Starting your own business

Have you ever wondered about starting your own business as a student in Maastricht?

Do you have an idea that you think could be profitable? Having a little side hustle is a great way to make some extra money and looks awesome on your CV… if you can make it work. It’s definitely much harder than getting a simple student job, but can be really rewarding too. If you want to give your business the best chance of success, read the tips below, all gathered in cooperation with the Inspiratiehuis voor ondernemers‘. 

Search for guidance

Before you start, it’s recommended that you find someone, or an organisation that can act as a sounding board for your idea. They can work with you to help make your idea as good as it can be.  Some options in Maastricht include:

  • The Inspiratiehuis voor Ondernemers for the MKB (MKB stands for midden- en kleinbedrijf, which is Dutch for small or medium enterprise (SME));
  • Brightlands campus for Materials, Health, Smart Services and Food;
  • Qeske a community which connects companies and education;
  • Fashion House, for Maastricht-based entrepreneurs in the fashion industry. 


Once you have a community around you for support, you can start up your business! There are some practicalities you have to address first though:

  1. You have to register your startup with the Chamber of Commerce. Only with this registration are you allowed to start a business;
  2. You need a VAT-number (BTW nummer) and you have to file your expenses periodically at the Tax Agency (Belastingdienst). They will calculate the amount of tax you have to pay;
  3. You need to open a business account at your local bank;
  4. It is possible that there are special requirements that are necessary in order to start your business properly and legally, like possessing the right documents; 

If you have questions about these steps, you can find answers at the Holland Expat Center South, the Chamber of Commerce and the Starterscentrum.

Financing your business

Of course, there are many more things you need to take into account when you’re starting a business. If you need financing, you can look at the financial banks of Maastricht, at LIOF or via Qredits. Be aware that you will only be able to get financial help if you have a fully-fledged business plan. The person or organisation you were turning to for guidance (see the “search for guidance” section) can help you create this, if you’re struggling. 

Student Entrepreneurship

This is all very exciting, but creating your own business can be a struggle. It is likely to be a long time before you actually turn a profit, so if you’re doing this as a quick way to make money, then getting a normal student job is probably easier. Having your own business and being an entrepreneur will also take up a lot of your time – don’t enter into this if you’re already struggling with keeping up with your studies. With that said, this can also be a very rewarding and exciting process. We wish you the best of luck! 


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