Dutch Japanese Commerce & Navigation Treaty: a residence permit for Japanese entrepreneurs

The Treaty of Commerce and Navigation between the Netherlands and Japan

On 6 July 1912, the Netherlands and Japan signed a bilateral treaty, namely the Treaty of Commerce and Navigation (日蘭通商航海条約  にちらんつうしょうこうかいじょうやく in Japanese). Under this Treaty, a Japanese can acquire a Dutch residence permit for the purpose of entrepreneurship, provided that he/she sets up a company in the Netherlands and  invests 4,500 euros (approximately, 642000) into his/her Dutch business.

Benefits of this residence permit

This residence permit is valid for an initial period of two years. After two years, the validity of the permit can be extended for a period of five years, provided that the entrepreneur can demonstrate that the equity of his/her company has never been lower than 4500 euros.

With this residence permit, the holder is allowed to live in the Netherlands and to conduct entrepreneurial activities. However, with this residence permit, the Japanese entrepreneur can only work for his/her own business. During the first five years, the Japanese entrepreneur cannot work as an employee for another Dutch company without a valid work permit.


In order to apply for the Dutch Japanese Commerce and Navigation Treaty residence permit, a Japanese entrepreneur needs to set up a company in the Netherlands. The company can be either a limited liability company (eg. besloten venootschap in Dutch) or a sole proprietorship. After setting up the company, a corporate bank account should be opened, on which the Japanese entrepreneur needs to deposit at least 4500 euros.

Partners and children

A Japanese entrepreneur can bring his/her partner and minor children to the Netherlands. Both the partner and the minor children can acquire a family member permit. Partner can be either married or unmarried, and can be of different/same gender. As from 1 January 2021, partner and children of a Japanese entrepreneur are allowed to work in the Netherlands without a work permit.

Access to Health Care

The entrepreneur and his/her family shall have full access to the Dutch health care system. After they get their residence permits, the Japanese entrepreneur and his/her family members shall be able to purchase Dutch national health insurance (basisverzekering).

If you are interested in knowing more about the Dutch Japanese Commerce and Navigation Treaty permit, please do not hesitate to contact us. You can fill out the contact form. One of our experts will contact you shortly.