Should I register EMZ (ZZP) for small earnings? - B.V.
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Should I register EMZ (ZZP) for small earnings?


The question of registering a private enterprise (the so-called ZZP * or EMZ *) arises for many foreigners who come to live and work in the Netherlands. Therefore, we decided to immediately answer the main questions. If, after reading this text, you realize that you still have questions, please contact us. If everything becomes clear to you, but you decide to contact us for practical help, we will be happy to help!

What is a small income?

That's all up to 15-16 thousand a year.

Is it obligatory to register an individual entrepreneur if you work for yourself?

By law, no, you can not register.

Why then register anything at all?

This can be beneficial in terms of taxes and the conclusion of contracts with organizations (since they simply cannot pay without an invoice, and only registered entrepreneurs can issue such an invoice). Therefore, there is no definite answer here. It all depends on the specific situation.

So, you want to work for yourself or earn money in parallel to another job (official under the contract). In this case, we are talking about small amounts. Service options can be roughly the following: manicure, custom-made cakes, tutoring, repair or construction work, babysitting services, yoga, photography, excursions, event organization, cleaning, transportation of things, etc.

It is important to understand that although registration is not required, the payment of taxes is very obligatory and highly desirable, and not payment is fraught with very, very tangible fines.

How to show income if you work for yourself?

This is done differently depending on whether you are registered as an individual entrepreneur or not. Without registration, such income is shown in the column “income from other work,” and if registered, in the column “income from business.” In the second case, a person has the right to tax discounts and benefits. Costs are deducted from income in both cases.
TIP: “Relations with customers” (relatie met klanten) can be set as costs (meeting with a customer in a restaurant, for example).

What are the disadvantages of working without registering an individual entrepreneur?

Many organizations may not want to enter into a contract with you (see above). There is a solution here too, but companies still prefer to work with official individual entrepreneurs. The solution in this case is a freelance agreement (contract), but no one likes to enter into one, because in this case the employer must submit another additional “payments to individuals” form at the end of the year with all the employee’s data. It is non-standard; you need to download a special form. And the employee himself must submit it as income from other work. And at the tax office all this must coincide.**

What, besides registration, is necessary for the tax authorities to consider you as an entrepreneur, which means that you would have access to tax benefits of an entrepreneur?

In addition to the actual registration, the tax office has only two criteria:
1225 hours of work per year (this is about 23,5 per week). Which is generally quite doable, especially since it includes not only the time when you actually worked with clients, but also preparation, even opening a ZZP, reading tax laws, finding clients, creating a website, advertising, and so on.

NB: When deciding on registration, it is important to remember that this time is calculated from the moment of this very registration until the end of the reporting year (that is, until January 1 of the next year), which means it makes no sense to open at the end of the year. Although sometimes you have to.

More than half of your earnings come from this business. That is, if there is another job, it brings less money than tutoring, for example.

How is the working hours checked?

In fact, nothing. However, an entrepreneur must maintain an hour administration (uren administratie) in any form (in a notebook, on a computer) and provide it to the tax authorities.

What else should be taken into account when deciding to register an individual entrepreneur?

  • Whether this is your only income or not. Because if the income is the only one, then the tax man is an entrepreneur, and if he goes to work at the same time, then this is a part-time job (bijbaantje). Accordingly, a person who still goes to work will not have entrepreneurial discounts. Only the MKB * discount (medium-small enterprise) will work, which means that 14% of income is exempt from tax.
  • The presence of children attending kindergartens and schools. Since it is possible to reimburse part of the costs, but only if both parents are working.
  • The ratio of income to the amount, discount that can be reimbursed to a working partner.
  • The presence of subsidies and payments related to the lack of work, since upon registration of an individual entrepreneur, they will all be canceled, therefore a person is considered self-employed.
  • Expenses for an accountant (in principle, you can do without this, but sometimes it is more expensive for yourself)
  • Single parents have an additional tax credit
  • Having a mortgage, as this also provides additional tax benefits
  • Availability of a discount for beginners (starter aftrek), which can be used 3 times during the first 5 years. And this is another 1123 euros tax-free.

With a competent approach, less than a thousand of taxes are obtained from 20 thousand of income per year.

Based on the foregoing, in its most general form, the recommendation is as follows:

If your income is less than or equal to 7-8 thousand a year, it makes no sense to register. If it is more than 15-16 per year, it is necessary to register. Because after this income mark, zelfstaandig aftrek is given. But this does not apply to the situation of entrepreneurship, considered as a part-time job (that is, when you simultaneously have the main job under the contract). What does he give? 5030 euro tax-free income.

But in the interval between these figures, everything must be carefully calculated, taking into account all the available data. And in order not to break your head about all this, you can entrust the calculations to professionals and, on their advice, with numbers in hand (and, accordingly, ways to make your taxes optimal) make a decision.

For detailed instructions on how to register an individual entrepreneur, as well as details on tax discounts, read our next articles.


KvK – Kamer van Koophandel (Chamber of Commerce)
ZZP – zelfstandig zonder personeel (independent without staff)
EMZ – een man zaak (private enterprise, literally the business of one person)
MKB – middle kleine bedrijf (medium-small enterprise)

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