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Page history last edited by termie 14 years, 1 month ago

Becoming a Dutch Freelance Programmer


Some info from an experienced person:

1. letters of contractual intent ie. explicit statements of people who want to work with you, preferably from companies that an isolated IND official in groningen know about

2. financial statement assembled by an accountant or financial advisor with projected earnings, cash flow etc. They won'thold you to it. It is more of a symbolic gesture.

3. business plan organized in a fashion that reads according to their criteria

4.KvK registration

5. Application for BTW/VAT number from belastingdienst

6. letter from the local governement expressing necessity

7. if ppossible a letter from your 'guild' - whatever body regulates your field...how arcane...


But it seeems that if you are pressed, then you should apply because you get a stamp in your passport for a 6 month period until the IND decides.


433 euros to even have the chance to have your papers touched by the delicate hands of the gatekeeper


KvK is another 100 or so. That you should do first. You need a trade name, a description of what you do, and that's all. Then you are registered with them, receive an unornamented certificate that you can send to the IND with the rest of your stuff.


You will also need a VAR from the belastingdienst, which demonstrates to potential employers that you have your own insurance.




  • "zzp" means "zelfstandige zoner personeel" or self-employed without staff
  • The is a difference between being considered self-employed or not as a freelancer, so make sure you appear to be self-employed by:
    • having your own clients
    • presenting yourself to the outside world as self-employed
  • You are obliged by law to keep records of your business. This includes:
    • invoices you issue
    • invoices you pay
    • expenses
    • income
    • private use of goods and services


Tax Stuff:

  • A tax site: http://www.belastingdienst.nl/english/business.html
  • Turnover Tax
    • Electronic services are taxed in the country they are consumed, I'm not sure how this changes things
  • Income tax
    • As self-employed you can declare income as business profits.
    • There are also allowances for self-employed persons' taxes if you meet these conditions:
      • between 18 and 65
      • there is no provision to prevent double taxation on your profits (like paying tax on a proportion of the profit in another country) -- i don't know what this means
      • you work a minimum of 1,225 hours in the year. Hours put into starting the business can be included, so keep a record.
    • Start-up business allowance conditions:
        • you can't have used the allowance more than twice in the last 5 years.
    • Allowances:
      • Some housing costs can be deducted when working from home.
      • Some investments between 2,000 and 279,000 euros can be deducted, depending on the type.
      • You can set aside tax payments for later, you are not required to pay them as long as you are still in business.
      • if you meet both the self-employed and the startup conditions you can somehow decide deifferently how to deduct things.
  • Value Added Tax (VAT)
    • A small business provision (Kleine ondernemersregeling) may allow you to pay less or no VAT.
    • 6% or 19% depending on the type of service
    • Monthly or quarterly depending on type of service



  • Numbered progressively and in a series
  • Name and address of the supplier or customer
    • and turnover id if trading with another EU country.
    • a description
    • prices without turnover tax
    • turnover tax amounts split into turnover tax rates


Trade Registers

  • The trading name
  • The place of establishment
  • The legal form
  • A brief description of the business
  • The names and addresses of the owners, managers, supervisory board members or partners
  • The capital invested in the business
  • The number of employees


Labour Laws:

  • If you end up in an employment contract that requires work in person, receives a salary and puts the client in an authority position over you, you get standard Dutch employment rights like protection from dismissal and minimum wage. Yawn.



  • Financial Plan
    • Owner's Capital is probably all you have, which means funds you already have.
  • Business Name
    • You probably want to pay the KvK to make sure the name isn't taken, common sense rules apply.
  • Marketing Plan
    • Place
      • I assume this is unimportant as a programmer
    • Product
      • Description of what you do
    • Price
      • An hourly rate
      • Rates charged by competitors (as an example of why yours makes sense)
      • A price vs quality comparison
    • Promotion
      • How people will find out about you
    • Personnel
      • You don't have these.
  • Notify the Inland Revenue
    • When you plan to start business. The relevant form 'Opgaaf Gegevens startende onderneming' (Statement of information for starting up a business) is available from the Inland Revenue.
    • Start-up businesses are regularly visited by an inspector from the Inland Revenue who checks whether the business administration meets the required standards. You can also make an appointment yourself for an 'introductory visit'.
  • You won't need any permits! Wee!
  • You can register your brand with the belenux-Bureau.
  • Register with the KvK (don't worry, they are nice)
  • Get healthcare insurance

Comments (1)

termie said

at 10:51 am on Oct 12, 2006

more from joshua: point 3 at top: there was a debate in the tweedekamer (not the coffeeshop) about the evaluation criteria - but with the dissolution of the gov, they have delayed the adoption of it - yet when I spoke to the people at the IND who looked at my application, it seems that they used the criteria in evaluating me. It is a highly detailed point based system that is NOT transposable internationally. For example, they give certain points based on your education level, but don't consider what school you went to, how you performed, or what you studied...and it goes on...

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