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Work permit for self-employed professionals

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

Foreign self-employed professionals who want work in the Netherlands, and businesses contracting them, must comply with the Act on the Employment of Aliens. Read more.

Are you a foreign freelancer/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.

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This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
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