Turkish Law Blog

How to Get a Business Based Stay Permit in the Netherlands?

Fadime Kilic Arslan Fadime Kilic Arslan / Kiliç Advocatuur
01 July, 2019

Doing business in the Netherland is easily accessible for everyone, in accordance with the free labor market principles. Getting a stay permit based on these business efforts is another thing. The Dutch immigration policy is based on a restrictive immigration policy. This means that only in special circumstances if you fulfill certain detailed criteria, you can get a stay permit.

In general, this means for third-country citizens that you need to provide an extraordinary benefit for the Dutch Economy, in a way that your addition is more than special and needed. This necessity you need to proof on the base of professional market analytics.

Turkish citizens, however, can profit from the so-called Ankara Agreement (Agreement establishing an Association between the European Economic Community and Turkey, signed at Ankara, 12 September 1963)

The EU-Turkey Association Agreement aimed at promoting a continuous and balanced strengthening of trade and economic relations between the Parties and to establish progressively a customs union. In 1970 an additional protocol until the agreement was signed.

The most important principle for Turkish entrepreneurs is that this agreement protects against new restrictions (the standstill clause) in the national immigration law and non-discrimination with regard to EU citizens. To prepare a successful full stay permit procedure based on this ground it is important to work with the right professionals. An experienced accountant or bookkeeper is as important as having an experienced immigration lawyer, to prepare the application. Good cooperation and thoughtful preparation is half the work. The Dutch Immigration office, however, is not transparent when it comes to being successful in the procedure since it all depends on the individual advice report of the Ministry of Economic Affairs. The question that needs to be answered positively by them is if your business is a positive contribution to the Dutch economy. Your business should not be a threat to the labor market, meaning that you are not in a competitive position but providing a new and necessary service or business.

Applicants for this stay permit purpose as a self-employed person should prepare the following file, with the help of their professional accountant or bookkeeper and immigration lawyer, and public notary depending on the kind of business: If there is an enterprise in the country of origin: a copy of the deed of incorporation and the articles of association of the enterprise; chamber of commerce registration

A business plan that includes information about:

  • the personal details of the owner;
  • the product or the service (specify what makes the product or service unique);
  • a market analysis that is focussed on the relevant product or service;
  • the organization;
  • the (opening)balance;
  • the turnover and liquidity prognosis, including the calculations;
  • a specification and budget of labor creation and investments (if available).

The market analysis has to at least contain information about the characteristics of the specific market, the target audience, competition (what is your distinctive character), potential market share, marketing, risks, pricing policy. To substantiate the market analysis submit the following means of evidence:

  • business sector details of the specific market you are targetting;
  • copies of actual declarations of intent (scope of time and money involved) of future clients; already obtained orders (if any);
  • turnover data from the Dutch market; a copy of the employment contract(s) from your previous employment(s) and references; copies of all diplomas awarded. Does this involve foreign diplomas? Then these must include an evaluation from Nuffic/Vocational Education Labour Market (SBB)To substantiate turnover data (if any) submit the following means of evidence:
  • VAT declarations and decisions, definitive annual accounts, interim balance sheets, and operating figures, income tax returns an assessments, wage tax declarations, sales invoices and bank statements (only end of the period under review)
  • if it concerns a private limited company/general partnership/limited partnership, submit the partnership contract showing at least the contribution and responsibilities of the partners and their part/role in the results;
  • if you are a freelancer: copies of agreement(s) relating to the assignment(s) that you will be carrying out as a freelancer. Financial documents that support the application must be checked by an independent external expert who is authorized to do this (chartered accountant, an accountant/administration consultant [a Dutch accountant’s qualification], bookkeeper or a financial advisor).

After applying for this stay permit purpose, it can take 3 till 6 months for the ind to decide on the matter. In the meantime, you can get a sticker in your passport as proof of legal stay. The ind can ask additional information or send the application tot the Ministry of Economics for advice. If the decision is negative, appeal and high appeal possibilities are open, in order to convince the ind of the benefit of the business.


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