How to Apply for WBSO: A 9-Step Guide

Reading time8 mins

The WBSO (Wet Bevordering Speur- en Ontwikkelingswerk) is a Dutch tax incentive designed to stimulate research and development (R&D) activities. It offers financial benefits to companies, self-employed individuals, and start-ups engaged in innovative projects. Applying for WBSO can significantly reduce R&D costs, making it an attractive option for businesses of all sizes. This step-by-step guide will walk you through the process of applying for WBSO.

Step 1: Determine Eligibility

Before starting your application, ensure that your project qualifies for WBSO. The key criteria are:

  • Innovative Nature: The project must involve technical scientific research or the development of technologically new physical products, processes, or software.

  • Technical Challenges: The project should address technical uncertainties and require systematic research or development efforts.

  • Location: The R&D activities must be carried out within the Netherlands or within a Dutch establishment.

Step 2: Gather Necessary Information

To complete the WBSO application, you will need the following information:

  • Project Description: Clearly outline the innovative aspects and technical challenges of your project.

  • Project Plan: Detail the research or development activities, including timelines, milestones, and resources required.

  • R&D Hours: Estimate the number of hours dedicated to R&D by employees or yourself (if you are self-employed).

  • Cost Estimation: Provide an overview of the expected R&D costs, including labor, materials, and other related expenses.

Step 3: Register with the RVO

The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) manages the WBSO program. To apply, you must register with the RVO. If you do not have an eRecognition (eHerkenning) account, you will need to create one. This is a secure login system used by the Dutch government.

Step 4: Calculate the WBSO Potential

Before submitting your application, it's useful to calculate your potential WBSO benefit. This can help you understand the financial advantages you can expect. Use the WBSO Calculator we have developed to estimate your WBSO potential.

Step 5: Submit Your Application

Applications for WBSO can be submitted up to three times a year. Follow these steps to submit your application:

  • Log in to the RVO Portal: Use your eRecognition account to access the RVO portal.

  • Complete the Application Form: Fill in the required details about your project, including the project description, plan, R&D hours, and cost estimation.

  • Review and Submit: Double-check all the information for accuracy and completeness before submitting the application.

Step 6: Await Approval

After submitting your application, the RVO will review it. This process may take several weeks. The RVO might contact you for additional information or clarification. Be prepared to provide any requested details promptly.

Step 7: Receive the Decision

If your application is approved, you will receive a WBSO decision letter specifying the granted benefits. The decision will outline the R&D hours and costs that are eligible for tax benefits.

Step 8: Claim the Benefits

Once you receive the WBSO decision, you can claim the benefits through your tax return. For companies, this typically involves a reduction in payroll tax. Self-employed individuals can deduct the R&D allowance from their income tax.

Step 9: Record Keeping and Reporting

Maintain accurate records of your R&D activities and expenses. The RVO may audit your project to ensure compliance with the WBSO requirements. You will need to demonstrate that the R&D activities were carried out as described in your application.

Tips for a Successful WBSO Application

  • Be Detailed and Clear

    : Provide a comprehensive and clear project description. Avoid jargon and ensure that the innovative aspects and technical challenges are well articulated.

  • Stay Organized

    : Keep thorough records of all R&D activities and expenses. This will help in case of audits and make future applications easier.

  • Seek Professional Help

    : Consider consulting with a WBSO advisor or tax professional. They can provide valuable insights and help ensure your application meets all requirements.

Support from Traqqie

At Traqqie, we support companies in their WBSO journey. If you have any questions or need help with your WBSO applications, please reach out to us. We are happy to assist you with your applications and ensure you maximize your WBSO benefits.

Additionally, we have developed the first software on the Dutch market that helps with WBSO administration. Our vision is to help innovative companies by making their process simpler, allowing them to focus on what truly matters: innovation and growth.


Applying for WBSO can provide significant financial support for your R&D projects, fostering innovation and growth within your company. By following this step-by-step guide and with the help of Traqqie, you can navigate the application process with confidence and take full advantage of the benefits offered by the WBSO program.


Receiving WBSO but struggling with the administration? Say goodbye to tedious timesheets. Traqqie's one-click solution is the fastest way to manage WBSO, saving hours of work, ensuring compliance, and allowing your engineers to focus on innovation.

Privacy Policy© 2024 All Rights Reserved.