Contracting in the Netherlands

Registration in the Netherlands

You will need (by law) Health Insurance (30,000 euros) for the Netherlands. This is the first priority, as you cannot move on to register as required without valid health insurance.

Registration takes place at the Municipal Administration of the town in the Netherlands where you are going to live and work. You will register as you arrive to work in The Netherlands; it is wise to contact this office before you leave the UK. This will enable you to produce the correct list of documents when you arrive.

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If you are planning to work in the Netherlands, it is compulsory to register with the BRP within the first five days of your arrival there. You will need to provide either your permanent home address, or a correspondence address in the Netherlands where you will be living while you are working there. This address is needed at this early stage, which may prove to be difficult.

To register, you must present a legal birth certificate, your passport, evidence of your marital status and possibly more documents depending on your background and country of origin.

When you leave the Netherlands, you should also advise the BRP of this fact. Your unique Tax and Social Insurance Number (or sofinummer), now referred to as a Citizen’s Service Number (or burgerservicenummer (BSN)) will be issued to you at this time. The number is crucial as it allows for the exchange of personal information between various government agencies.

You might also find our other country guides to working abroad as a contractor useful too:

The Immigration Service

The Immigration Service or IND manages immigration and residence permits. Having first registered with the BRP, you are also required to register at the IND. They can be contacted to make an appointment on 31 208893045 / in the country on 09001234561.

If you are to contract for more than three months this is compulsory as well.

The IND will seek to know the purpose of your visit to the Netherlands and you should provide full details of your work assignment or contract on the telephone. They will then send you a form to your UK home address for completion. You will then be informed clearly what documents you must bring along.

Your passport will be marked with a Certificate from the IND if you register successfully there. This entitles you to stay in The Netherlands for as long as you wish. Unlike the BRP, you need not inform the IND when you leave the country. A permanent residence certificate can be gained after five years.

Contracting Abroad Hub

You might also find our other country guides to working abroad as a contractor useful too:

Visit our Contracting Abroad Hub

30% Ruling in the Netherlands

Contractors may qualify for a tax benefit, namely the Netherlands 30% Ruling which is a tax-free allowance of 30% of gross earnings. Strict criteria are applied by the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration.

If you are successful and are granted the ruling or award, this means that you are NOT entitled to submit your business expenses as well to enable further reductions of tax.

This allowance encourages specialists who may be hard to find locally, calling for specific expertise to be eligible for the allowance.

Netherlands tax and background

  • The population is circa 16.3m.
  • The major language is Dutch; English and is not always spoken everywhere.
  • It is a prosperous and open economy, which depends heavily on foreign trade.
  • The economy has stable industrial relations, low unemployment and inflation, a sizeable current account surplus and a very vital role in European transport. Industrial activity is predominantly in food processing, chemicals, petroleum refining, electrical machinery and fishing. A highly mechanized agricultural sector employs no more than 3% of the labour force but provides large surpluses for export. It is one of Europe’s leading nations and attracts foreign investment.

Working practices

  • Standard hours by law are a maximum of 9 per day and 45 in a week.
  • There is a fairly rigid system of statutory rights and obligations.
  • There are as many as nine statutory bank holidays.

Work permits, Visas and Taxes

Citizens of full European (EFTA, EEA) Member Countries are able to live and work in The Netherlands without a visa or work permit. The Netherlands is a member of the 15 SCHENGEN treaty countries, making the movement of people easy and even encouraged.

Personal tax rates in the Netherlands (2020/21)

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