Once you have a plan and are ready to register your company at the Chamber of Commerce, the first step (besides choosing a unique business name) is figuring out what business structure (rechtsvorm) is suitable for you and your company.
The linked tool can help you figure out what is appropriate for your business. This depends on if you are alone or together, your ambition, the business risk and profit. The most common ones are:
Especially when you start to do business with others (eg. contracting freelancers, doing contract work or applying for grants) it’s important that you are registered at the Chamber of Commerce.
Each business structure will come with its own cost, benefits and requirements. It’s highly advised to read up on each before registering to find out which one is most suited to you. If you are in doubt, you can get in touch with the Chamber of Commerce and they can help you on the way.
As with every business you need to keep an eye out on your cash flow so you know what money comes in and what goes out. It should never be a surprise when you’re about to run out of money, as you should have taken action months before that happens.
Building games is often a team activity. For the first ‘employees’ you can start as co-founders to get things off the ground. Make sure you put the terms of your collaboration in writing with your co-founders (even if it’s a simple notepad document). Consider things like shares, vesting, salary (if any), roles and responsibilities, revenue sharing, and what happens if someone wants to quit.
When expanding the team you can hire contractors (have a contract ready and specify the work to be done), or hire personnel. The former makes you flexible in cost and team size, and the latter allows for long-term development of your team. Hiring personnel requires you to follow several obligations by Dutch law such as payroll tax, paying holiday allowance and providing healthy and safe work environments. Think about what’s right for you now and how it can impact your (financial) plans in the future.
If you feel like you could use some more help, know that professional help does not have to be expensive and is often worth the investment. It can cost you a lot more if there are issues later on. The most common ones when starting out:
Check out the DGA Resources page for trusted partners, helpful resources, events and tips on navigating the Dutch games industry. We also have some business centers and incubators in The Netherlands, such as Dutch Game Garden, Game Bakery and Indietopia, that focus specifically on game company start-ups.
If this was helpful, please consider becoming a member of the Dutch Games Association to get additional resources and support. You will join a community of like minded entrepreneurs who want to see the Dutch game industry thrive. Join here!