In order to become an entrepreneur in the Netherlands you do not necessarily need to establish a business. You can also become a freelancer or a ZZP'er. ZZP (self-employed with no personnel) is not an official understanding. The law for example does not state exactly what a ZZP'er is. In practice, the term is used for the self-employed who offer their services to various clients. For example a bricklayer who works for various companies. Or a journalist, or IT specialist who hires out their services. You are a business of your own, or in other words, a one-person business.

How can you become a ZZP'er?

After you have decided what kind of ZZP'er you would like to become, and what you are going to call your business, you must register at the Chamber of Commerce (KvK). As a ZZP'er you will establish yourself as a self-employed with a legal status. To achieve this you must personally go to your local Chamber of Commerce. Be sure and bring along your ID! The Chamber of Commerce will then register your business in the Handelregister (Commercial Register). This means that you may then do business as a commercial enterprise.

Can you start as a ZZP'er from a position of receiving a welfare payment?

The government stimulates the unemployed and the disabled to generate their own income as a self-employed worker. That's why you are allowed to start as a ZZP'er and keep your welfare payment of get a guarantee of return. You should first get in contact with the welfare office before you register with the Chamber of Commerce.

What does it cost?

To register a new business or organization in the Commercial Register, you must pay € 50,- in registration costs.

ZZP'ers and the Tax Department

There are advantages to becoming a ZZP'er, such as a starter's deduction of € 7.280. For this you must meet certain requirements:

  • The Tax Service sees you as a business.
  • You meet the required hours (spend at least 1225 hours on you business per year).
  • You run the business yourself (or along with others).

It is very difficult to know which rights you have when starting a new business, especially as a newcomer. Many ZZP'ers, therefore, have a bookkeeper do their bookkeeping at the end of the year. A bookkeeper will cost between 200 and 300 euro, but is often well worth the cost!

In this video, you will find three handy tips from the Tax Department for everyone who wants to become a ZZP'er:

Abide by the law

If you are considering becoming a ZZP'er in the Netherlands, become well informed. On the website you will find a plan of steps and information that you need to take into consideration. You can of course always ask your questions at the Chamber of Commerce.

Once you have become a ZZP'er, you must always abide by the law. That is, of course, easier said than done, because the law can always change and it's not always clear what has changed.

The following video is about what is going to change for ZZP'ers in the Netherlands in 2017: