Support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
The government is encouraging innovative SMEs through tax benefits, innovation loans and grants.
Tax credit for investing in research
Research and development tax credits for companies (RDA and WBSO) reduce the salary costs related to research and development.
Tax relief for innovation: the innovation box
Businesses can make profits from patents or activities that fall under the Research and Development (Incentives) Act (WBSO). For tax purposes, these profits can be itemised in the innovation box – to which a lower rate of corporation tax applies.
Government Guaranteed Scheme for Loans to SMEs
Enterpreneurs make use of a Dutch government financing programme called the Government Guaranteed Scheme for Loans to SMEs (BMKB).
Innovation Fund for SMEs (MKB+)
The Innovation Fund for SMEs helps SMEs transform their ideas into profitable new products, services and processes. The Seed Capital, Fund-of-Funds and Innovation Loans programmes are part of the Innovation Fund for SMEs.
Government guarantee for part of SME loan
The SME loan guarantee scheme has been specially developed for SMEs that do not have enough collateral – in the form of property or machines – for banks to give them a loan. Under the scheme, central government may act as guarantor for part of the loan.
Guarantee for businesses that want a loan
The Business Finance Guarantee Scheme is for medium-sized or large businesses that want to take out a loan.
Credit Guarantee Scheme for banks and investors
The Growth Facility is a credit guarantee scheme for bankers and investors, enabling them to lend venture capital to entrepreneurs.
Microcredits are loans of up to €50,000 for startups and other small businesses.
Microcredit via an additional guarantee
The government is making investing in SMEs more attractive to financiers by guaranteeing an additional €100 million in loans accessed through microfinance organisation Qredits. This provides scope for 1,200 SMEs to borrow up to €250,000 and for 5,300 SMEs to access microcredit of up to €50,000. Qredits also provides recipients with coaching and online resources, like a guide to drawing up a business plan. In January 2016 the Ministry of Economic Affairs announced 6,500 additional loans for SMEs.
Government contract award procedure for new products
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programme is a competition for companies that want to develop new products in a short amount of time and bring them onto the market. The government asks companies with the best bids to carry out a feasibility study. The companies with the most feasible plans are awarded a contract to develop their product further, so that the government may be able to buy these new products in the future.
Doing business abroad
The government has the following schemes to support SMEs that want to do business abroad:
- Dutch Trade and Investment Fund (DTIF)
- Grant scheme for demonstration projects, feasibility studies and knowledge acquisition (DHK). This scheme is open to SMEs operating in the 66 countries of the Dutch Good Growth Fund.
Additional SME Finance Action Plan
The government is taking more steps to promote finance for SMEs. The aim is to generate around €2.5 billion in new finance for SMEs. This is outlined in the Additional SME Finance Action Plan.