Pay Contractors in Netherlands : Your Ultimate Guide

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Are you considering as to how you can hire and pay contractors in Netherlands? Or perhaps you already have some on your payroll but are unsure about the best procedures for payment and compliance with Dutch law? This guide will provide you with all the essential information you need to navigate these waters with confidence. Let’s get started.

Who is an Independent Contractor in the Netherlands?

The term ‘independent contractor’ refers to a self-employed individual who provides services to clients. Typically, they operate under a business name and invoice for work done, rather than receiving a salary. In the Netherlands, independent contractors are commonly known as ZZP’ers (Zelfstandige Zonder Personeel), which translates to ‘independents without employees’.

Their business structure is generally as a sole proprietorship (eenmanszaak), where the business and the individual are legally one and the same. This set-up has its pros and cons, which the contractor and the client needs to consider before engaging their services.

Hire and Pay Contractors in Netherlands with Asanify

Advantages of Being an Independent Contractor in the Netherlands

Being an independent contractor in the Netherlands offers a great deal of flexibility and autonomy. Contractors have the freedom to choose their clients and projects, allowing them to focus on work that aligns with their skills and interests. They can set their own rates and negotiate contracts based on their expertise and market demand.

Furthermore, independent contractors have the advantage of being their own boss. They are not bound by the rules and regulations of a traditional employment relationship, giving them the freedom to work on their own terms. This means they can set their own working hours, decide where they work from, and even have the option to work remotely.

Challenges of Being an Independent Contractor in the Netherlands

Being an independent contractor also comes with its challenges. Without the security of a fixed salary, contractors are responsible for managing their own finances. They must ensure they have a steady stream of clients and projects to maintain a stable income. Additionally, they are responsible for paying their own taxes, social security contributions, and other business-related expenses.

Another factor to consider is the potential lack of employee benefits. Independent contractors in the Netherlands are not entitled to the same benefits as employees, such as paid vacation, sick leave, or pension contributions. They must make their own arrangements for insurance, retirement savings, and other benefits.

Despite these challenges, many individuals choose to become independent contractors in the Netherlands. The reasons being the opportunities for growth and higher earning potential. With the right skills, experience, and networking, contractors can build a successful business and establish themselves as experts in their field.

Overall, being an independent contractor in the Netherlands offers a unique and flexible way of working. It allows individuals to pursue their passions, have control over their work-life balance, and potentially earn a higher income. However, it requires careful planning, financial management, and a strong entrepreneurial mindset to thrive in this role.

Also read: Pay International Contractor- Your Go-to Guide 

Before we delve into the specifics of paying contractors, it’s important to understand the legal requirements involved in this process.

VAR Declaration- To Pay Contractors in Netherlands

As a client, you need to ensure the contractor you’re hiring has a valid Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel) number and that they provide you with a VAR declaration or model agreement.

A VAR declaration is a document where the Dutch tax authorities state the nature of the income provider. This declaration is crucial as it helps determine whether the contractor is considered self-employed or an employee. It provides clarity on the tax obligations and social security contributions for both parties involved.

Model Agreement- To Pay Contractors in Netherlands

A model agreement can also be used to mitigate your risk as a client. This agreement clarifies that you, as the client, are not required to withhold and pay income taxes or social security contributions on behalf of the contractor. It ensures that the responsibility for fulfilling these obligations lies with the contractor themselves. This agreement should clearly outline the scope of work, payment terms, and any other relevant details. It helps establish a mutual understanding and protects both parties in case of any disputes or misunderstandings. Consulting with legal professionals or experts in employment law can provide valuable guidance and ensure compliance with all relevant laws and regulations.

Pay contractors in the Netherlands

Do’s and Don’ts of Designing an Independent Contractor Agreement for Contractors in Netherlands

When preparing an independent contractor agreement for contractors in the Netherlands, it’s important to adhere to local laws and regulations. Here are some do’s and don’ts to consider:


1. Clearly Define the Relationship:

Clearly state that the contractor is an independent contractor, not an employee. This helps avoid potential misclassification issues.

2. Specify Scope of Work:

Clearly outline the services the contractor will provide, including deliverables, deadlines, and any milestones.

3. Include Payment Terms:

Detail the payment structure, rates, and invoicing process. Also, specify any reimbursement for expenses if applicable.

4. Address Taxes:

Outline the contractor’s responsibility for taxes and social security contributions. The Netherlands has strict tax rules for self-employed individuals.

5. Set Terms and Termination:

Define the contract duration and conditions for termination by both parties. Ensure notice periods are clear.

6. Intellectual Property:

Specify who owns intellectual property created during the contract. In the Netherlands, this often defaults to the creator, but it’s wise to clarify.

7. Confidentiality:

Include a confidentiality clause to protect sensitive information.

8. Compliance with Dutch Laws:

Ensure the agreement complies with Dutch labor and contract laws, including any specific industry regulations.

9. Insurance:

Determine whether the contractor needs liability insurance and include any insurance requirements.


1. Don’t Misclassify:

Avoid misclassifying workers as independent contractors to circumvent labor laws. The Netherlands has strict rules on this.

2. Avoid Vague Language:

Be specific and avoid vague terms that could lead to disputes later.

3. Don’t Skip Payment Details:

Clearly outline payment terms and avoid ambiguity. This is crucial for tax purposes.

4. Don’t Overlook Termination Clauses:

Ensure you have clear termination clauses and avoid making them one-sided.

5. Don’t Neglect Dutch Tax Law:

Comply with Dutch tax regulations and ensure the contractor is aware of their tax obligations.

6. Don’t Skip Legal Review:

Consider having the agreement reviewed by a legal professional with expertise in Dutch labor and contract law.

7.  Avoid Ignoring Local Regulations:

Keep up-to-date with local labor and contract laws, as they can change over time.

8. Don’t Assume One Size Fits All:

Customize the agreement to the specific needs of the contract and the industry in which the contractor operates.

9. Don’t Overlook Dispute Resolution:

Include a section on how disputes will be resolved, whether through mediation, arbitration, or legal action if necessary.

Always remember that labor laws and regulations can change, so staying informed and seeking legal advice when drafting independent contractor agreements in the Netherlands is crucial to ensure compliance and protect the interests of both parties.

Minimum Wages for Contractors in Netherlands

The minimum wage for Dutch workers above 21 years of age is €1934.40 per month. Unlike other countries, Netherlands incorporates both employees and contractors in the minimum wage legislation. Therefore, everyone starting from employees to contractors are entitled to this minimum wage dictum.

How do Contractors in Netherlands File Taxes?

It is mandatory for independent contractors in Netherlands to register with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration or Belastingdienst. They need to report and pay both VAT and income tax annually.

  • Contractors need to file their tax returns before May 1 by using their respective tax IDs.
  • Once it is done, the Tax and Customs Administration will calculate the amount the contractors need to pay.
  • Independent contractors in Netherlands can also use this calculator to get an estimate of the amount they need to pay.
  • Further, contractors also need to make health insurance contributions to the state.

How Payroll Works When You Move Ahead to Pay Contractors in Netherlands

When it comes to paying contractors in the Netherlands, the process differs from paying regular employees. Unlike employees, independent contractors are not paid a salary. Instead, they invoice for their services, and it is important to understand the intricacies of this payment method.


Firstly, as the employer, you will need to receive the contractor’s invoice. This invoice serves as a formal request for payment and outlines the services provided, along with the corresponding charges. It is crucial to thoroughly review the invoice for accuracy, ensuring that all the necessary details are included.

One crucial detail to look out for is the contractor’s VAT (Value Added Tax) number. In the Netherlands, contractors are required to charge VAT on their services. Therefore, the invoice should clearly state the contractor’s VAT number, and the amount of VAT charged should be specified separately.


Once you have thoroughly reviewed the invoice and confirmed its accuracy, it is time to proceed with the payment. The agreed-upon amount should be paid within the time period mentioned on the invoice. Timely payment is essential to maintain a positive working relationship with the contractor and avoid any unnecessary delays or disputes.

Both the contractor and the employer should maintain a copy of the invoice for their records. This documentation is crucial for accounting and tax purposes. It helps ensure transparency and accuracy in financial reporting, allowing for proper tracking of expenses and income.

It is important to note that failure to fulfill these procedures accurately and promptly can lead to administrative headaches and penalties. In the Netherlands, there are strict regulations and compliance requirements when it comes to paying contractors, and non-compliance can result in legal consequences.

Therefore, it is highly recommended to maintain a systematic approach to contractor payments. This includes keeping track of all invoices, payments, and relevant correspondence. By doing so, you can streamline your payroll process, maintain good relationships with contractors, and ensure compliance with the Dutch regulations.

Also read- Foreign Independent Contractors: Guide to Best Practices 

Best ways to Pay Contractors in Netherlands

When it comes to paying contractors in the Netherlands, there are several options available that cater to different needs and preferences. While bank transfer remains a popular choice, there are also digital wallets and international money transfer services that offer convenience and efficiency.

Let’s delve deeper into these payment methods to understand their advantages and considerations.

Bank Transfer- A Traditional and Reliable Option

Bank transfer is a widely used method for paying contractors in the Netherlands. It offers a sense of familiarity and reliability, making it a preferred choice for many businesses. One of the key advantages of bank transfer is its low transaction fee, which can be particularly appealing for companies looking to minimize costs.

However, it’s worth noting that bank transfers may not always be the fastest option, especially if the contractor is located outside of the Netherlands. International transfers can take longer to process, and additional fees may be incurred along the way. This is an important consideration to keep in mind when deciding on the best payment method.

Digital Wallets- Convenience at Your Fingertips

In recent years, digital wallets have gained popularity as a convenient way to make payments. With a digital wallet, contractors can receive funds quickly and easily, eliminating the need for traditional bank transfers. This option is particularly useful if your contractor prefers a more tech-savvy approach.

Moreover, digital wallets often come with additional features such as transaction tracking and instant notifications, providing both parties with a seamless payment experience. However, it’s important to consider any associated transaction fees that may be incurred when using digital wallets, as these can vary depending on the platform.

International Money Transfer Services- Speed and Cost-effectiveness

If you’re working with contractors who are based outside of the Netherlands, international money transfer services may offer a more efficient and cost-effective solution. These services specialize in transferring funds across borders, ensuring that your contractors receive their payments in a timely manner.

International money transfer services often provide competitive exchange rates and lower transaction fees compared to traditional bank transfers. This can be particularly beneficial when dealing with contractors located in different countries, as it helps streamline the payment process and reduces unnecessary costs.

Contractor Payroll Management Software

The most reliable and fastest way to pay contractors in Netherlands can be made possible by the sole use of an ideal payroll management software. When things come to choosing the best payroll management software in the market, your choice ought to be Asanify. It is a great platform to hire top-notch talent from all over the world. Further, Asanify aids you in disbursing payment to contractors in the Netherlands in the safest way possible, while complying with the prevailing state laws. The Global Contractor Hiring platform of Asanify simplifies the task of cross-border payment by completing the entire arduous procedure in a thunderous pace with a single click.

In conclusion, the best way to pay your contractors in the Netherlands depends on various factors such as transaction speed, fees, ease of use, and the contractor’s preference. Bank transfers, digital wallets, and international money transfer services all have their advantages and considerations. By understanding these options, you can make an informed decision that suits both your business needs and the preferences of your contractors. Anyway, using the Global Contractor Management & Payroll Software of Asanify would help you get rid of those worry lines on your forehead. Choosing Asanify would aid you in saving time that can be invested in other pertinent tasks.

Also read- Pay Contractors in Germany: Your Ultimate Guide 

Hire international contractors with Asanify

Currency and Other Considerations to Pay Contractors in Netherlands

When it comes to paying contractors in the Netherlands, there are several important factors to consider apart from the local currency. While it is true that the official currency of the Netherlands is the Euro (€) and most contractors with Dutch bank accounts prefer to receive the payment in Euros, there are other aspects that require attention.

International Money Transfer Service- To Pay Contractors in Netherlands

One crucial consideration is the choice of international money transfer service. When using such services, it is essential to take into account the currency conversion rate and transaction fees. These factors can significantly impact the final amount received by the contractor. Therefore, it is advisable to research and compare different transfer services to ensure that you are getting the best rates and lowest fees.

Transparent Communication- To Pay Contractors in Netherlands

It is important to maintain clear and open communication with your contractor throughout the payment process. Transparency regarding the currency exchange rate and any associated fees can help build trust and foster a positive working relationship. Providing your contractor with a breakdown of the payment, including the amount in Euros and any applicable fees, can help avoid misunderstandings and ensure a smooth payment experience.

Timing of the Transfer

It is worth considering the timing of the payment transfer. Currency exchange rates can fluctuate, and it may be beneficial to monitor the rates to identify opportune moments for making the transfer. This proactive approach can potentially save you money and maximize the value of your payment.

Payment Method- To Pay Contractors in Netherlands

Another aspect to consider is the payment method itself. While international money transfers are quite popular, there may be alternative payment methods that could be more convenient or cost-effective for both parties. For instance, if you have an ongoing working relationship with the contractor, you could explore options such as setting up a direct deposit or using a payment platform that offers low-cost or even free transfers.

Lastly, it is important to be aware of any legal and tax obligations related to paying contractors in the Netherlands. Familiarize yourself with the local regulations to ensure compliance and avoid any potential penalties or legal issues.

While the choice of currency is a significant consideration when paying contractors in the Netherlands, it is crucial to take into account other factors such as the choice of money transfer service, clear communication, timing of the transfer, alternative payment methods, and legal obligations. By considering these additional aspects, you can ensure a smooth and mutually beneficial payment experience with your contractor.

Also read- Pay Contractors in France: Your Ultimate Guide 

Pay contractors in the Netherlands with Asanify

Important Tasks to be Done to Hire and Pay Contractors in Netherlands

When it comes to hiring contractors in the Netherlands, there are several law-backed requirements that you, as the client, need to be aware of. These requirements are in place to ensure compliance and to mitigate any potential risks associated with misclassification.

Drawing Up A Contract

One of the key responsibilities that falls on your shoulders as the client is to ensure that valid contracts are in place. These contracts should clearly stipulate the nature of the relationship between you and the contractor. By doing so, you can minimize the chances of misclassification and the legal consequences that may follow.

Proof of Registration

In addition to the contract, you ought to check and keep a copy of the contractor’s proof of registration with the Chamber of Commerce. This registration serves as an official recognition of the contractor’s business and ensures that they are operating legally.

VAT Number

Another important piece of information that you should obtain from the contractor is their VAT number. This number is essential for tax purposes and allows you to verify the contractor’s compliance with tax regulations.

Model Agreement or VAR Declaration

To further protect yourself and ensure compliance, it is advisable to request the contractor to provide you with a model agreement or a VAR declaration. These documents outline the terms and conditions of the working relationship and provide clarity on the contractor’s status.

By diligently following these legal requirements, you can safeguard yourself and your business from potential legal complications. It is always better to be proactive and ensure compliance rather than dealing with the consequences of non-compliance later on. It is worth noting that these legal requirements may vary depending on the specific circumstances and the nature of the contractor-client relationship. Therefore, it is advisable to consult with legal professionals or experts in the field to ensure that you are fully compliant with the applicable laws and regulations.

Tax and other Payroll costs for Contractors in Netherlands

In the Netherlands, hiring an independent contractor comes with its own set of tax and payroll considerations. Unlike employees, where the responsibility for payroll taxes lies with the employer, clients are not directly responsible for the payroll taxes of independent contractors. Instead, the independent contractor, known as a ZZP’er, is responsible for declaring and paying their own income tax.

This unique arrangement brings about a level of flexibility and autonomy for both the client and the contractor. The contractor has control over their own tax obligations, allowing them to manage their finances independently. The client also gets relief from the administrative burden of calculating and deducting payroll taxes.

About VAT

While income tax is the responsibility of the contractor, there is another tax that you need to consider- Value Added Tax (VAT). VAT is a consumption tax that is typically included in the contractor’s invoice and passed along to the client. In the Netherlands, the standard VAT rate is 21%. However, there are certain goods and services that may qualify for a reduced rate of 9% or even an exception.

Understanding the VAT implications is crucial for clients when hiring contractors in the Netherlands. It is important to carefully review the contractor’s invoice to ensure the application of the correct VAT rate. Further, it is essential to take into account the exceptions or reduced rates. Failure to do so could result in unnecessary financial implications for the client.

Moreover, clients should also be aware of the specific goods and services that qualify for a reduced VAT rate or exception. This knowledge can help them make informed decisions when selecting contractors and budgeting for their projects.

Contractors, whose annual earnings is less than €20,000, don’t need to charge VAT. Moreover, the VAT rules are different when contractors are offering their goods or services to clients outside of the Netherlands.

Goods and services that are VAT-exempt, include:

  • Healthcare;
  • Financial;
  • Insurance;
  • Educational;
  • Care/Home care;
  • Sports organizations

While clients are not directly responsible for the payroll taxes of independent contractors in the Netherlands, they should carefully consider the implications of VAT. Being aware of the VAT rates, exceptions, and updates can help clients navigate the complexities of hiring contractors and ensure a smooth financial process.

Also read- Pay Contractors in UK: Your Ultimate Guide 

International contractor hiring with Asanify

Difference between Employee vs Contractor in Netherlands

The main difference between an employee and a contractor (ZZP’er) in the Netherlands lies in the relationship with the employer or client, rights, obligations, and tax responsibilities. An employee has an employment contract, is subject to the employer’s control, has various rights such as paid leave, minimum wage, and the employer is responsible for withholding and paying payroll taxes.

Rights and Benefits

Employees in the Netherlands enjoy a comprehensive set of rights and benefits. These work towards protecting their interests and ensure fair treatment in the workplace. These rights include paid vacation days, sick leave, and maternity/paternity leave. Additionally, employees receive at least the minimum wage set by the government. This aids in ensuring that they are fairly compensated for their work. Contrarily, a contract worker doesn’t enjoy any of these rights and privileges.

Autonomy and Workflow

Employees have the advantage of being under the control and supervision of their employer. This provides them with a sense of security and stability. They have a designated work schedule, and their employer is responsible for managing their workload and providing them with the necessary resources and tools to perform their job effectively. This close relationship between the employer and employee fosters a sense of belonging and loyalty.

On the other hand, a contractor operates under a business contract. They maintain control over the procedure of work completion, and is responsible for paying their own taxes. Contractors, also known as self-employed individuals or ZZP’ers (zelfstandige zonder personeel), have the freedom to choose their clients and projects. As a result, it allows them to have more control over their work-life balance. They have the flexibility to set their own working hours and determine their own rates, which can be financially advantageous.  They are also responsible for handling their own tax obligations, including calculating and paying income tax, VAT, and social security contributions. This requires a high level of financial and administrative responsibility.

While hiring contractors can provide flexibility and financial advantages, one needs to take into account various factors such as the status of the worker, as misclassification can lead to penalties.

In conclusion, the distinction between an employee and a contractor in the Netherlands is significant and has implications for both the worker and the employer. Employees enjoy a range of rights and benefits, while contractors have more freedom and flexibility in their work. However, it is crucial for employers to accurately classify workers to avoid potential penalties and ensure compliance with Dutch labor laws.

Also read: How to Terminate an International Contractor?

Risk of misclassification of a Contractor in Netherlands

Misclassifying an employee as a contractor can present significant risks for businesses, including fines, back taxes, and potential lawsuits. If a worker is incorrectly classified as an independent contractor, you could be seen as evading payroll tax and employee benefits. The Dutch government has strict regulations in place to prevent the misclassification of employees as contractors, as this can be seen as an attempt to avoid providing the necessary rights and benefits that employees are entitled to. Employers must ensure that the nature of the working relationship aligns with the legal definition of a contractor, taking into account factors such as control, independence, and the presence of a genuine business operation.

It’s important to establish the nature of the relationship from the start, and when in doubt, seek expert legal advice to protect your business from these risks. The Dutch authorities take this matter very seriously and conduct regular checks on businesses to ensure compliance with labor laws.

Pay contractors in Netherlands

Pay Contractors in Other European Nations

Looking to pay contractors based out of other countries in Europe? Well, it’s time to steer away that stress. Click on the nation where your contractor is based out of, and you will know the nitty-gritty of disbursing payment to them seamlessly.

FAQs- Pay Contractors in Netherlands

In the final section of this guide, we cover frequently asked questions about paying contractors in the Netherlands. Here, you’ll find quick and concise answers on topics from invoicing and VAT to legal obligations and contract considerations. It applies both to businesses considering hiring contractors in the Netherlands and to contractors wanting to understand their rights and obligations better.

How can I work as a contractor in the Netherlands?

In case of working in the Netherlands for a period not exceeding 90 days, the hiring entity needs to apply for an employment permit, on your behalf. If the contract period exceeds 90 days, your client ought to apply for an integrated residence and work permit for you.

Do freelancers pay taxes in the Netherlands?

All the freelancers in the Netherlands need to make sure that they are charging their clients VAT. The VAT return is a must for them, and they need to submit the procured VAT to the Belastingdienst or the authority that receives the taxes.

Can I move to Netherlands as a freelancer?

You need to have a long-stay visa or MVV to work as a self-employed professional in the Netherlands. The validity of this visa will expire after 90 days.

How do clients pay contractors?

Wire transfers, checks, online payment platforms, and payroll management software are easy and convenient options to pay contractors.

As you can see, paying contractors in the Netherlands involves considerable knowledge of legal, regulatory, and procedural aspects. We hope this guide has provided the information you need to make this process seamless and compliant with Dutch laws and regulations. Good luck!

Not to be considered as tax, legal, financial or HR advice. Regulations change over time so please consult a lawyer, accountant  or Labour Law  expert for specific guidance.