Permits for foreign self-employed professionals or freelancers

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Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

Do you want to hire a foreign self-employed professional (zzp'er) or freelancer to work for you in the Netherlands? Or are you a foreign self-employed professional or freelancer who wants to work in the Netherlands? You must check if you need a permit.

Self-employed professionals/ freelancers from the EU, EEA, or Switzerland

If self-employed professionals or freelancers have a valid passport from the EU, the European Economic Area (EEA), or Switzerland, they are free to come and work in the Netherlands. You do not need to apply for a work permit (tewerkstellingsvergunning, TWV) for them.

Notification for posted workers

Self-employed professionals who come to the Netherlands temporarily for work must make a notification via the Dutch online notification portal for posted workers. This duty to notify (Meldplicht WagwEU) applies to foreign companies and self-employed professionals in specific sectors. They have to report before starting the work. As the client you must inform the self-employed person of this duty and check that they have registered correctly.

Self-employed professionals/ freelancers from outside the EU, EEA, or Switzerland

Self-employed professionals or freelancers from outside an EU or EEA country, or Switzerland do not require a work permit if they are truly self-employed. They do, however, need a residence permit for a self-employed professional or a residence permit including the endorsement 'Work is freely permitted' (Arbeid is vrij toegestaan). Without this residence permit, they are not allowed to work in the Netherlands.

Please note: Do you want to contract a self-employed (zzp'er) Ukranian refugee? You need to apply for a work permit 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.

Check the work relationship

If you hire a self-employed person, or if you are a self-employed worker, you have to demonstrate that the work relationship is truly self-employment. 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). If there is a type of employment instead of true self-employment, the client is seen as an employer and the self-employed person as an employee. This may mean you do need a work permit or a combined residence and work permit, a single permit (gecombineerde vergunnig verblijf en arbeid, GVVA).

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