I have been in the patent business for quite a few years. People ask isn't it boring? It definitely isn't! Every day I get the chance to talk to creative people who are full of enthusiasm about their invention. Developing a protection strategy with them is just a great experience.
Costs of a patent: expense or investment?
I always make my customers aware of the Innovatiebox, because regardless of whether the costs incurred in obtaining a patent are considered to be an 'expense' or an 'investment', a tax break is always welcome bonus, isn't it?
Benefits of Innovatiebox, previously known as the Octrooibox
In short, in the case of the Innovatiebox you pay less tax on the returns from your innovation. Instead of 20 or 25% you pay 5% corporation tax on the profit. So you do have to make a profit! The government actually introduced this measure to stimulate innovation.
Generally speaking no-one makes any profit during the first year after an innovation is launched. However, the moment you start making some money you can simply earn back (part of) your investment costs via this tax measure.
My 3 Tips relating to the Innovatiebox
1. File a patent application in the Netherlands
You need to have a patent in order to qualify for the Innovatiebox. My advice is to opt for a Dutch patent.
For SMEs, with a turnover of less than EUR 50 million globally and less than EUR 7.5 million in the Netherlands, a WBSO (Promotion of Research and Development Act) certificate will also suffice.
2. Pay attention to the name on the patent
If the patent is in the name of a private individual and the profits of your innovation are booked to a BV, you may not be eligible for the Innovatiebox.
3. Talk to your accountant or tax consultant
They will be able to advise you on the applicable terms and conditions. The Dutch Tax and Customs Administration makes separate agreements on using the Innovatiebox with each entrepreneur.