important condition is that a work permit (TWV) is mandatory. In the case of an entrepreneur, this means that each of your clients has to apply for a work permit for you. They do this via the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV, in Dutch). 

Conditions for the work permit

The conditions to get a work permit as an entrepreneur are strict. For example, your potential clients have to prove that they have not been able to find another suitable candidate for doing the work inside the European Economic Area

You, as a Ukrainian refugee, do not have to show a work permit when registering with KVK. But your clients do need a work permit to hire you for each assignment. Otherwise, your client may be fined by the Dutch Labour Authority.

Registration at KVK

If you meet the conditions to have a business in the Netherlands, you can register with KVK. These are the steps:

  1. Register with the municipality
    Municipalities register Ukrainian refugees in the Personal Records Database (Basisregistratie Personen, BRP) at the address where they reside. This may also be a temporary address, or the address of a host family. If you do not have a residence, the municipality has to provide a letterbox address.
  2. Apply for DigiD
    After registering in the BRP, you receive a Citizen Service Number (BSN). You can use this to apply for a DigiD. This is a digital way to prove your identity.
  3. Prepare the registration and make an appointment at KVK
    As soon as you have a DigiD, you can prepare your KVK registration Then make an appointment at one of the KVK offices. KVK will use the address where you are registered with the municipality. If you are living with a host family, you do not need their permission to use their address when starting a business. But it may still be useful to discuss this, because the address where your business is registered will become public. To register a letterbox address, a declaration of consent (toestemmingsverklaring) is required.
  4. Complete the registration at KVK
    Visit the KVK office to finalise your registration. KVK will register you in the Business Register.

Were you already an entrepreneur in Ukraine?

Were you an entrepreneur in Ukraine before fleeing to the Netherlands? If this company has a legal personality, then you can also register this company with KVK. You need to have the original company documents.

Please note: the work permit conditions listed above still apply to you.