(Don’t) Be DAFT!

The benefits of the Dutch American Friendship Treaty (DAFT) for US nationals moving to the Netherlands

Are you a citizen of the USA? Are you considering moving to the Netherlands? Would you consider starting a business or leading a business in the Netherlands? In that case, the Dutch American Friendship Treaty, as described in this article and our services can be useful to you.

The purpose of the DAFT is to promote the economies of both the United States of America and the Netherlands. Besides this it stimulates trade and business on a bi-lateral basis.

Dutch people looking to relocate to the USA can also apply the treaty, but this blog is written specifically for US citizens.

When can you use the DAFT?

There are several situations in which you may apply the DAFT.

Firstly, if you or your company conducts business between the Netherlands and the US, this may be a sufficient ground. Moreover it is also possible to apply the treaty if you carry out an independent profession. Certain healthcare, civil servant and public security positions are excluded.

Lastly and perhaps most important, the development of a business in the Netherlands – provided you have a senior/leading role and having invested significant capital in that business – will give you access to the DAFT as well. What significant capital means in practice, is briefly explained in the next paragraph.

Requirements for the DAFT

There is no prescribed legal form for the business. Either a sole proprietorship, partnerships or legal entity is possible. However, an important requirement is that you take part in the business for at least 25% with a minimum capital contribution of € 4,500.

The choice for a certain legal form is influenced by other factors and tax incentives. Our partner Dutchtaxadvice.nl gladly advices on this.

Advantages of DAFT

Why use DAFT instead of a regular immigration procedure?

  • No separate work permit.
  • Reasonable thresholds.
  • No requirement to prove the added value of your business (a normal step in other procedures).
  • No requirement to prove the innovative value of your company (also required in other procedures).


The DAFT is in many cases a good tool for US nationals looking to relocate to the Netherlands without the sponsorship of an employer. The financial thresholds are relatively low, and the paperwork is significantly less than in any other procedure. We can help you with all steps involved, from the application for the treaty, the incorporation and registration of your company and with the administration and tax compliance of your business or company.

More info

If you’re interested in the DAFT possibilities it may be good to know that Settle Service works closely together with Dutchtaxadvice.nl for the establishment of your business, the administration and the tax compliance.

If you have any questions or if you wish to receive a quote, please do contact Settle Service at company@settleservice.com or call us at +31(0)235344188.

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