Top 10 Profitable Small Business Ideas in Netherlands

First of all, it's good to know that Netherland's is an expensive country, so the initial startup capital or the amount you intend to invest can be quite high but you don't to worry. Some businesses are better for certain markets than others. The Dutch market is very specific. The success of most businesses are subjective to the region where they are launched.

Irrespective of where you live, service-based businesses are the best types to start that require minimal or no capital. The main form of capital you need for these businesses is a skill.

1. Healthy Vending Machines

The pandemic brought health into focus for most people. Sitting at home during the extended lockdown and due to work-from-home options people into a sedentary phase. Lots of lifestyle diseases and obesity has set in for the masses. Hence now people are searching for healthy solutions and want to know how to change things around.

In countries where the quality of life is good and basic requirements are met on a regular basis now focus is on the quality of their lives.

In Netherlands people are crazy about health. Most people care about their well-being, exercising regularly, eating healthily, doing yoga and meditating. Vending Machines for healthy food is a great business idea. You can put up super foods, water with electrolytes, and healthy snacks in it. But this certainly counts for healthy investment to the tune of $30000 to start with.
  • If you are a foreigners and you would like to start your entrepreneur journey here in Netherland, you can follow these fully listed procedures to start a business in the Netherlands:
  • Register the company’s name.
  • The registration form can be completed in a few hours, but the Tax Identification Number (TIN) will take two to six weeks to be issued by the tax office.
  • Choose a legal entity where the business will operate under.
  • Reserve the trade name based on post-verification with the Trade Register.
  • Draft and prepare incorporation documents for the company.
  • File the incorporation documents with the Trade Register (this is also applied to the tax and VAT registration).
  • Register as an employer and obtain all business license according to the sector of activity.

2. Bicycle Repair

There are over 800 000 bicycles in Amsterdam itself, so definitely there is a market for bike repair. I’ve seen people doing mobile bicycle repair and that’s also a good idea. I wouldn’t start with it in the city center. I’ve been living in the suburbs and I’ve seen this old man repairing bikes every day, all day. There was always a lot of people coming to his little bike shop. He had two garages. In one of them, he was repairing bikes and in the second one, he had some bikes for sale. He was quite pricey but still, he had a lot of clients.

But launching a cycle repair facility in the city center may not be a wise decision considering the costs. It is a good idea to start off in the suburbs as it would reduce you initial investment and business could be brisk in such regions.

There are many options when it comes to bike-related domains. You could look at bike rentals, import, export, customization, sale of bicycle gear, etc. You could also offer bikes to students free of cost, and then you could place ads on them. Now these spaces for ads can be rented out to businesses for advertisement purpose.

3. Food Truck/ Catering

That’s a great idea for a beginner entrepreneur. If you cook at home you don’t need much investment. It is a profitable business opportunity because you are a chef who prepares special foods.

I was helping someone with starting a home-based catering business. I was so surprised when I called Amsterdam city hall and they informed me that you don’t need any license for that kind of business. You just need to create a HACCP food safety management system and register your company. It’s very easy to start with catering. I believe that even if you only bake cakes and you do a great Instagram profile you will get a lot of clients. The key is marketing!

In fact in Amsterdam there is even a festival dedicated to food trucks called Rollende Keukens. As your business improves you can hire a cook. This business ideas in Netherlands is profitable, but it demands dedication and hard work.

4. Sell souvenirs

The Netherlands is a touristic country. If you live in places like Amsterdam you can consider a souvenir business. Even if you don’t live in a very touristic city you can create some souvenirs and then sell it to souvenir stores. Just create a fun product, Instagram account, and a little website. 

I am sure you will find someone to buy your goods. I’ve seen also people selling souvenirs from the Netherlands on Amazon. If you know how to make some woodwork that can be a way to go. You can also make some easy Tshirts with catchy writing. When it comes to Amsterdam you can sell some cannabis-related stuff. My friend sells cannabis jelly candy. They don’t have any THC but tourists buy them as souvenirs.

You can set up an online store to sell whatever you want such as clothes, electronic gadgets, souvenirs or even services. The best advantage about this business is that location is not a constraint.

Costs for starting a business is low and all you need is a laptop, or even a second-hand computer will do. If you are running out of ideas, no worry, there are plenty of courses online. In fact you don’t even have to pay for knowledge, most information is available online.

5. Become a Coach

If you are good at anything, tennis, golf, you know sales, finances, design or any other skill, you can become a coach. People always dwell and think they don’t know enough to teach others. But the truth is that you don’t need to be the best in the world to teach others. The most important is that you know more than your client. People just need someone who will guide their growth and track their results.

Today a lot of people struggle with self-esteem, productivity. Many people want to be the best version of themselves and there is a place for a life coach. If you want to scale as a coach you should think of an online course in your field.

6. Social Media Agency

Nowadays everyone wants to be a star online. Remember it is imperative to promote your business online. Anyone with a business should look at the social media in all seriousness. It is advisable to have an Instagram account, a Facebook profile and learn how to optimize a website. You can in fact learn all this online.

But having a good knack on how to make yourself and your business visible on the social media will pay great dividends. Over and above you can learn all this online via YouTube as well. There are many videos and professional blogs to help you master the social media.

After you have learnt the basics, you could approach businesses that need help with their social media. Search local businesses online, such as restaurants, travel agencies, grocery shops, bike-shops, bookshops, etc. and begin helping few of them freely. After you have created a portfolio and learnt the basics, you can begin charging for your services.

Keep on the lookout for clients and if you are doing well you can hire someone to work for you. Your business can sale quickly as there is still a lot of space for everyone. If you look at certain websites and their social handles we would be appalled. You don’t need overtly professional, just make it better than how it is now.

7. Laundry Service

Service of Laundry, the wash guy business, which requires washing loads of cloth for clients and earning in return, is in high demand in the Netherlands. Laundromats and Laundry services are one of the few businesses that are yet to be completely snuffed out by the big boys of the industry and still is a fighting hope for the new and small business owners to live for.

The success rate for laundromats stands at 90%+ and is a great way to make money and have a successful career. However, it is important to make sure that your laundromat stands out from the rest.

“It is key to come up with innovative ideas and strategies that will help you attract customers and keep them coming back and spread good word.. I use technology to provide exceptional customer service and experience and strategies like this will help you stay ahead of the competition and ensure long-term success for your laundromat.”

8. Open Clothing Store or a Boutique

The fashion and clothing business has been recorded to have been one of the rated exporting businesses in the Netherlands. Starting a unique boutique business is a business that sells a variety of clothing for men, women, teenagers, and infants, such as belts, suits, shirts, blouses, and skirts. 

It is recommended that you establish your company in any of the cities in the Netherlands if you really have an interest in the fashion and clothing industry. Fashion designers like Iris Van Herpen and fashion brands like G-star and Gus are some of the most lucrative and flourishing fashion and clothing businesses in the Netherlands.

9. Sell Coffee

According to this research, Dutch people are the world’s biggest coffee drinkers. That’s true, coffee is everywhere and I think there is still some niche in the coffee market where you can invest. For example, you can get a big thermos and put it on your back and sell a coffee in touristic areas or during the events!

And moreover, coffee cafe is a mandatory daily drink in the Netherlands; it is hot liquids that keep the body warm and sound; it is a little business that is popular in the Netherlands and brings in a lot of money every day.

10. Buy An Existing Business

Enterprisers who want to start businesses in the Netherlands have many options, as this country is one of the most open states in Europe and the European Union when it comes to entrepreneurship. From companies in tourism, IT, research and development and green energy, the Netherlands also offers incentives to those opening companies here.

One of the most prolific business sectors which has emerged in the last few years in the Netherlands is air conditioning and plumbing, as the number of householders requesting remodeling services has increased.

Those who want to set up plumbing and air conditioning installation services companies must comply with certain regulations.

The registration of a business which offers plumbing and air conditioning installation services in the Netherlands is straight forward and does not need any special licenses.

Wrap Up

If you don’t want to start from scratch and you have some money for the investment you may consider buying an existing business. You can search for some online. There are plenty of websites selling businesses, but to be honest I wouldn’t do that. In fact, the most exciting part of the business is at it’s beginning before it becomes so bureaucratic and organized.

I hope that these ideas give you some inspiration. Now if you think that you have an idea for your business you have to work. Remember that ideas are worth nothing until you put a lot of work in it.


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