Start your own business

Do you want to start your own business? It can be a good option to start earning your income. There are some rules and regulations for businesses. Before you begin, it is smart to start collecting information. It is also a good idea to discuss your plans with people in your network. Who has got experience and who can answer your questions? On this page you can read about the first steps you can take to be an entrepreneur.

Your company starts with a plan. What are you going to do exactly and for who? Do you sell stuff, do you start a restaurant, do you make websites or do you cut hair? It is good to think it through. Talk to people who already are entrepreneurs and inform yourself about the market, the target group and the rules: regulations and legislation. Do you have a clear picture of what kind of company you want to start? Write it down in a businessplan.

The most important steps for your own company

1. Your business plan
In this plan you write what you will do, where you will do it, for which customers you work, how much money you need to start and how you will promote your business. You do this for yourself. But if you want to borrow money from a bank, for example, the bank will also want to see your plan.

2. A name
Your company should have its own name. It is useful if the name is unique and tells what your company does. Check if the name sounds good in another language and does not mean something strange.

3. Register with the Chamber of Commerce
All companies, foundations and associations in the Netherlands must register in the Trade Register at the Chamber of Commerce in Arnhem. Only then does your company officially exist.

4. A business bank account
You preferrably keep your private banking and business banking separate. With a number from the Chamber of Commerce, you can open a separate business bank account. Another reason to open a separate bank account is that you can only deduct some costs from the profit if they have been paid with a business account, for example transport costs if you have to travel somewhere for your work. You will pay less tax.

5. Permits
You may need a permit for your own company. For example if you start a café or restaurant. Sometimes you also need a permit before you renovate or if you want to hang up a billboard.

=> You can find more information about vergunningen (permits) on the page of Ondernemersplein. They show which permits you need by sector.

6. Insurances
Every company needs different insurance policies. Especially if the work is dangerous, you have to be properly insured against the costs of, for example, damage to other people's property or to yourself. Someone who repairs roofs is more at risk of getting an accident than a copywriter.

Separate insurance is not mandatory for a company, but it is often good to see which risks you run if you do not have insurance. For example if you hire staff.

7. A website
A website is not a must, but it can be useful. A Facebook page often works to reach customers as well. Nowadays, many people search the internet for products and services. It is important that people also find your company in the search results (in Google). That way you get more customers.

8. Taxes and VAT
As entrepreneur you must pay taxes in the Netherlands. Tax on income and VAT (Value Added Tax)  that you get from your customers for example. The latter is done monthly or quarterly. You may also deduct some of the costs that you incur from the costs you have to pay. Then you will pay less tax.

Do you have doubts about how this works exactly? It is best to find a good accountant or administrator in your area. They can answer all your questions. He or she can also arrange communication with the tax authorities.

Starting your business in Nijmegen

The municipality gives advice to (starting) entrepreneurs about money, location, permits, rules and taxes. Sometimes they refer to other organizations, such as Startup Nijmegen.

Below you find important links for starting entrepreneurs in Nijmegen:

⇒ Municipality of Nijmegen - Ondernemerspunt
A company in Nijmegen? Then look at the site of the municipality. Or make an appointment with a consultant from the Ondernemerspunt.Bringyour businessplan.
⇒ Startup Nijmegen
At Startup Nijmegen you can rent a workplace as a starting entrepreneur. Professionals provide guidance and support. Fellow starters think along with you and help you make your business a success.
⇒ Fair2work
This is a center for people who want to start their own business. They provide training three to four times a year. You will learn the basics of starting your own business.
⇒ CVJO
Center for young Entrepreneurship is a workplace, but here you will also find other entrepreneurs. And experts who can help you with starting your business.
⇒ S4C - Starters 4 Communities
You can take a practical training program at Starters4Communities Nijmegen. This program focuses on social entrepreneurship.
⇒ I start smart
An educational program from the Chamber of Commerce. An advisorcan helpyouwith a successful start.
⇒ Werkbedrijf Nijmegen - Workshop Taste of business!
You can follow a workshop at the Werkbedrijf. This workshop is for people on social assistance who want to start their own business. You will discuss a business plan with a consultant. You can ask for advice about your own company and you will receive information about starting a business from the social assistance.

Important links for starting entrepreneurs

There are many organizations nationwide that can help you start your own business. You will always have to deal with the Chamber of Commerce: this organization supports enterpreneurs and it is a good starting point. Below you find links to more information for starting up your own company.

⇒ Which official steps should you take? (good to read!)
⇒ Brochure about starting your own business (by the Chamber of Commerce)