Set up a Cybersecurity Company in the Netherlands in 5 Easy Steps

In this guide, we'll delve into the essential steps to set up a cybersecurity company in the Netherlands. Furthermore, we will be covering the legal considerations and licensing requirements of setting up a cybersecurity company in the Netherlands.


    Note:This form is not for job seekers or salary employees. Thank you.

    Table of Contents

    set up a cybersecurity company in the netherlands


    Cybersecurity has become critical for companies of all kinds and sectors in today’s networked digital environment. With the increasing prevalence of cyber threats, establishing a cybersecurity company is not only a lucrative venture but also a critical service to safeguard sensitive information and digital assets. If you’re considering venturing into this field, the Netherlands presents a favorable environment with its robust infrastructure, supportive business ecosystem, and strategic location within Europe. 

    In this guide, we’ll delve into the essential steps, legal considerations, licensing requirements, and strategies to overcome challenges in setting up a cybersecurity company in the Netherlands.

    Why Select the Netherlands for Your Cybersecurity Venture?

    Before delving into the specifics of setting up a cybersecurity company in the Netherlands, let’s explore why this country is an attractive destination for foreign entrepreneurs and investors:

    • Strategic Location: The Netherlands serves as a gateway to Europe, offering easy access to the European Union (EU) market of over 500 million consumers. It is the perfect place to conduct business because of its modern transportation infrastructure and close proximity to major European cities.
    • Robust Digital Infrastructure: Renowned for its advanced digital infrastructure, the Netherlands boasts high-speed internet connectivity, reliable data centers, and a tech-savvy workforce. These factors create a conducive environment for cybersecurity companies to thrive.
    • Business-Friendly Environment: The Netherlands is renowned for its business-friendly environment, which is defined by its low corporation tax rates, accommodating labor regulations, and effective regulatory structures. Furthermore, through a number of programs and incentives, the government actively encourages entrepreneurship as well as innovation.
    • Talented Workforce: The Netherlands provides access to highly qualified experts in the domains of cybersecurity, IT, and engineering thanks to its workforce, which is highly educated and multilingual. This pool of skills makes hiring easier and encourages creativity in the sector.

    Legal Considerations for Cybersecurity Businesses in the Netherlands

    Before establishing your cybersecurity company in the Netherlands, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the legal and regulatory landscape:

    • Company Formation: The most common legal entity for businesses in the Netherlands is the private limited company (Besloten Vennootschap or BV). BVs offer limited liability protection to shareholders and are liable for corporate income taxation.
    • Data Protection Laws: For cybersecurity businesses operating in the Netherlands, adherence to data protection laws, like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), is crucial. Protecting customer data’s confidentiality and security is essential to avoiding legal issues.
    • Intellectual Property Protection: For cybersecurity companies, particularly those creating proprietary technologies and software solutions, protecting intellectual property rights via patents, trademarks, and copyrights is essential.
    • Export Controls: Depending on the nature of your cybersecurity products or services, you may need to comply with export control regulations, particularly if your offerings involve encryption technologies or sensitive information.

    Steps for Establishing Your Cybersecurity Company in the Netherlands

    Setting up a cybersecurity company in the Netherlands involves several steps, outlined below:

    Market Research and Business Plan: 

    Conduct thorough market research to identify your target audience, assess competitors, and define your value proposition. Create a thorough business plan that outlines your objectives, plans of action, and projected financials.

    Company Registration: 

    Choose a unique company name and enroll your firm with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel or KvK). Acquire a Chamber of Commerce number (KvK-nummer) and register for taxation purposes.

    Legal Documentation: 

    Draft articles of association (statuten) outlining the internal governance structure and rules of your company. You may also need to appoint a civil-law notary to certify the incorporation documents.

    Obtain Necessary Licenses and Permits: 

    While there are no specific licenses required solely for cybersecurity businesses in the Netherlands, certain activities may require permits or certifications. For instance, offering penetration testing services may necessitate accreditation from relevant authorities.

    Obtain Funding: 

    Assess your financial requirements and look into sources of funding such as grants from the government, venture capital, and angel investors. 

    License Needed for Opening a Cybersecurity Business in the Netherlands

    While there isn’t a specific license required for opening a cybersecurity business in the Netherlands, certain activities may necessitate accreditation or certification. For instance, if your company offers penetration testing services, you may need to obtain accreditation from organizations such as the Council of Registered Ethical Security Testers (CREST) or the International Information System Security Certification Consortium (ISC)².

    Furthermore, adhering to pertinent laws and guidelines, including GDPR and ISO 27001, is essential for operating a cybersecurity business responsibly and ethically. Make sure your business follows industry best practices and upholds the strictest security and data protection guidelines.

    How to Overcome Common Challenges Faced by Cybersecurity Companies in the Netherlands?

    While setting up a cybersecurity company in the Netherlands offers numerous opportunities, it also comes with its fair share of challenges. 

    Here are some strategies to overcome common obstacles:

    • Competition: There are many companies fighting for market share in the very competitive cybersecurity industry. Concentrate on specialized services or niche markets where you can provide distinctive value propositions if you want to stand out. Concentrate on quality, creativity, and top-notch customer service to create a distinctive offering.
    • Talent Acquisition: Given the intense competition and high demand for qualified specialists, attracting and keeping the best cybersecurity talent can be difficult. to draw in talent by providing incentives, advantages, and opportunities for professional growth. Provide funding for training and development programs to advance the expertise and abilities of your employees.
    • Regulatory Compliance: It is crucial for cybersecurity organizations to be up to date with the latest changes in regulatory requirements and compliance standards. To guarantee complete compliance with pertinent rules and regulations, collaborate with regulatory consultants and legal professionals. To effectively lower regulatory risks, implement robust governance frameworks and internal controls.
    • Cyber Threats and Vulnerabilities: Cybersecurity companies must keep up with the latest developments in cyber threats and vulnerabilities. To create novel security solutions and countermeasures, provide funds for continued research and development. Share threat intelligence and best practices for reducing cyber risks by working together with colleagues in the industry and cybersecurity specialists.


    Setting up a cybersecurity company in the Netherlands offers a wealth of opportunities for foreign entrepreneurs and investors looking to capitalize on the growing demand for digital security solutions. With its favorable business environment, supportive infrastructure, and talented workforce, the Netherlands provides an ideal platform for launching and scaling your cybersecurity venture.

    OnDemand International stands ready to assist you with business registration in the Netherlands and additional incorporation services. With our knowledge and individualized assistance, you may confidently and easily handle the challenges of launching a business. For expert and simple business formation services, contact us right now.


    While there isn’t a specific license required solely for cybersecurity businesses, certain activities may require accreditation or certification. For instance, offering penetration testing services may necessitate accreditation from relevant organizations.

    Ensure compliance with data protection laws, intellectual property regulations, and export controls. Draft comprehensive articles of association and consult OnDemand International experts to navigate the regulatory landscape effectively.