Ukrainian refugee: registration at KVK

Many Ukrainians who have fled to the Netherlands want to get to work as quickly as possible. They can work in paid employment, or, under strict conditions, as entrepreneurs. This article explains the conditions for registering a Ukrainian refugee with the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce KVK Business Register.

This information was written for persons who are providing shelter or support to a refugee.

Paid employment: the easiest option

The easiest way for Ukrainian refugees to find work in the Netherlands is in paid employment. Since 1 April, employers do not have to apply for a work permit (TWV) for Ukrainians.

Are you an entrepreneur and do you want to hire someone from Ukraine? Read what this entails in Offering work to Ukrainian refugees.

Starting a business in the Netherlands

To avoid exploitation, there are strict rules for starting a business in the Netherlands as a refugee. A work permit is mandatory for entrepreneurs. A prospective customer or client has to apply for this permit to the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV).

Conditions for the TWV work permit

The conditions for getting a work permit as an entrepreneur (in Dutch) are strict. Prospective customers have to be able to prove that they have not been able to find a suitable candidate fro doing the work inside the EEA. Also, UWV does not issue work permits for several sectors, such as construction, hospitality, agriculture, or personal services.

Ukrainian entrepreneurs do not have to show their work permit when they register with KVK. They do need it to be allowed to work after they have registered.

Registration at KVK

If a Ukrainian refugee meets the conditions to run a business in the Netherlands, they can register with KVK. These are the steps towards registration:

  1. Register with the municipality
    Municipalities register (in Dutch) Ukrainian refugees in the Personal Records Database (Basisregistratie Personen, BRP) on the address where they reside. This may also be a temporary address, or the address of a host family. Is there no address of residence? In that case, the municipality has to provide a letterbox address (briefadres).
  2. Apply for DigiD
    After registration in the BRP, the refugee receives a Citizen Service Number (BSN). They can use this to apply for a DigiD.
  3. Make an appointment
    As soon as the aspiring entrepreneur has a DigiD, they can prepare their registration online and make an appointment at one of the KVK offices. They can list the address on which they have been registered by the municipality. No official approval is required from the host family, but it may be useful to discuss this. After all, the address on which the business is registered will become public. To register on a letterbox address, a declaration of consent (toestemmingsverklaring) is required.
  4. Register with KVK
    The entrepreneur visits the KVK office where they have an appointment. KVK registers them with the Business Register (Handelsregister).

Note: the entrepreneur can also register with KVK if they already were registered in Ukraine with a company with legal personality. The original company documents (articles of association or incorporation) are required. 

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