top of page

What kind of licenses do I need to start a Dutch Travel Agency?

Starting a travel agency doesn't require any licenses/permits in the Netherlands. Just like other companies Dutch law is the guideline for this type of business. Even the legal form is not set. The most common business forms for a travel agency are:

  1. One-man business

  2. Partnership

  3. Dutch B.V.

We can help you start up the business entity that suits your business best.


In the travel industry a lot can go wrong for which you can be held responsible. This is why a good liability insurance is needed. Apart from this insurance we would normally advise to set up a Dutch B.V., because a Dutch B.V. is limited in its liability. Meaning that under normal circumstances you cannot be addressed in private, only the capital of the Dutch B.V. can be addressed.

Dutch Law

Travel agencies operating in the Netherlands have to comply with the Dutch law on the package travel agreement and the linked travel arrangement (art. 7:500 - 7:513 of the Dutch civil code). These laws contain, for example:

  • A guarantee obligation, regarding that the costs for the trip are guaranteed when the travel agency is in financial inability.

  • A guarantee obligation to make sure the customer can repatriate when the transport is included in the trip.

  • Etc.


Besides Dutch law, travel agencies have to comply with EU-law. For example the EU regulation 261/2004 regarding airline passengers and the Montreal treaty.

Dutch VAT

A special VAT regime is applicable to travel agencies. This regime is applicable when one or more components of a travel are purchased with other entrepreneurs and sold on the name of your travel agency. Under this regime VAT is due on the margin of profit instead of the total price. There are two methods that can be used in this regime. In the first method VAT on the profit margin is declared monthly or quarterly. In the second method VAT is declared per trip that is sold. We can help you regarding these complex rules.

When applying the VAT regime for travel agencies there are extra administrative obligations, namely:

  • The administration must prove whether the profit margin is calculated per trip that is sold or per period, the chosen method is applicable for at least five years.

  • For a travel service no VAT is mentioned on the invoice, but there should be “special regulation travel agencies” on the invoice.


Starting a Dutch travel agency does not require any licenses, however it can be complicated. Dutch and EU- law should be taken into account. Also the special regime regarding Dutch VAT is very complex. Please do not hesitate to contact us when you need help regarding this subject

Are you in the process of opening a Dutch Travel Agency or interested in getting a memo specifically drafted to your needs? Schedule a call with our experts for more information!

91 views0 comments


bottom of page