Online platforms are places where suppliers and buyers are brought together. Examples are a taxi app, food delivery, or cleaning help. Large product platforms allow customers to compare suppliers and prices. Some platforms hire zzp'ers to do assignments. On some platforms, you sell your product or service directly, without any activity on the part of the platform organisation. This is called dropshipping.
Being a self-employed business owner comes with obligations. There are certain things you must take care of. First, make sure you are an entrepreneur for income tax purposes. As an entrepreneur, you may be able to deduct certain costs from your taxable income.
To work as a zzp'er, you must:
- register with the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce KVK. Even if you only do a job every now and then.
- file an income tax return once a year.
- file a VAT return on your turnover every 3 months. Unless you make use of the KOR.
Employment or zzp?
You and the platform you do business with have to check whether you are really working as a zzp'er, or as an employee. If you are in fact an emplyee, your employer (the organisation managing the online platform) has to pay wage taxes and social security premiums.
The organisation managing the online platform can ask you to sign an Overeenkomst van Opdracht, an Assignment Agreement. The agreement states how many orders you will get, or how much money you will earn. An Overeenkomst van Opdracht is not the same thing as an employment contract. It does not insure you against unemployment or sickness. You must take out insurances against the risks you run yourself.
In the Netherlands, business owners are not automatically insured. There are several insurances you have to take out: they are mandatory. You must take them out, because otherwise you would not have any income if you become ill or unable to work (WIA and ZW), or become unemployed (WW).
Other insurances are voluntary, which means you do not have to take them out. But they might prove useful.
Check whether the platform's business liability insurance covers you when you are doing an assignment for them. Pay attentions to the terms and conditions.
Making extra money via a platform
If you are a student and receive student financing, you are allowed to earn an unlimited amount of money on the side. This will not affect your student financing. You do have to register with KVK, even if you are under 18.
Dropshipping means you act as a go-between for suppliers and buyers (end consumers). You sell products in your own online shop or through an online platform. You do not have these products in stock. But you do put them online, and set the price. When a customer orders a product, you ship it to them. But you can also arrange for the supplier to ship it to the customer directly. That way, you do not have to plan or organise the shipments. But you are responsible for the products you sell, and liable in case of damages.