what would I need to do to own a coffee shop in amsterdam?

I know this has probably been asked a million times, I tried looking but no real answer. Im 24 years old and in a few years I will have saved up a couple hundred thousand dollars that I want to invest in moving to amsterdam with a few friends and family. Our goal is to run a small coffee shop / yoga studio and live a somewhat peaceful lifestyle in Amsterdam. Obviously this is all in the dream state right now but I believe its time to start educating myself in what I would have to do in order to make this dream a reality. Unfortunately for now I have 0 experience with business in Amsterdam as Ive only been a couple times as a tourist, but the energy of the city keeps drawing me back in. Also I dont speak dutch. I have a US passport, one of my family members does have a EU citizenship though so everything will be done on her name.

Anyway Ive come to this forum seeking knowledge and direction from you guys. ANY information is very much appreciated.

I've also recently learned that it is no longer possible to get a license for a coffee shop in Amsterdam but there are ways around this?


Hi Leo and welcome to Expat.com!

Good Luck in your projects,


Moved from Norway til Holland and have been thinking baout this myself.
The thing is, the mayor in each area decides  how many coffeeshops there should be. So its freakin difficult.
Many places have 60.000 people living there, but the mayor says it only can be one coffeeshop, you think they will sell their coffeeshop to you???? LOLZ!

hey i think it will be quite hard to start a new coffeeshop as the bad top level government there is trying to shut down coffeeshops and i havn't seen any new ones in my recent visit... only old ones closing down. however there is lots of nice buisnesses you can make without selling weed, research the market there and see what you can come up with. you could open a nice cafe selling organic local produce and teas, smoothies, juices and munchies for example that allows smoking weed section, without selling it much easier to get permission. make a nice atmosphere and people will come there to smoke and chill. try and innovate, maybe have a games section with consoles or big tv and books/magazines, free tap water to drink!

it will help you to learn a bit of dutch as well, i assume the councillors and locals will be more accepting of you if you try to absorb some historic culture. im learning dutch at the moment, try rosetta stone and routledge intensive dutch course. there is also dutch pods on itunes dutchpod101.com. its a fun language to learn and a lot of words sound the same as english.

good luck with your dream... its a noble one indeed... dont give up on it!

Hey Leo
i pretty agree with Mushroom, you can try other bussiness than coffeshop, try this link for some infos
http://www.iamexpat.nl/career/self-empl … nformation
even the idea , i think its really cool imagine ur young, shop owner, selling weeds & its legal ,  i will be the first to apply to work in ur shop :-D
good luck - every reality starts with a dream -

Hi Leo, I am curious if these plans ever panned out for you?

I'm a US expat from the cannabis boom in the US.... considering the same as you.

ExpatsUSA wrote:

Hi Leo, I am curious if these plans ever panned out for you?

I'm a US expat from the cannabis boom in the US.... considering the same as you.

Hi and welcome to the Forum.

This thread has been inactive and the Opening Post (Leo) hasn't been back since he asked his question (4 years ago), so I doubt he will respond.

Best of luck in your venture. :)