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For freelancers/self-employed professionals in the Netherlands it is not, unlike for employees, compulsory to have insurance for illness, invalidity or unemployment at the moment. Therefore, they must make arrangements for these kind of social insurances themselves if they want to receive any benefit if they become ill or unfit for work, for example. There are, however, benefits schemes for maternity leave and childcare available. National insurance schemes (social security), however, do also apply to freelancers/self-employed professionals.
Former employees or benefit recipients in the Netherlands who start their own business, can take out several insurances with the Dutch Employee Insurance Agency (UWV, in Dutch). To be able to do so, they need to register within 13 weeks after their compulsory employee insurance scheme through former work or benefit has been cancelled.
Every freelancer/self-employed professional can take out voluntary insurances against a number of business risks with an insurance company. In the future, it may become compulsory to take out insurance against occupational disability. You will find information about insurance schemes regarding disability, provision for old age and liability on the Insurances for self-employed website (Verzekeren voor Zelfstandigen) (in Dutch).
For people who have been working independently for more than 1 year, it is also possible to set up a ‘bread fund’ (Broodfonds, in Dutch) with a group of other self-employed professionals. This is a voluntary scheme where participants (20-50 people) all pay into a fund to be able to support each other in case of illness.
National insurance schemes
National insurance schemes are compulsory for everyone working or living in the Netherlands. Freelancers/self-employed professionals in the Netherlands pay national insurance contributions through their income tax.