Do you speak startup? An easy-going glossary to manage the Dutch business world

A brief glossary of the essential jargon and acronyms that you need to understand to navigate and converse within the Dutch startup environment.

Are you a young Dutchy who is taking the first steps into the world of business? Or are you a foreign startupper who just found out about the insane passion of Dutch people for acronyms? Do not panic, we’re here to help you out! Here is a brief glossary of the essential jargon and acronyms that you need to understand to navigate and converse within the Dutch startup environment.

Angel

In the world of startups, an Angel is not a holy person in the religious sense, but a private investor who provides funding to emerging businesses in exchange for a stake in the company. Also known as a “seed investor,” an Angel plays a key role during the early stages of a startup when the risks of failure are particularly high.

Accelerator

A startup accelerator is a program that includes a cohort of investors and mentors who aim to help small businesses grow, usually in exchange for business equity.

BV

The Dutch acronym BV stands for besloten vennootschap, which indicates a company with limited liability – the most chosen type of legal structures among foreign startuppers in the Netherlands. Once you registered your BV with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (KvK) you will receive both a KvK number and RSIN number. These numbers enable you to open a business bank account in the Netherlands. If you are looking for more information, you can find it here.

Bootstrap

This term indicates a company created with little or no external investment. This means that during the initial stages, the startup mainly relies on the savings of the founder entrepreneur(s) and that the startup expands through the revenue accumulated by its business operations.

Incubator

Incubators are very similar to accelerators, but they are specifically focused on startups in their early development stages.

B2B and B2C

These abbreviations are used to classify the types of services that a company offers. B2B stands for “business to business,” which means that the business offers services and/or products to other companies. B2C, instead, stands for “business to consumers,” which means that the company is selling products and/or services directly to the consumers.

Facilitator

The facilitator functions as a business mentor that helps foreign entrepreneurs in settling their business in the Netherlands. In this, he/she is a key figure for getting your Dutch Startup Visa. You can find more information about the role of the facilitator by following this link.

BSN

The Dutch acronym BSN stands for Burger Service Nummer, which is a personal identification number. Every person residing in the Netherlands for more than four months must have one.

KvK

The Dutch acronym KvK stands for Kamer van Koophandel, which is the Chamber of Commerce in the Netherlands.

KvK nummer

Also known as Handelsregister (HR), this is the registration number which demonstrates that your business is officially registered with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce. The KvK nummer (CoC-number) is required for business related things such as opening a business bank account in the Netherlands.

RSIN nummer

If your business is registered with the Chamber of Commerce as a legal person – e.g. a BV legal structure – it means that it’ll get its own RSIN number (Rechtspersonen en Samenwerkingsverbanden Identificatie Nummer). The RSIN number is basically a BSN number for companies.