Start An Agriculture Business In The Netherlands: Procedure & Advantages

Want to start an agriculture business in the Netherlands? This guide will cover the complete procedure, advantages and licenses required to set up an agricultural business in the Netherlands.


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    start an agriculture business in the netherlands


    The Netherlands is a great place for entrepreneurs who want to get into agriculture because of its well-known windmills, colourful tulip fields, and creative farming methods. Located in the centre of Europe, this small but growing nation provides a wealth of prospects for foreign investors and entrepreneurs who are keen to start an agricultural business in the Netherlands. 

    Through this article, we will be covering the procedure to start an agriculture business in the Netherlands. We would further discuss the advantages and the licenses required to open your agricultural business in the Netherlands.

    Types of Agricultural Businesses in the Netherlands

    The Netherlands is home to a wide range of agricultural enterprises that serve different markets and niches. The options are endless, ranging from conventional dairy farming and greenhouse horticulture to innovative agritech enterprises.

    Among the prosperous areas of Dutch agriculture are:

    • Horticulture: The Netherlands is a global leader in greenhouse technology, producing a vast array of flowers, vegetables, and fruits.
    • Dairy Farming: Dutch dairy farms are well-known for producing high-quality dairy products. There are opportunities in cheese production, yogurt manufacture, and milk production.
    • Livestock Farming: The Netherlands is a major producer of pork, poultry, and beef.
    • Aquaculture: Fish farming is a growing sector, with innovative techniques like recirculating aquaculture systems gaining traction.
    • Organic farming: The Netherlands has a strong demand for organic produce, creating a profitable market niche for environmentally conscious business owners.
    • Arable farming: The foundation of Dutch agriculture is crop production, with an emphasis on high-value products like fruits, vegetables, and potatoes.

    Procedure for Registering Your Agricultural Business in the Netherlands

    Setting up your agricultural venture in the Netherlands is a streamlined process, thanks to the country’s business-friendly policies and efficient bureaucracy.

    The key steps involved in registering your agricultural business in the Netherlands  include:

    Step 1: Choose Your Business Structure 

    Choose between operating as a Dutch BV, partnership, or sole proprietorship. A Dutch BV is the most widely used business form in the Netherlands.

    Step 2: Choose a Business Name

    The next step to set up your agriculture business in the Netherlands includes selecting a name for your business. Our experts can assist you with this step and can help you register the chosen name with the relevant authorities. 

    Step 3: Business Registration with the Chamber of Commerce 

    Obtain a KvK (Kamer van Koophandel) number by registering your business with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce.

    Step 4: Tax Registration

    Register for taxes with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst).

    Step 5: Obtain Necessary Permits

    Permits for land use, food safety, and environmental rules may be required, based on the type of agricultural activity you engage in.

    Licenses and Permits Required for Dutch Agriculture

    The specific licenses and permits you require depend on your chosen agricultural activity.

    Some common permits include:

    • Environmental Permit: Needed for activities with potential environmental impact, such as intensive livestock farming.
    • Nature Permit: Required if your business operations could affect protected natural areas.
    • Import/Export Licenses: Applicable if you plan to import or export live animals, animal products, or plants.
    • Farm Subsidies: Explore opportunities for agricultural subsidies and grants offered by the Dutch government to support sustainable farming practices.
    • Food Safety Certifications: Adhere to stringent food safety standards by obtaining certifications such as HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) and GlobalGAP.

    Advantages of Starting an Agricultural Business in the Netherlands

    There are numerous advantages of registering an agricultural business in the Netherlands:

    1. Centralized Location and Excellent Infrastructure

    The Netherlands has a strategic location in Europe that makes it simple to reach important markets. It also boasts a sophisticated infrastructural network for effective cargo transit.

    2. Advanced Technological Landscape 

    Dutch agriculture is at the forefront of technical innovation, with a focus on automation, robotics, and precision farming techniques. This makes it possible to optimize yield, boost productivity, and enhance resource management.

    3. Competent Labor Force

    The Netherlands has a highly skilled agricultural workforce with expertise in various farming methods and technologies.

    4. Focus on Sustainability 

    Sustainability is deeply ingrained in Dutch agriculture. Eco-friendly business practices might provide your company with a competitive advantage because of government initiatives and consumer preferences.

    How to Finance Your Agricultural Business in the Netherlands?

    For your agricultural business to commence and flourish successfully, you must have sufficient finance.

    There are several financing choices available, depending on whether you need money for operating costs, equipment purchases, or land acquisition:

    • Bank Loans: If you’re looking for loans specifically designed for agricultural enterprises with flexible repayment periods and competitive interest rates, you may approach Dutch banks and financial institutions.
    • Government Grants and Subsidies: Participate in government-funded initiatives that promote rural development, sustainability, and innovative agriculture.
    • Investment Partnerships: Explore partnerships with private investors, venture capital firms, or agricultural cooperatives interested in backing promising agricultural ventures.
    • Personal savings and investment: This is where a lot of business owners often begin.

    Government Grants and Support for Dutch Agriculture

    Through a variety of grants and assistance activities, the Dutch government is dedicated to promoting innovation, sustainability, and growth within the agricultural sector:

    • Rural Development Programs: Benefit from EU-funded rural development programs aimed at promoting sustainable agriculture, agri-tourism, and rural diversification.
    • Innovation Funds: Access government grants and subsidies earmarked for agricultural innovation, research, and technology adoption.
    • The Credit Guarantee Scheme for Agriculture (BL): This scheme provides partial loan guarantees for qualifying agricultural businesses.
    • Innovation grants: The government supports research and development in agriculture through numerous programs.
    • Subsidies for sustainable practices: Financial assistance is available for implementing sustainable farming methods.


    Embarking on the journey of starting an agriculture business in the Netherlands holds immense potential for growth, innovation, and prosperity. With its fertile lands, advanced infrastructure, and supportive business environment, the Netherlands offers a fertile ground for aspiring agricultural entrepreneurs to sow the seeds of success. Whether you’re drawn to the vibrant tulip fields, the bustling dairy farms, or the cutting-edge agritech startups, there’s a niche waiting to be cultivated in the Dutch agricultural landscape.

    If you’re ready to turn your agricultural aspirations into reality, OnDemand International stands ready to assist you every step of the way. From company formation and registration to acquiring virtual office space and bank accounts, our comprehensive suite of services simplifies the process of setting up your business in the Netherlands. Don’t let bureaucracy and red tape hinder your entrepreneurial dreams—contact OnDemand International and unlock the full potential of your agricultural venture in the Netherlands.


    The Netherlands provides cutting-edge infrastructure, cutting-edge technologies, a pleasant environment, and government policies that are supportive of successful agriculture.

    No, foreign entrepreneurs are welcome to establish and operate agricultural businesses in the Netherlands. Nonetheless, there can be certain residency as well as visa requirements.

    Bank loans, government grants, investment partnerships, and EU-funded rural development initiatives that promote agricultural innovation and sustainability are some of the funding alternatives available.

    Indeed, permits for land usage, animal welfare, food safety requirements, and environmental restrictions may be required, depending on the type of agricultural activity you engage in.