Grants and schemes in 2023

Grants and schemes by category

The list of grants and schemes for entrepreneurs is almost endless. To make it easier for you, we discuss a selection of popular grants and schemes per category:

  1. Help for entrepreneurs
  2. Important tax arrangements
  3. Credits and financing
  4. International business
  5. Investment in innovation and sustainability
  6. educations

For a more complete overview, it is best to visit the website of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency.

Category 1: help for entrepreneurs

It is clear that many entrepreneurs do not have it easy these days. The corona crisis was barely over when we ended up together in the next crisis: the purchasing power crisis, partly due to the increase in energy prices. What can you do if you are having a hard time?

Decree on aid for the self-employed (Bbz)

Self-employed entrepreneurs can apply for help in their local municipality: Bbz. You can also apply for this financial support if you start a business from social assistance or a benefit.

Starting a business from WAO

Are you on disability benefits and want to start a business? Then in many cases you can apply for help from the UWV. This agency can offer you help in the form of:

  • Starting credit
  • Income supplement
  • Reimbursement of certain necessary facilities

You must of course meet conditions for this help.

Coaching of SMEs

If you are experiencing financial difficulties due to the aftermath of the corona crisis, you can request free coaching (until the end of 2022) from the Entrepreneurs Soundboard foundation. This foundation can help you with things like avoiding bankruptcy, growth and takeovers.

Category 2: Tax arrangements

Of course, you never want to pay more tax than necessary. In order to keep the tax return as low as possible, various tax arrangements have been made for entrepreneurs.

Small Business Scheme

The Small Business Scheme (KOR) is a scheme for entrepreneurs who want to keep things small and simple. Do you have an annual turnover of less than €20,000? Then you can choose to participate in KOR. Thanks to the Small Business Scheme, you don’t have to calculate VAT and you can keep administration simpler.

Do you want to participate in KOR? Then you must register for Tax at least 4 weeks in advance. So if you want to start at the beginning of 2023, make sure you have submitted the application to Tax by 1 December at the latest.

Entrepreneur’s deduction

Entrepreneurship is associated with risks, but also with benefits. An important advantage: deductions. The entrepreneur’s deduction consists of several forms of deduction:

  • Independent deduction
  • Start deduction
  • Deduction for research and development work (WBSO)
  • Cooperation deduction
  • strike deduction

You must meet the hourly criterion for the above deduction.

SME profit exemption

In addition, the SME profit exemption is an important deduction: This profit exemption reduces the profit by 14 percent, so you have to pay less tax.

If you are an entrepreneur for income tax purposes, the Tax Office automatically applies this SME profit exemption.

Smaller investment deduction

The Small-Scale Investment Allowance (KIA) is a scheme you don’t want to miss as an entrepreneur. With this deduction, you get a significant tax advantage if you invest in business assets. With these investments, you can reduce the profit, so you pay less tax.

On an annual basis, you must invest at least a certain amount in your business to qualify for KIA. In 2022, this was an amount of at least €2,401 with an amount of at least €450 per investment.

Category 3: credits and financing

In order to run a business successfully, you sometimes need credit. The government understands that. That’s why there are all kinds of schemes that you can use to make it easier to get money.

Of course, you need to have a good plan to use these schemes. An overview:

SME loan guarantee (BMKB)

BMKB is a scheme where the Ministry of Economy and Climate guarantees part of the credit. This means that you can borrow more money from the bank faster or more to make the investments.

In addition to BMKB, there is also BMKB-Groen, specially developed for entrepreneurs who want to become more sustainable in order to have lower energy costs. As an entrepreneur, you must meet the conditions for both BMKB and BMKB-Groen.

Guarantee Business financing (GO scheme)

There is the GO scheme for financing medium-sized and large companies’ own business activities. Through this scheme, you can borrow an amount of €1.5 million up to a maximum of €50 million.

Under this arrangement, the bank receives a government guarantee for 50 percent of the loan. Less risk for the bank and more financing space for your company.

Early financing (VFF)

Early stage funding is funding for, among other things, SMEs and innovative start-ups who need help to take a well-developed plan from the idea phase to the start-up phase.

In a few steps, you can check whether you are eligible for VFF.

Innovation credit

If you are working on a promising innovation, you can use Innovation Credit. Can you demonstrate that your product or innovation, among other things, contributes positively to the Dutch economy, that it is possible and that it can be launched on the market within five years? Then you can apply for this credit under conditions.

Category 4: Doing business internationally

Do you do business across the border? You can also use certain schemes.

Dutch Good Growth Fund (DFFG)

You want to invest in a developing country or a growth market. Then you can perhaps complain to the Dutch Good Growth Fund. DGGF is available for specific countries. So check if your country is included.

Dutch Trade and Investment Fund (DTIF)

If you do business abroad but cannot arrange financing, you may be able to complain to the Dutch Trade and Investment Fund. If you meet the conditions, DTIF can provide loans, guarantees and export financing.

ICSR Vouchers

MVO Nederland makes ICSR vouchers of up to €10,000 available to companies that want to make their international trade more sustainable. You can use an ICSR voucher to hire an advisor to help you become more sustainable in your international trade.

Brexit adjustment reserve

Entrepreneurs who have incurred costs to meet the Brexit requirements can receive a subsidy for this via the EU support fund Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR). You can claim BAR if you do – or have done – business with the United Kingdom. These are often importers, exporters or companies within logistics services.

Category 5: investment in innovation and sustainability

Sustainability and innovation are high on the government’s agenda. That’s why there are so many events if you want a more sustainable approach. We have listed a few important schemes in the form of deductions and subsidies for you.

Innovation box

The innovation fund is a tax scheme for companies that pay corporation tax and profit from innovative activities. You have to pay less profit on this profit.

You do this by putting intangible assets (e.g. research and development costs, patents, etc.) in the innovation fund. In that case, you only pay 9 percent tax on the profit from innovative activities.

Energy investment allowance (EIA)

Chances are that you as a company are looking at opportunities to become more sustainable, for example by investing in sustainable energy such as renewable electricity, CO2 reduction or energy efficient techniques.

If this is the case, you may be entitled to the Energy Investment Allowance. This deduction is not bad: You can deduct about 45.5 percent of the investment costs from the taxable profit.

MIA and Vamil

The environmental investment allowance (MIA) also applies: tax advantage if you invest in sustainability. MIA is mainly about environmentally friendly assets. You can withdraw a large part of the investment from your profit.

Good to know: MIA is an addition to the standard depreciation.

If you combine MIA with Vamil, you can write off up to 75 percent of the investment arbitrarily (ie not spread). This can make the benefit even more attractive.

Other sustainable subsidies

So there are currently many grants for sustainability. To name a few more important ones:

  • Renewable Energy Transition (HER+): grants for innovative projects that contribute to lower CO2 emissions
  • Investment subsidy for sustainable energy (ISDE): subsidy for heating your business premises using a heat pump, solar boiler, wind turbine or solar panels

Green fund financing

Do you want to invest in a project that contributes to the circular economy? Then in many cases you can borrow at a lower interest rate in a bank from Groenfonds.

Other projects for which you can apply for funding from The Green Fund are, for example, energy transition and circular agriculture.

Category 6: training

Last but not least: training. You may need to further your education to keep up with the latest developments in the market. Or maybe it is necessary to make a career change.

STAP budget

Almost everyone in the Netherlands is entitled to a STAP budget. It’s a budget of €1,000 that you can spend on further education, training or a course. You can use this budget with a provider listed in the STAP training register.

Be aware of schemes and subsidies for entrepreneurs

This is a selection of all opportunities for SMEs and the self-employed in the Netherlands. Do you need to do something? So first check if there is an arrangement. This will likely save you a lot of time and money. And that’s a nice bonus.

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