Frequently asked questions Business Contact Centre

I am looking for premises for my business. Can the municipality assist?

Maastricht can offer the businesses premises that you need. Whether you are just starting out, expanding, or relocating, Maastricht is bound to have a location that meets all your requirements. You can work from home, but there are also flexible workplaces at various locations in the city, creative locations, business parks and industrial estates, plots to build on, and the Belvédère location which provides space for large-scale retail. The handy commercial property list and the vacancy map of the Business Contact Centre allows you to search for a suitable location yourself. You can also request the list of commercial property from: bedrijfscontactpunt@maastricht.nl. For further information, view the Business premises brochure.

I am already considering a number of premises. Is it possible at that location? Is an exemption from or adjustment to the zoning plan required?

You can view the zoning plan at: www.ruimtelijkeplannen.nl or via the Municipal Service Desk: view the zoning plan.

I want to start a business based at home. Is that possible?

Working from home has many advantages and you often do not even need permission from the municipality. It all depends on your plans and the type of business that you want to start. We differentiate between home-based professions and consumer care and/or traditional craft business activities. The most important rule for working from home is that your house remains primarily a residence. This means that the greater portion of the home must be used for residential purposes and may not be used for business activities. That is the basic principle that the municipality sets for home-based businesses. Also took a look at the brochure Working from home?

I have a shop and would like to expand it to include catering. Is this possible?

You have a shop and want to offer your customers a cup of coffee or a snack while they are shopping. This is possible, with a few conditions. You may only use part of your business for this (a maximum of 25%), your business must continue to have the appearance of a shop, and you may not advertise this part of your business.

If you have ideas for a different combination of retail and catering, please contact the Hospitality case manager at horeca@maastricht.nl

Am I allowed to start a business from my rented house?

Yes, if you have been granted permission by the landlord and have obtained permission from the Municipality of Maastricht to start a consumer care or traditional craft business. Also took a look at the brochure Working from home?

I want to start a business. Can I receive a grant for this?

The municipality will not give you a grant to start a business.

If you are a business owner or new business owner and need a loan that you cannot get from a bank, then you can apply for an SME loan. This is a business loan of between € 50,000 and € 250,000. You can also apply for microcredit for amounts up to € 50,000.

Seed Capital for tech start-ups is a scheme that makes it possible to invest in tech start-ups and creative start-ups. There are more than 20 different funds available to tech start-ups and creative start-ups. Each fund has its own particular strategy and sets its own specific criteria for the application process. A fund manager makes the final decision about in which tech start-up or creative start-up the fund will invest.

If you have become unfit for work for a long period of time, you can also count on the necessary support when starting a business. Examples of this include the right to a start-up or preparatory loan, income supplementation, or allowances for things such as a reading aid or interpreter. You can apply for such facilities throughout the year via the UWV (Employee Insurance Agency). A condition is that you are currently receiving social assistance benefits, benefits under the Work and Income (Capacity for Work) Act (WIA benefit), benefits under the Invalidity Insurance Act (WAO benefit), benefits under the Invalidity Insurance (Self-Employed Persons) Act (WAZ benefit), benefits under the Invalidity Insurance (Young Disabled Persons) Act (Wajong benefit), or sickness benefits (ZW benefit) and that these facilities are essential to the performance of your work.

If you are currently receiving benefits under the Unemployment Insurance Act (WW benefits) and are considering starting your own business but are afraid to lose your benefits, you don't have to worry. It is possible to start your own business while keeping your WW benefits. Your contact person at the UWV will be able to tell you more about this and offer you the support you need.

Under the Social Assistance (Self-Employed Persons) Decree (Besluit bijstandverlening zelfstandigen 2004 [Bbz 2004]), the municipality helps people with social assistance benefits or individual WW on the road to becoming self-employed. It can provide assistance in three ways:

  1. With additional benefits (as a loan without interest) for your living expenses for a maximum of three years.
  2. With a loan (set to a maximum of € 36,762 in 2019) for investments in your business, such as purchasing machines, inventory, or stock. You have to pay interest on this loan.
  3. The municipality provides assistance for the start of your business. See the Entrepreneurs Contact Centre (available in Dutch only).

For financial and other support, also take a look under the question Where can I apply for support?

Are there specific locations for street trading?

The following locations have been designated for this purpose:

  • Christoffelplein square Caberg 
  • Malbergplein square Malberg 
  • Keurmeestersdreef Belfort 
  • Herculeshof Daalhof 
  • Roserije De Heeg 
  • Raadhuisplein square Heer 
  • Severenplein square Amby 
  • Kast. Schaloenstraat Nazareth 
  • Pleintje Kruisweg Itteren 
  • Bovenstraat Borgharen 
  • Voltastraat Wittevrouwenveld 
  • Javastraat by the entrance to the cemetery (flowers and plants only)
  • Min. G. Borgesiusplantsoen Mariaberg (flowers and plants only)
  • Bosscherweg Boschpoort (frying/grilling/roasting are not permitted)

Street trading on private sites is possible only if a retail trade designation applies to this location and if the site is publicly accessible.

For more information see market trading permit (available in Dutch only).

 

I would like to advertise my shop. Is this possible?

A permit is required to place advertisements on or against a building that are visible from the street. It is, however, permissible to place notices, announcements, or images inside the building that are not intended to be visible from the street.

I would like to open a Bed & Breakfast. Is this allowed?

In Maastricht you are permitted to use one or two rooms in your home as accommodation for guests. This is then known as a guest house. However, you must be the main resident and you must run the guest house yourself. For a small hotel with up to seven rooms, other rules apply. Different rules apply to other small-scale accommodation facilities up to and including seven rooms. A B&B is considered a small hotel. If you wish to open a small-scale accommodation facility, you must always request permission from the municipality. We will assess your initiative on the basis of the zoning plan and other spatial planning aspects such as parking. The most important requirement in the case of small-scale accommodation is that opening such a facility must not result in the disappearance of any residential function. Furthermore, such a small hotel must, for instance, meet the same fire safety conditions as a larger hotel.

For further information see: http://www.ondernemersplein.nl/stappenplan-bed--breakfast-starten/ (available in Dutch only).

Airbnb pilot

If you want to rent out your house or part of it to tourists, for example via Airbnb, you may do so for the time being for a maximum of 60 days per year. The number of tenants may not exceed one group of six people. The municipal council has agreed to a two-year pilot in which these rules are laid down.

In the course of spring 2019, the municipality will publish the exact conditions for taking part in the trial. The pilot will be evaluated after two years and the final policy will be established. Anyone wishing to rent out their home must report this to the municipality.

Hotel policy

With regard to the regular hotel policy, Maastricht is pushing for innovation. Only initiatives that partly tap into a new market of tourist accommodation will be permitted. The evaluation in 2018 concluded that this policy is functioning well. Maastricht has a varied, vital hotel offer and the demand for hotel rooms has grown more than the supply. That is why the current hotel policy, with a few additions, will be continued. The most important addition is that the market space for hotel rooms is reassessed every two years. When assessing new hotel initiatives, this market space will be used as the starting point.