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Are you an older freelancer/self-employed professional working in the Netherlands? And do you need to terminate or sell your business? You may be eligible for a benefit under the Older and Partially Disabled (Formerly Self-Employed) Persons Income Support Act (Wet inkomensvoorziening oudere en gedeeltelijk arbeidsongeschikte gewezen zelfstandigen, IOAZ, in Dutch).
In exceptional cases, partially disabled freelancers/self-employed persons may also be eligible for an IOAZ benefit.
Who can apply?
In order to be eligible for an IOAZ benefit (in Dutch), you must at least satisfy the following conditions:
- You are between 55 years old and the state pension age.
- You do not have a liveable income.
- You meet the time criterion for the entrepreneur's allowance.
- You have worked in the Netherlands during the last 10 years and have been a freelancer/self-employed professional for at least 3 years.
- You earned less than an average of €26,455 annually in the last 3 years. If you continue your business your projected income should be less than €27,551 annually. This is a combined income from your own business and paid employment.
- You have applied for the benefit before closing down or selling your business.
You can also use the Dutch-language Bbz check to find out if you are eligible for IOAZ. This tool is an initiative of several collaborating government organisations.
When applying for the IOAZ benefit with your local municipality, keep in mind that:
- You need to close your business within 1.5 years of applying.
- You have a duty to apply for paid employment and accept suitable employment options.
- Your municipality may set additional requirements for receiving the IOAZ, such as unpaid work.
Please note: you will no longer receive the IOAZ benefit when you reach state pension age, migrate outside the Netherlands, or when you or your partner restart your business.
How to apply
You submit your application for the IOAZ benefit to the social affairs division of your local municipal authority. Make sure to submit your application before closing your business.