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9 ways to start your own business without money

Since the launch of the so-called flex BV in the Netherlands, it has become easier for entrepreneurs to start a business without having to put in immense start-up capital themselves. Before this legislation, one had to put in a start-up capital of 19,00 euros, but since 2012, it is even possible to start a business with 1 cent! There are of course other costs involved such as notary fees and registration at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce, but these are one-off costs and through Firm24 we can arrange all these things for you quickly and easily for a flat rate. This article will explain to you the easiest way to raise money to conduct business and the best options for you!

Conducting business without own investment

When you have written your business plan and are ready to get started. It is of course important to have money in the bankaccount of your business to achieve your goals. But there are also business ideas in which it is not necessary to have any particular capital to conduct business. Here are four tips on how you can do business without a capital contribution of your own!

Tip 1: start a webshop!

Creating a webshop is easy using templates on the internet. As your business grows, you can hire a specialist to build a nice website. In principle, you do not need large storage: buy through a wholesaler when an order is placed with you. Delivery will take a little longer for your customers. But because you do not need to rent and maintain an expensive warehouse, you can offer a super low price!

Tip 2: get started as a bookkeeper!

Contrary to popular belief, anyone can be a bookkeeper, as it is a free profession in the Netherlands. You do not need a special degree to become a bookkeeper. Busy entrepreneurs usually do not have time to handle bookkeeping themselves. You are going to take their work off their hands! You can find a lot of free (and paid) bookkeeping programmes on the internet. If you are handy with computers, you can also use Excel to get started with bookkeeping.

Tip 3: start affiliate marketing!

This involves promoting products and services for other businesses, for a commission. You can do this on your blog or social media page, for example. This is a business where a lot of money can be made, so delve into it!

Tip 4: Be aware of which tools you buy and which tools you rent!

Do you have a technical profession that requires real equipment anyway? Make sure you have a small collection of frequently used tools. Larger tools can be hired from a professional hire company. If you are registered as a self-employed person, as a business customer you can hire equipment at a reduced rate. You pass these costs on to your customer.


Borrowing or investing?

Still, do any of the above tips not quite fit your business plan? Or did you still come to the conclusion that you need a bigger starting capital for your specific idea? There are plenty of other ways to finance your business without savings. Here are some tips on how to make the right decision when raising capital. Hereby a number of opportunities to raise external capital.

  • First, of course, you can borrow money from the bank. For this, however, you will have to submit an extensive business plan. You will have to demonstrate how you will earn back the loan.
  • You can also borrow money from private investors, also known as business angels. It is definitely worth networking until you find a connection who is willing to lend a hand in your start-up financing. This is because these are usually former entrepreneurs or companies from the same industry who provide capital and advise you on how to run your business. Often these informal funders want to stay involved in your venture, so you have to be able to accept that you are no longer 100% in charge.
  • Another option is to get your business invested by the masses: crowdfunding. This is easily possible through online platforms such as kickstarter. Individuals can thus make money available to you. It is up to you what the quid pro quo is in return. Will the investment be seen as a loan or donation, possibly with an exclusive product as a thank-you? Or do investors get a piece of ownership in the company? You will have to carefully consider the conditions under which investment is made in your business.
  • Finally, you can of course borrow from friends, family or (ex-) colleagues. Many entrepreneurs are reluctant to do this because they fear problems in the private relationship. You can easily avoid this by making clear agreements. Put important matters on paper, such as the interest rate, method of repayment and repayment term. You can hire a legal advisor for this, for instance.

In short, there are plenty of opportunities to start a business without money! Of course, you can stack the different modes of financing to get a nice start-up capital. Combine this with a business for which you can easily start with your own stuff. That way, you can quickly get started in business! Once your plans are clear, you can register a sole proprietorship with The Netherlands Chamber of commerce (KVK). This can be done at the Chamber of commerce office.

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In conclusion (recommended)

Which legal form best suits you depends entirely on your own situation and what your intentions are with your business. Many entrepreneurs therefore choose to have a brief sparring session with one of our advisers. This is completely free of charge and can be scheduled via this link.

Published on 13 July 2023
Adam Cambridge linkedin
Adam is our English content writer and studies International Business Law at Leiden University

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