Tax Point

Administration and tax-related support for starters in the Netherlands

Regulations for self-employed professionals

A self-employed professional or freelancer (known in Dutch as zelfstandige zonder personeel, ZZP'er) is an entrepreneur without any staff who works for a number of different customers. They work at their own expense and risk. During illness or when business is slow, they cannot fall back on a benefit. However, they can make use of various schemes intended to stimulate entrepreneurship. Freelancer/self-employed professional is not a legal structure. Most freelancers/self-employed professionals have a one-man business or a private limited company (Besloten Vennootschap, BV).

As a freelancer/self-employed professional, you can start a business in the Netherlands or carry out a temporary assignment in the Netherlands while being based in another country. In both cases, you will have to deal with Dutch government rules and regulations. Many of them are the same as for other entrepreneurs; some apply only to freelancers/self-employed professionals.


VAT (turnover tax) and income tax for self-employed professionals

Just like other entrepreneurs, freelancers/self-employed professionals must register with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst), which determines whether you are an entrepreneur for the purposes of turnover tax and income tax.

VAT (turnover tax) for resident businesses

If you are based in the Netherlands as a freelancer/self-employed professional, you nearly always have to pay turnover tax (VAT). Some services are exempt from VAT.

VAT (turnover tax) for non-resident businesses

If you carry out a temporary assignment in the Netherlands as a freelancer/self-employed professional, you sometimes have to pay VAT as well. You may sometimes be able to claim back VAT that you have paid in the Netherlands.

Income tax (IB) and health care insurance premium (ZVW)

Freelancers/self-employed professionals in the Netherlands must pay income tax and health care insurance premiums.

You do your business on your own risk!