Outsourcing work through contracting

Published by:
Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK
Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK

You hire a company to perform certain work or activities for you. This company does this work with its own employees. And is responsible for the result. This form of cooperation is called contracting. Read more about the meaning of contracting.

What does contracting mean?

With contracting, you hire another company (the contractor) to do work (the assignment) for you. The contractor has its own employees to do the work. And manages these employees. The contractor is also responsible for the result of the assignment.

Outsourcing work through contracting is possible for all kinds of activities. For example, for the cleaning of your business premises or the security of your company. Contracting is also common in IT.

Types of contracting

You can use contracting in 2 ways:

  • The contractor makes a physical product for you. For example, a new office building.
  • The contractor performs a service for you. For example, the administration of your company. Or an IT project.

How does contracting work?

A cooperation is called contracting if it meets the following requirements:

  • Another company does an assignment for your company.
  • You do not determine how the company does the work.
  • You do not participate in the assignment yourself. You focus on other tasks.
  • The contractor is a specialist in the work for the assignment.
  • You do not pay the contractor per hour, but for the result.
  • The contractor arranges employees who are suitable for the work.
  • The contractor is responsible for the necessary tools and materials.
  • You can hold the contractor liable if they have not carried out the assignment properly.

In the case of contracting, the terms of employment of the contractor apply.

The difference with hiring employees

Contracting is not the same as hiring an employee to do work for you. You will then have to deal with different rules. The Dutch Workers Allocation by Intermediaries Act (Waadi) contains the rules for hiring employees. And the rules for providing personnel.

There are different forms of hiring staff:


With payrolling, the payroll company employs the employee. You look for the employee yourself, determine the salary, and manage the employee.


You hire an temporary employment agency (uitzendbureau) because you need temporary help. The temping agency decides who will work for you. You manage the employee.


With secondment (detachering), the employee temporarily works for your company. The employee remains employed by the company that lends them out. The secondment agency looks for an employee for you to carry out the assignment. You manage the employee.

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK