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  • David VanAssche

FAQs: Understanding Freelancing in The Netherlands



  1. What does freelancing entail in the Netherlands?

  • Freelancing involves operating as an independent "Eenmanszaak" or EZ, with tax benefits like Zelfstandigenaftrek and MKB Winstvrijstelling. Annually, freelancers must meet criteria like working 1224 hours, having multiple clients, and earning at least €20,000.

  1. Is liability insurance necessary for freelancers?

  • Depends on the field. For high-risk tasks like engineering, insurance is advisable. Knowledge workers may rely on contracts limiting liability instead.

  1. How are non-cash payments treated for freelance artists?

  • Payments "in kind" must be valued and included in taxable income, even though they aren’t cash transactions.

  1. Can I freelance alongside regular employment?

  • Yes, but ensure employer approval and understand tax implications, especially if your salary exceeds €73,031.

  1. Do freelancers need a business bank account?

  • Eenmanszaak freelancers can use personal accounts; BVs require business accounts. Advanced payment tools always necessitate a business account.

  1. Can freelancers use the 30% ruling?

  • Yes, when operating from a BV. It's not applicable for Eenmanszaak setups.

  1. How does pregnancy affect freelancing in the Netherlands?

  • Pregnant freelancers can access ZEZ benefits, offering compensation based on minimum hourly wages.

  1. Tax implications for freelancers serving international clients?

  • Tax residency in the Netherlands mandates paying taxes there, regardless of client location.

  1. Can an Eenmanszaak operate if I move abroad?

  • You can maintain an Eenmanszaak as long as you work and remain a tax resident in the Netherlands.

  1. Are freelancers required to charge VAT to clients?

  • Generally, 21% VAT should be charged, with VAT obligations depending on the nature of the business and clientele.

  1. What are freelancers' accounting obligations?

  • For BV freelancers, there are specific requirements. Eenmanszaak freelancers focus mainly on income tax and VAT.

  1. Bookkeeping software or accountant recommendations for freelancers?

  • Moneybird.com is popular among Dutch entrepreneurs. For accountants, our partners offer affordable services.

  1. Is mortgage interest deduction available to freelancers?

  • Yes, freelancers can benefit from this deduction, applicable for BV and Eenmanszaak workers.

  1. Expected changes for freelancers in the future?

  • Few changes for BV freelancers; Eenmanszaak workers might see a reduction in tax breaks and potential obligatory disability insurance.

  1. When can I start working for clients as a freelancer?

  • Post-registration, you can contract clients immediately, invoice after obtaining a VAT number, and payroll from a BV upon getting your BSN number.

  1. Are freelancers entitled to unemployment or illness benefits?

  • Freelancers in an Eenmanszaak don't receive these benefits, while those in a BV do, but they must fund these benefits themselves.

  1. Do freelancers automatically receive a pension?

  • No, pensions in the Netherlands are not automatic and must be arranged independently.

  1. Why might a freelancer choose to work from a BV?

  • Reasons include managing higher incomes more tax-efficiently, potential liability concerns, and utilizing the 30% ruling.

  1. How does having a single client affect freelancing status?

  • Working for one company’s clients doesn’t qualify as freelancing; tax authorities may view this as employment.

  1. How are results-based contracts handled in freelancing?

  • No-cure-no-pay contracts are typical for freelancers and contribute to the client minimum requirement, as long as income distribution rules are followed.

  1. Can clients dictate freelancers' rates?

  • While freelancers should set their rates, client negotiations are part of business dealings and don't change freelancing status.

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