Working as a freelancer in the Netherlands

Freelancing is a common way to earn an income in the Netherlands. If you want to become a freelancer (ZZP’er), make sure that you satisfy all legal requirements and that you are really working independent from your client to prevent the tax authorities from treating you as an employee instead of a freelancer. Also check whether your resident status allows you to work as a freelancer. Especially when you come from outside the European Union.

Registration and VAT number

Once you are convinced that you can work as a freelancer, the first step is to make an appointment with the Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel) to register your business in the trade register (handelsregister). Once registered, the tax authorities will provide you with a VAT number (BTW nummer) and will inform you how often you will need to file a VAT return (aangifte omzetbelasting). You will need to send invoices to your clients and determine whether VAT needs to be charged and which rate is applicable. You can claim back the VAT which you paid on your expenses. So make sure you keep all the incoming and outgoing invoices.

Personal income tax return

It is also recommended to use a separate bank account for your business. The freelance income will have to be declared in your annual personal income tax return. You will have to pay tax on your profit. A benefit is that the profit can be reduced by claiming the applicable tax exemptions and tax credit for freelancers. It is also important to deduct the correct expenses.

Special packages for freelancers

Don’t let the tax obligations ruin your business. WeAreLawyers can help you. We have created special packages for freelancers which cover the filing of the VAT returns and the income tax return. Feel free to contact us on this matter and call us at 020 210 11 99 or send us an e-mail at

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