Work permit for self-employed professionals

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO | Immigration and Naturalisation Service, IND

Are you a foreign freelancers/self-employed professional (zzp'er) who wants to do assignments in the Netherlands? Or do you have a businesses in the Netherlands and you want to subcontract work to a foreign freelancer/self-employed professional? You must comply with the Act on the Employment of Aliens (Wet arbeid vreemdelingen, Wav). This Act contains various rules on foreign freelancer/self-employed professionals working in the Netherlands.

Freelancers/self-employed professionals from EU, EEA or Switzerland

If you come from within the EU or the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, you do not require a work permit (tewerkstellingsvergunning, TWV) to be allowed to work as a freelancer/self-employed professional in the Netherlands. You do, however, have to demonstrate that you are truly self-employed. Self-employed means for instance you are in control over certain aspects of the services you provide. This can be verified by the Netherlands Labour Authority (NLA). Self-employed professionals coming to the Netherlands temporarily for work should also be reported via the online portal for posted workers.

Freelancers/self-employed professionals from outside EU, EEA and Switzerland

Freelancers/self-employed professionals from outside an EU, EEA member country and Switzerland do not require a work permit if they are truly self-employed. They do, however, need a residence permit allowing residence for a self-employed professional or a residence permit including the endorsement 'Work is freely permitted' (Arbeid is vrij toegestaan).

Please note: Do you want to contract a self-employed (zzp'er) Ukranian refugee? You need to apply for a work permit (tewerkstellingsvergunning, TWV) in all situations. You apply for a TWV to the Employee Insurance Agency (Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen, UWV, in Dutch). Contact UWV for more information. Under strict conditions, they can work as entrepreneurs.

Residency rights of British citizens after Brexit

If you are a British citizen or you employ British citizens, find out how British residency rights have changed. For the latest information, check the Immigration and Naturalisation Service Brexit page and the Dutch government's questions and answers on Brexit.

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This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Immigration and Naturalisation Service, IND