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If you are a freelancer or self-employed professional in the Netherlands and in need of financial support, your municipality can offer you various forms of social benefit options under the Decree on Assistance to the Self-Employed (Besluit bijstandverlening zelfstandigen, Bbz). The Bbz offers loans, credits or low income supplements. Also, your municipality can offer you coaching free of charge.
Corona crisis: extra support for self-employed professionals
There is an extra, temporary Bbz benefit to support self-employed professionals who have gotten into financial difficulties due to the corona crisis. This measure is called the Temporary bridging measure for self-employed professionals (Tozo) Read more about the terms and application process for the Tozo.
When are you eligible for Bbz?
Different groups of freelancers/self-employed persons are eligible:
- those starting a company, who receive: welfare (in Dutch), unemployment benefit or incapacity benefit;
- established entrepreneurs who are experiencing temporary financial problems;
- entrepreneurs who are 55 or older with a non-viable company;
- entrepreneurs who wish to end their company.
Changes in support
The government has made some changes in financial support for self-employed professionals and freelancers:
- The scheme for over-55-year-olds is being gradually scaled down from 1 January 2020;
- If you are a skipper on an inland waters and you need financial support, you will need to apply to the municipality where you live rather than the centralised administrative body of municipalities, which used to be the case;
- As of 2020, this financial support is no longer awarded retrospectively.
These changes do not affect entrepreneurs who currently use this support scheme.
When do you qualify?
Whether you are eligible for financial support as a freelancer/self-employed professional depends on your situation. As does the type of support you require. There are different requirements for each situation. For instance your personal capital determines whether your company capital is a grant or a loan (which you have to pay interest on). It is important to check which requirements apply to your situation. Your local municipality can help you with this.
How to apply?
Submit your application to your local municipal authority.
Under the Tax Plan 2019, freelancers/self-employed professionals who received financial support between 2014 and 2016 are eligible for compensation, because they were required to add the financial support as a grant to their income in their income tax returns. As a result other benefits were withdrawn. You could apply for this compensation until 1 July 2020 with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration (in Dutch).