Rules and regulations: changes for starting businesses as of 1 January 2023

As of 1 January 2023, starting businesses will have to deal with several new laws and regulations. The private business ownership allowance (zelfstandgenaftrek) is reduced by 1280 euros in 2023, and will be gradually reduced further. To make it easier for parents of young children to continue working, the childcare benefit will no longer depend on the number of hours worked. Here are the most important changes for starting businesses as of 1 January 2023.

Please note: some changes are not yet final. If this is the case, we will mention it.

1. Shielding your visiting address in the Business Register (15 December 2022)

You will be able to shield your visiting address in the Handelsregister (Business Register) in case of a likely threat to yourself or others residing there. In anticipation of this new law, it is already possible to shield your visiting address. Take a look at the options.

2. Discount cannot be misleading (1 January 2023)

Misleading prices will not be allowed from 1 January 2023. The new rules state that the original price from which the discount is deducted (the ‘from’ price) must be the lowest price that the seller offered 30 days prior to the discount offer. This rule has three exceptions:

  • progressive lowering of the price (promotions with a continuously increasing discount)
  • products that have been on the market for less than 30 days (introductory discounts)
  • perishables (with a ‘use by’ date)

3. Private business ownership allowance down (1 January 2023)

Do you spend a minimum of 1225 hours per year on your business? You are eligible for the private business ownership allowance, or zelfstandigenaftrek in Dutch. This allowance is reduced by 1,280 euros in 2023 and becomes 5,030 euros. This is a greater reduction than previously announced. It means you will have to pay more tax. In the coming years, the private business ownership allowance will be gradually reduced to 900 euros in 2027.
The Dutch-language Inkomstenbelasting Calculator shows you what changes in your situation.
The effective date of this amendment is not yet final.*

4. Childcare benefit no longer dependent on hours worked (1 January 2023)

Do you receive childcare benefit? As of 1 January 2023, the amount you receive no longer depends on the hours you work.

Until then, the benefit was partly dependent on the number of hours worked by the parent working the least. For entrepreneurs who work irregular hours, this stipulation was always a difficult one. The government hopes that this simplification will stimulate parents to continue working.  

5. Customary salary scheme changes (1 January 2023)

Do you run your own bv and do you work in this bv as director? As director/major shareholder (abbreviated to dga in Dutch), you are required to pay yourself a salary. This income tax requirement is called the 'gebruikelijkloonregeling', or customary salary scheme. Your wages must be at least the highest amount of these three amounts:

  • a fixed sum of 51,000 euros,
  • the wages of the highest-earning regular employee in your company,
  • 75% (in 2022) of the wages paid for the most similar type of employment.

Per 1 January 2023, the third amount changes to 100% of the wages paid for the most similar type of employment.

The effective date of this amendment is not yet final.*

6. Corporate income tax goes up (1 January 2023)

Two changes mean you pay more corporate income tax (vpb, vennootschapsbelasting) in 2023.

Bracket limit lowered

As of 1 January 2023, the first tax bracket (the lowest taxation rate) will be lowered from 395,000 to 200,000 euros. Your profits of up to 200,000 euros will be taxed in bracket 1. Do you make more profit? Everything over 200,000 euros will be taxed in bracket 2. The taxation rate in bracket 2 is higher than that in bracket 1. In other words, because of the lowering of the bracket limit, a larger part of your profits may be taxed in bracket 2, and you will have to pay more tax.

Higher tax rate in bracket 1

The taxation rate for corporate income tax in bracket 1 will go up from 15 to 19%. This means you pay more tax over your profits of up to 200,000 euros. If you make more than 200,000 euros profit, you pay 25.8% tax over the exceeding amount. This percentage is the same as in 2022.

The effective date of this amendment is not yet final.*

7. Solar panels VAT-exempt (1 January 2023)

Do you sell and install solar panels on homes and outbuildings, such as sheds? As of 1 January 2023, you can no longer charge 21% VAT for this. The 0% VAT rate will apply to installing and selling solar panels as of that date. 

The effective date of this amendment is not yet final.*

8. Introduction of APK diesel particulate filter test (1 January 2023)

If you carry out periodical technical tests (APK in Dutch) on diesel cars and vans, you will have to perform a diesel particulate filter test, using a special particle counter, as of 1 January 2023. This test determines whether or not a vehicle meets the new particle numbers requirements. The particle counter effectively measures whether or not the vehicle is equipped with a particulate filter.

9. Light moped drivers must wear a helmet (1 January 2023)

As of 1 January 2023, light moped drivers in the Netherlands must wear an approved crash helmet or speed-pedelec helmet. The helmet requirement also applies to drivers and passengers of electric scooters and mopeds. In short, all drivers and passengers of all mopeds, light, regular, or electric, will be legally required to wear crash helmets. 

A light moped can reach a maximum speed of 25 kilometres per hour and has a light blue registration plate. A regular moped has a yellow licence plate. 

10. New laws 1 April - 1 July 2023

These are the main new laws and amendments up until 1 July 2023.

1. Deposit on beverage cans (31 December 2022)

As of 31 December 2022, there is a deposit on beverage cans. Supermarkets are required to take in empty cans. Other businesses, associations, and foundations can apply voluntarily to act as collecting points. Starting 31 December, consumers pay 15 eurocents deposit on all cans of water, soft drinks, beer, or other low alcohol drinks.

Reasons to start a voluntary collecting point? You will save on waste disposal costs (in Dutch), support worthy causes, and help to prevent littering.

2. Certification for working with gas appliances mandatory (1 April 2023)

Do you do installation work on gas burning appliances, such as heating boilers, gas stoves, and hot water tanks? Or air supply or fume exhaust pipes? As of 1 April 2023, you will need a CO certificate to install, maintain or repair these appliances. Without a valid CO certificate, you will no longer be allowed to perform these activities. If you do, you are breaking the law. This legal requirement aims to prevent carbon monoxide accidents.

3. Shorter processing time for building projects with the Environmental and Planning Act (1 July 2023)

The new Environmental and Planning Act ('Omgevingswet') will make it easier to check if a building project meets all the requirements in one go. 26 existing regulations for space, living, infrastructure, environment, nature, and water will become 1 act. This should lead to faster and cheaper decision-making, simplification of rules, and an end to unnecessary rules. Once the Environmental and Planning Act comes into force, all municipalities must be connected to the digitised system 'Digitaal Stelsel Omgevingswet' (DSO).

The Environmental and Planning Act is expected to come into effect on 1 July 2023. 

This effective date is not yet final.*

4. Measures to improve quality in construction projects (1 January 2024)

To better safeguard the quality in construction projects and protect private and business customers, new measures will come into force. Construction companies will be required to hire the services of an independent and certified quality controller. The liability for hidden defects will change: the construction company is to remain liable for defects only discovered by the customer after the moment of completion. This is unless the construction company or builder did not cause the defects.

The law to improve quality in the construction sector ('Wet kwaliteitsborging voor het bouwen', Wkb) is expected to come into effect on 1 January 2024.

The effective date of this amendment is not yet final.*

5. Safety coordinator required for construction or demolition work (1 January 2024)

Do you work in construction? All construction and demolition works must appoint a Safety Coordinator Immediate Surroundings (Veiligheidscoördinator Directe Omgeving in Dutch). This coordinator sees to the safety and health of everyone in the immediate surroundings of the work. The Decree on construction works in the living environment (Besluit bouwwerken leefomgeving, Bbl) enters into effect at the same time as the Environmental and Planning Act (Omgevingswet).

The effective date of this amendment is not yet final.*

How are laws made?

Sometimes a new law or an amendment is announced, and then does not go ahead, or the effective date is postponed. Why do some announced laws come into effect, while others do not?

Roughly speaking, the legislation process works like this. Ministries and the lower house of parliament ('Tweede Kamer') prepare laws. Once the lower house of parliament has approved a law, it goes to the upper house ('Eerste Kamer'). They can only accept or reject the law. If the upper house accepts the proposal, the government publishes the new law in the 'Staatsblad' (Government Gazette).

The effective date of a law can be mentioned in the law itself. Or the law may state that the government will determine the effective date by Royal Decree (Koninklijk Besluit, KB). The KB is published in the Staatsblad.

As the legislative process consists of many steps, it can take a while before a proposed law enters into effect. Changes in the composition of the lower and upper houses of parliament can also affect the progress. If there is a caretaker cabinet in place ('demissionair cabinet'), it will only handle current affairs and not take any major decisions. 

You will find all new laws and amendments that matter to entrepreneurs on, including the effective date and whether or not the law is final. is an initiative of the Ministries of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK) and Economic Affairs and Climate Policy (EZK).

Lees dit artikel in het Nederlands.

* Entry into force is subject to its passing through the upper and lower houses of parliament or proclamation of the Order in Council ('Algemene Maatregel van Bestuur', AMvB) or ministerial decree and publication in the 'Staatsblad' or 'Staatscourant' (Government Gazette, in Dutch).