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How to get the most out of the WSBO as an entrepreneur?

The WBSO is a tax scheme for Research and Development purposes. Its main goal is to encourage innovation within Dutch companies. This tax benefit allows start-ups, scale-ups, and companies to reduce their research and development project’s production costs, including but not limited to labor costs, material costs, and overheads.

Submitting a WBSO form is not as straightforward as it could be due to the amount of paperwork involved, the time that needs to be spent, as well as the difficulty of the procedure itself. Moreover, WBSO’s application often requires a number of documents to be classified, formatted, and submitted which increases the overall difficulty of the process.

To make the WBSO application hassle-free, together with our partner Innovation Funding we came up with five important tips:

  • Does the project fit the WBSO scheme?

The very first, and most important question, to ask before beginning the WBSO application is to inquire about the project’s eligibility. As mentioned before, the WBSO’s aim is to help companies, by granting a tax break, to reduce the costs of research and development projects. Therefore, WBSO tax breaks can only be awarded to certain companies. It can be awarded if the company develops new and innovative products for the market, or if the company is conducting scientific research whilst looking for an empirical explanation of phenomena. 

If your company, or project, does not fall within these categories, it is best not to send out the WBSO form and to look for another type of financial assistance. 

  • Think carefully about the application timeline 

Each fiscal year, you are allowed to submit four WBSO applications - one every three months. Moreover, each entrepreneur or company has been given the freedom to submit as many applications per project, within the established number, as wanted. Therefore, within a fiscal year, a company might choose to send one to four applications for one unique project. In addition, there is no limit to the number of projects that can request the WBSO tax scheme. 

Therefore, it is advisable for companies to account for the present and intended projects throughout the fiscal year in order to ensure that each application is sent out at the correct time - no less than 3 months before the fiscal year ends. 

  • ‘Starter’ companies get more 

If your company has employed personnel for less than five years and has received its first WSBO tax break within the past 3 years, the government considers you a ‘starter’. 

Being considered a ‘starter’s beneficial as your company gets to enjoy more benefits. For instance, ‘starter’ companies receive 50% benefit payroll tax on the first 350 000 euros.

  • Maximize your future hourly wages 

As a ‘starter’, when applying to the WSBO during the first two years, your hourly wage will be pre-determined to 29 euros. After the end of the second year, the hourly wage will be calculated by averaging the hourly wage of your employees, starting from the first year of your company’s WSBO benefit.

Therefore, it is advisable to include and exclude some wages when applying to the WSBO. For instance, excluding trainees when applying to the WSBO would benefit the average calculation of the hourly wage, as low wages would not be accounted for. This can benefit your company as higher average hourly wages determine the possibility of higher WBSO reimbursements.

  • Engage with an intermediary to decrease risks 

Even though it is possible to submit a WSBO application on your own, it is advisable to find a knowledgeable third party to handle this affair. The intermediary is often very acquainted with the application, procedure, and forms needed - making it easier, less time-consuming, and less costly when submitting the application.  

If hiring an intermediary, make sure that besides knowing the process, they are also knowledgeable about your company’s field and niche market. This would ensure an easier and less risky WSBO application. 

If you need help with a WSBO application make sure to check Innovation Funding, besides offering a pre-financing plan allowing you to obtain the tax cut at a faster rate, also provides for consultants with years of experience in the WBSO procedure itself. 

Would you like to know more or have the possibility to discuss other funding options for your company? Check Innovation Funding’s website or their FAQ on the WBSO.

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