Companies can reduce the financial burden of R & D projects via the WBSO – Wet Bevordering Speur-en Ontwikkelingswerk subsidy (Promotion and Investigation Act).

WBSO Subsidy

Through the WBSO tax scheme, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate encourages entrepreneurs to invest more in research. With this regulation, the R & D costs and expenses are reduced by a discount on the payroll tax. The WBSO subsidy is available for SME entrepreneurs, multinationals and self-employed people.

Who is eligible for the WBSO subsidy?

WBSO subsidie Maas & Kleiberg adviesEntrepreneurs employing R & D workers are eligible, as are self-employed people who pay income tax. This occurs on conditions if you carry out 500 hours or more of R & D hours per year. If you use employees as a self-employed person, you can apply for your own R & D hours as well as for the R & D hours of your employees’ WBSO subsidy.

A freelancer receives subsidy by raising the self-employed deduction. This means that starting entrepreneurs benefit from an even higher total deduction as a self-employed person. The amount of the subsidy is normally 50% of the costs incurred, but for the starting entrepreneur this can even amount to 60%.

An important condition of the WBSO subsidy is that your R & D project must be innovative for your company. This can be a new product, production process or service. Your project does not necessarily have to pass to qualify for the WBSO subsidy.


The budget for 2020 is €1,281 million. The exact amount of the WBSO subsidy one can receive can be calculated via the WBSO Calculation Tool.

Submitting Applications

It is important to submit the WBSO application before the start of your R & D work. The application can be submitted digitally. The budget available for this subsidy is determined each year. There are more than twenty thousand companies in the Netherlands that use this subsidy to reduce the costs of R & D. To gain insight into whether you are eligible for this subsidy and to hand over the administrative tasks, you can use the services of a subsidy specialist. The activities of your company can be mapped and it is also possible to have the subsidy application written by the subsidy specialist.


The period in which the WBSO subsidy can be applied for is continuous.


After receiving the WBSO subsidy you are also entitled to the Innovatiebox.

Do you wish to know more about this subsidy scheme?

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