How to Become and Work as a Freelancer in the Netherlands

Written by Xolo
on July 08, 2022 5 minute read

Deciding to become a freelancer in the Netherlands is tempting since you’ll gain work flexibility and enjoy the advantage of being your own boss. As a freelancer in the Netherlands, you’ll need to take care of a few administrative details. These include:

  • Making sure you’re eligible to become a freelancer
  • Establishing a business registration
  • Acquiring insurance
  • Covering taxes and BTW

What are the Eligibility Requirements to Become a Freelancer in the Netherlands?

The Netherlands Chamber of Commerce KVK requires freelancers and self-employed professionals to register as a sole proprietorship or as a private limited company. The country allows people to work as sole proprietors whether they live in the Netherlands or are based in a different country.

Freelancers in the Netherlands are referred to as zelfstandige zonder personeel, or ZZPers, which means that you’re self-employed and don’t have any workers employed by you. When you set out to register, keep in mind that there are requirements that you must meet.

For instance, you’ll need to have a residence permit as well as documents confirming your address. You’ll also need to select a name for your business and set up a work area. You may be eligible to work from your residence. Be sure to review whether it’s viable or possible for you to work from your home.

Registration Steps to Work as a Freelancer in the Netherlands

If you aren’t a citizen of the EU, plan to apply for a temporary residence permit and a permanent one. If you’re beginning an innovative start up, then you may need to apply for a start up visa.

If you’re planning to do business in the country, be sure to get a business bank account. For help determining your eligibility, check with the Dutch Banking Association. They have a Quick Scan feature that will help you determine your eligibility.

Once you have a business name and have made arrangements for a work location, register your freelance business with the country’s Chamber of Commerce.

When starting a freelance company, it’s a good idea to write out a business plan, one that outlines your strategy. Include details about forming your freelance business as well as the structure that you want to use. Decide what you plan to sell or create, who you’ll target as clients and how you’ll finance your company. You’ll also want to consider whether there is a need for what you’re offering on the Dutch market.

Freelancing in the Netherlands means that you’ll be your own boss, so it’s a good idea to sign up for income insurance. This will protect you if you become sick or injured. You should also set up your own pension program to ensure that you’re able to retire.

To start a freelance company, you’ll need to visit the KVK website to complete the eenmanszaak form. The form is available in both the English and Dutch languages. You can use the screen to fill out the form and print it in both English and Dutch. When you’re adding text into the free fields, such as providing a business description, the text must be in Dutch.

After completing the form, you’ll be ready to make an appointment to visit your local KVK. Be sure to bring your completed form, the address of your business and a valid identification. For your identification, you can use your passport, a Dutch driver’s license or a residence permit. You’ll also need to bring 50 euros to cover the registration fee.

Once you’re registered, you’ll receive a KVK number that identifies your business. You’ll need this number for your company invoices and other documentation.


What are the VAT Number Obligations for Freelancers in the Netherlands?

When you register with the KVK, be sure to ask about registering with the Dutch tax office, which is the Belastingdienst. After registering with the tax office, you’ll receive a BTW nummer. This is your VAT number.

The Dutch tax office requires a tax of any product or service sold within the Netherlands. Once you become a freelancer in the Netherlands, you’ll need to add the BTW tax to your product or service. The tax amount required is typically 21%.

When you send a payment invoice to your clients for your products or services, add the additional 21% BTW over your fee amount. Then, set the percentage amount aside. The office will expect you to pay this tax four times each year using the VAT declaration form. Those who have a freelance business must collect taxes for the tax office.

Each quarter, you or your financial manager will need to figure out the amount of your VAT declaration and send your BTW to the tax department. You can reduce the amount that you owe with business-related deductions like equipment for your work, the cost of transportation or other materials.

If you fail to input your VAT declaration when it’s due or if you don’t make your payment on time, then you will be charged a fine.

Check out Xolo guide for details on VAT obligations for freelancers in the Netherlands.

Income Tax Returns for Freelancers in the Netherlands

Once you begin earning income as a freelancer, completing your annual income tax return will become a bit more complex. This is because you’ll need to calculate your taxes on your own or with the help of a personal accountant.

There are a few tax breaks available for those who start a new business. These include deductions for being self-employed and getting started. You’ll also be eligible for SME profit exemption, a general tax credit and a labor tax credit.

How to Find Freelance Clients in the Netherlands

To find freelance clients in the Netherlands, be sure to activate networks like LinkedIn and talk to everyone you know about your freelance business. Talk to your friends, previous business acquaintances, prior employers and even relatives.

Join a ZZP community, one that speaks the same language as you or works in your field. You should also join a freelance community. This will make it easy for you to promote your products or services as well as meet people. It could also work to motivate you.

Attend local business Meetups. Meetup is a great way to connect with other humans in your area. The network makes it easy for you to meet others in your field and collaborate. You can join a Meetup group or start a new one.

How much can you earn as a freelancer in the Netherlands? It depends on your field. According to Payscale the average hourly pay for a freelance writer in the Netherlands is €34.00. The base salary for someone working as an IT consultant is around €47,000 a year.

Invoice as a Freelancer in the Netherlands

As a freelancer, it will be up to you to send invoices to your clients. To make it easy, consider getting Xolo Leap, which is a product that helps you set up and run an e-resident solo business from your place of comfort. With an all-in-one dashboard, you can manage your expenses and income, issue invoices to your international clients and the beauty of it is that you can do it all remotely without any compliance or security worries. 

How to Manage Your Business as a Freelancer in the Netherlands

Make managing your business as a freelancer easy by signing up for Xolo Leap. This product will help you establish your Estonian solo business which you can manage from any part of the world with ease. It will deal with the tough parts of getting set up such as handling the paperwork and managing the bureaucratic red tape. With the business up and running, you’ll find it easy to take care of administrative jobs like deducting your company expenses. The intuitive dashboard lets you keep a close eye on how your business is running and doing.

With Xolo Leap, you’ll save tons of times when it comes to calculating and filing your taxes. With the program, you’ll have a team helping you manage your accounting tasks and bookkeeping jobs. Xolo Leap will help you record and input your company’s tax reports. There are different plans available, allowing you to purchase the best program for your budget and needs.

Take Control of Your Freelance Financial Future

Become your own boss and open a freelance business in the Netherlands. As a freelancer, you’ll be able to work at your own pace and during hours that are best for you. Sign up today for  Xolo Leap to open your own business with ease and fun!

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