Payment Terms for Contractors in Netherlands: Key Points

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In the realm of contractor agreements, the inclusion of well-defined payment terms is of paramount importance. These terms outline the agreed-upon conditions for payment and provide clarity for both parties involved. Contractors in the Netherlands must pay close attention to these contractual provisions to ensure the safeguarding of their interests and that they receive prompt and fair compensation for their work. In this blog, we will discuss all that you need to know about payment terms for contractors in Netherlands. So, let’s get going!

Table of Contents

Why include payment terms in contracts?

Contractual payment terms serve as a fundamental aspect of any agreement between contractors and clients. They establish the framework for financial transactions and help to prevent misunderstandings or disputes regarding payment. By clearly defining the terms, both parties can proceed with confidence, knowing that their obligations and entitlements are well-defined.

One crucial benefit of incorporating payment terms in contracts is their ability to provide legal protection. If either party fails to meet the agreed-upon obligations, these terms serve as a reference point for resolving conflicts. Therefore, it is imperative for contractors in the Netherlands to ensure that their payment terms are comprehensive and in line with local laws and regulations.

Moreover, detailed payment terms can also contribute to building a positive client-contractor relationship. When both parties have a clear understanding of how and when payments will be made, it fosters trust and transparency. Clients appreciate clarity in financial matters, and contractors benefit from a smoother payment process, leading to improved client satisfaction and potential for repeat business.

Additionally, well-crafted payment terms can aid in cash flow management for contractors. By specifying payment schedules, late fees, and other financial details, contractors can better predict their income and plan their expenses accordingly. This financial predictability is essential for the sustainability and growth of a contracting business, allowing for better financial decision-making and stability in the long run.

Suggested Read: Pay Contractors in Netherlands- Your Ultimate Guide 

Payment terms for contractors in Netherlands

Who sets the contractor payment terms in Netherlands?

In the Netherlands, negotiation of the contractor payment terms happens between the contractor and the client. Although it is common practice for the contractor to propose the initial terms, both parties have the opportunity to discuss and refine them until a mutually acceptable agreement is reached.

It is worth noting that certain industries or organizations may have standard payment terms in place, which contractors are expected to adhere to. However, these terms can still be subject to negotiation and modifications depending on the specific circumstances of the project.

Furthermore, Dutch law provides some guidelines regarding payment terms to ensure fair and timely compensation for contractors. The law stipulates that payment terms should be reasonable and in accordance with the agreed-upon terms in the contract. This helps protect contractors from potential payment delays or disputes that may arise during the project.

Additionally, in the Netherlands, there are industry-specific regulations that govern payment terms for contractors. For example, in the construction industry, there are standard practices and guidelines set forth by industry associations to promote transparency and consistency in payment processes. These regulations aim to create a level playing field for contractors and clients, fostering trust and cooperation throughout the project.

Suggested Read: Hire Independent Contractors in Netherlands- A Complete Guide 

What are the main contractor’s payment terms in Netherlands?

The main contractor’s payment terms in the Netherlands typically encompass aspects such as the invoicing schedule, payment due dates, and any applicable late payment penalties or interest charges. These terms usually specify the frequency at which invoices should be submitted and the maximum allowable timeframe for payment.

Commonly, contractors will request a portion of the total project cost upfront as a deposit or advance payment. This upfront payment helps to mitigate any potential cash flow issues and provides assurance to the contractor that the client is financially committed to the project.

In addition to the invoicing and payment due dates, payment terms may also address issues such as retainage (a percentage held back by the client until the project is complete) and the process for resolving payment disputes.

Furthermore, in the Netherlands, it is common for payment terms to include provisions for milestone payments. These are payments made upon the completion of specific project milestones or deliverables. Milestone payments help ensure that the project progresses smoothly and that the contractor receives fair compensation for completed work.

Contractors in the Netherlands may also outline any discounts available for early payments in their payment terms. Offering discounts for prompt payment can incentivize clients to settle invoices quickly, improving the contractor’s cash flow and overall financial stability.

Let’s have a look at the crucial elements pertaining to contractor’s payment terms in Netherlands.

1. How the Contractor Charges for Their Work?

In the Netherlands, contractors typically charge for their work based on several factors:

Hourly Rate: Some contractors charge an hourly rate for their services. This rate can vary depending on the type of work being performed, the contractor’s experience and expertise, and the local market rates.

Fixed Price: For larger projects, contractors may provide a fixed price quote based on the scope of work. This quote outlines the total cost of the project, including materials and labor, and is agreed upon before work begins.

Materials and Labor Separately: In some cases, contractors may separate the cost of materials and labor. They may provide a quote for labor based on an hourly rate or fixed price, and then add the cost of materials separately.

Project-Based Pricing: For complex projects, contractors may offer project-based pricing where the total cost is determined by the specific requirements of the project. This can include factors such as the size of the project, the timeline for completion, and any unique challenges or requirements.

Regardless of the pricing structure, it’s essential to get a written contract outlining all terms and costs before starting any work. This helps ensure transparency and protects both the contractor and the client. Additionally, make sure to clarify payment terms, such as when payments are due and what payment methods are acceptable, to avoid any misunderstandings.

2. Currency

In the Netherlands, contractors typically prefer to receive payment in euros (EUR), as it’s the official currency of the country. Euros are widely accepted and used for all transactions within the Netherlands, including payments for goods and services, wages, and contracts.

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When hiring a contractor in the Netherlands, it’s standard practice to pay them in euros unless otherwise agreed upon in advance. Some contractors may accept other forms of payment, such as bank transfers or credit card payments, but it’s essential to confirm payment methods with the contractor before starting any work to ensure a smooth transaction process.

3. Payment Methods or Types Preferred by Contractors in Netherlands

Contractors in the Netherlands typically prefer to receive payments through electronic bank transfers (overschrijving or bankoverschrijving in Dutch). This method is convenient, secure, and widely used for business transactions in the country. It allows for direct transfer of funds from the client’s bank account to the contractor’s bank account.

Additionally, contractors may also accept other forms of electronic payment, such as:

iDEAL: It is a popular online payment method in the Netherlands. It allows customers to make secure online payments directly from their bank accounts. Many contractors offer this option for convenient and efficient payments.

Credit/Debit Cards: Some contractors may accept credit or debit card payments, although this is less common for larger transactions due to processing fees associated with card payments.

Payment Platforms: Contractors may also use payment platforms like PayPal or Stripe to accept payments. These platforms offer additional security features and clients who prefer online payment methods may go for these.

Before initiating payment, it’s essential to discuss and agree upon the preferred payment method with the contractor to ensure a smooth and hassle-free transaction process.

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How do contractors in Netherlands protect their cash flow?

As contractors navigate their way through projects in the Netherlands, maintaining a steady cash flow is crucial for their financial stability. To safeguard their cash flow, contractors employ various strategies.

One tactic commonly utilized is requesting upfront payments or deposits from clients. This practice ensures that contractors have a portion of the project cost in hand to cover initial expenses and mitigate the risk of non-payment or delayed payments.

Additionally, setting clear and concise payment terms can play a significant role in protecting cash flow. By stipulating specific due dates and penalties for late payments, contractors can incentivize clients to fulfill their payment obligations promptly. Implementing a structured invoicing schedule and promptly following up on any outstanding invoices also helps to maintain a healthy cash flow.

Contractors may also consider implementing progressive payment schedules or requesting milestone payments. This approach allows contractors to receive partial payments at various stages of the project, helping to cover ongoing expenses and reduce the reliance on a single lump-sum payment at the project’s completion.

Another strategy employed by contractors is to diversify their client base to reduce dependency on a single source of income. By expanding their network and taking on projects from a variety of industries or clients, contractors can spread the risk of payment delays or defaults. This diversification not only helps to stabilize cash flow but also opens up opportunities for growth and expansion into new market segments.

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Contractor payment schedule in Netherlands: Benefits and Risks

Establishing a well-structured payment schedule is a critical aspect of contractor agreements in the Netherlands. This schedule outlines the timing and amounts of payments that will be made as the project progresses.

A key benefit of a contractor payment schedule is that it provides a predictable cash flow for the contractor throughout the duration of the project. By receiving payments at predetermined stages or milestones, the contractor can cover ongoing expenses and allocate resources more efficiently.

Furthermore, a well-defined payment schedule can enhance transparency and trust between the parties involved in the construction project. Clear communication regarding payment expectations can help prevent misunderstandings and disputes, fostering a positive working relationship between the contractor and the client.

Various types of contractor payment schedules along with their respective benefits and risks are as follows:

1. Prepayment

Prepayment in the context of contractor payment schedules refers to making a payment to the contractor before any work has begun or before reaching certain milestones in the project. Completion of this payment is essential to secure the contractor’s services or to cover initial expenses such as materials or setup costs. Let’s break down the risks and benefits associated with prepayment:


  • Establishes Trust: Offering prepayment demonstrates trust in the contractor’s abilities and can help build a positive working relationship from the outset.
  • Smooth Project Start: By providing funds upfront, the contractor can procure necessary materials and resources promptly, leading to a quicker project start.
  • Flexibility for Contractor: Prepayment can provide contractors with the financial flexibility to cover initial expenses without having to wait for payment until the completion of the project.


  • Financial Risk: Clients may face financial risk if the contractor fails to deliver and not many avenues are left for recourse to recover the prepayment.
  • Disputes and Delays: Prepayment can lead to disputes if there are disagreements over the quality of work or project timelines. Clients may find it challenging to negotiate refunds or seek compensation for unsatisfactory work.
  • Non-Performance Risk: There’s a risk that the contractor may fail to deliver the agreed-upon services or complete the project as promised, especially if they receive payment upfront.

2. Payment Upon Delivery

Payment upon delivery is a payment schedule where the client makes payment to the contractor only after the completion and delivery of the agreed-upon goods or services. In this arrangement, the contractor typically completes the work or delivers the product before receiving any compensation.


  • Incentive for Timely Delivery: Contractors get the motivation to complete the work or deliver the product on time to receive payment promptly.
  • Greater Control: Clients maintain control over their finances and can withhold payment if there are any issues or discrepancies with the delivered work or product.
  • Reduced Financial Risk: Clients are protected from the risk of non-performance since payment is only made after the contractor has fulfilled their obligations.


  • Potential Disputes: Disputes may arise in case of dissatisfaction of the client with the delivered work or product and if they refuse to make payment, leading to delays in receiving compensation.
  • Cash Flow Challenges for Contractors: Contractors may face cash flow challenges since they must cover expenses such as materials and labor before receiving payment.
  • Impact on Client-Contractor Relationship: If there are disagreements over the quality of work or product, payment upon delivery can strain the relationship between the client and contractor.

3. Line of Credit

A line of credit is a form of financing that allows contractors to access funds up to a predetermined credit limit, typically provided by a financial institution such as a bank. Contractors can draw funds from the line of credit as needed to cover expenses related to their projects.


  • Opportunity for Growth: Access to a line of credit can enable contractors to pursue new business opportunities, take on larger projects, or invest in equipment and resources to expand their operations.
  • Flexibility: A line of credit provides contractors with flexibility in managing their cash flow by allowing them to access funds as needed, up to the approved credit limit. This can be particularly useful for covering expenses such as materials, labor, and overhead costs during project execution.
  • Interest Only on Amounts Used: Contractors are only charged interest on the amount of funds they use from the line of credit, rather than the entire credit limit. This can help minimize interest expenses, especially if the line of credit is used strategically and only when necessary.


  • Overextension: Contractors may risk overextending themselves financially if they rely too heavily on their line of credit without considering their ability to repay the borrowed funds. This can lead to financial instability and difficulties in meeting debt obligations.
  • Accumulating Debt: Contractors may be tempted to rely too heavily on their line of credit, leading to the accumulation of debt if funds are not managed responsibly. This can result in increased interest expenses and financial strain on the business.
  • Credit Risk: Contractors must maintain a good credit history and meet the financial institution’s requirements to qualify for a line of credit. Failure to meet repayment obligations can damage the contractor’s credit score and impact future borrowing capabilities.

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4. Net 10, 30 and 60

“Net 10,” “Net 30,” and “Net 60” are payment terms used in contractor agreements to specify the number of days (that is, within 10, 30 and 60 days of invoice issue date) within which the client must make payment after receiving an invoice.


  • Client Relationships: Net 10, 30 and 60 helps establish clear expectations regarding payment timelines, fostering positive client-contractor relationships.
  • Standardization: It provides a standardized framework for payment terms, reducing the likelihood of disputes or misunderstandings.
  • Cash Flow Management: It provides contractors with predictability regarding when they will receive payment, aiding in cash flow management and financial planning.


  • Cash Flow Constraints: Shorter payment terms (e.g., Net 10) may place strain on clients to make payments quickly, potentially leading to cash flow constraints or strained relationships.
  • Non-Payment: Regardless of the payment term, there’s always a risk of non-payment or late payment, which can have significant financial implications for contractors.
  • Client Satisfaction: If payment terms appear to the client as too stringent or lenient, it may affect client satisfaction and future business opportunities.

5. The 2/10 Net 30 Principle

The “2/10 net 30” principle is a payment term commonly used in contractor agreements. It means that the client can take a 2% discount on the invoice total if payment is made within 10 days. Otherwise, the full invoice amount is due within 30 days.


  • Incentivizes Early Payment: Offering a discount incentivizes clients to make payments promptly, helping contractors to maintain healthy cash flow and reduce the risk of late payments.
  • Positive Client Relationships: Providing a discount option demonstrates flexibility and goodwill, fostering positive relationships with clients and potentially leading to repeat business or referrals.
  • Standardized Payment Term: The 2/10 net 30 principle provides a standardized framework for payment terms, reducing confusion and the likelihood of payment disputes.


  • Administrative Burden: Managing discounts and tracking early payments requires additional administrative effort, which can be time-consuming and may require implementing systems to ensure accuracy.
  • Reduced Profit Margins: Offering a discount for early payment means sacrificing a portion of the invoice total, which can impact the contractor’s profit margins if many clients take advantage of the discount.
  • Cash Flow Impact: If a significant number of clients opt for the discount, it can have a substantial impact on the contractor’s cash flow, especially if the discount exceeds the benefit gained from early payments.

6. End of the Month

“End of the month” as a payment schedule for contractors typically means that payment is expected by the last day of the calendar month following the completion of work or the issuance of an invoice.


  • Predictability: Setting a specific payment deadline at the end of the month provides contractors with predictability regarding when they can expect to receive payment. This can help with cash flow management and financial planning.
  • Time for Client Processing: Allowing until the end of the month for payment gives clients ample time to process invoices, obtain necessary approvals, and allocate funds, especially in larger organizations with complex payment procedures.
  • Consistency: Using “end of the month” payment terms across multiple clients or projects can streamline billing processes for contractors and promote consistency in payment expectations.


  • Limited Control: Contractors have less control over when they receive payments with “end of the month” payment terms, as it depends on the client’s payment processing timeline and internal procedures.
  • Delayed Payments: Depending on the timeline of the completion of the work or the issuing of invoice within a given month, contractors may experience delays in receiving payment, especially if clients have longer processing times or payment cycles.
  • Cash Flow Challenges: In case of consistent delays of payments until the end of the month, contractors may face cash flow challenges, particularly if they have ongoing expenses or financial obligations to meet earlier in the month.

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Sub-contractor Payment Schedule in Netherlands

In the Netherlands, subcontractor payment schedules can vary based on the specific terms negotiated between the subcontractor and the contractor or client. However, some common payment schedules and practices for subcontractors in the Netherlands include:

1. Progress Payments: Subcontractors may receive payments based on the progress of the work they’ve completed. This can involve receiving partial payments at specific milestones or stages of the project outlined in the subcontract agreement.

2. Invoice-Based Payments: Subcontractors typically submit invoices to the contractor for the work completed or services rendered. The contractor then makes the payments on the basis of the terms specified in the subcontract agreement, which may include specific payment deadlines or intervals.

3. Retainage: In some cases, a percentage of the subcontractor’s payment may be withheld by the contractor as retainage until the project is completed or specific conditions are met. Subcontractors receive this retainage upon satisfactory completion of the work.

4. Standard Payment Terms: Payment terms for subcontractors in the Netherlands often align with industry standards and common practices, such as net 30 or net 60, where payment is expected within 30 or 60 days of invoice issuance, respectively.

5. Advance Payments: Contractors may provide advance payments to subcontractors to cover initial expenses or mobilization costs associated with starting the project. These advance payments are typically deducted from future invoices.

6. Escrow Arrangements: In larger projects or when dealing with new subcontractors, escrow arrangements may be used to provide payment security for both parties. A neutral third-party account deposits the funds and the subcontractor receives these in their account upon meeting agreed-upon conditions.

Negotiating & Agreeing to the Payment Terms of Contractors in Netherlands

Clients negotiating and agreeing to payment terms with contractors in the Netherlands involves open communication and mutual understanding. Clients should clearly communicate their project requirements, budget constraints, and expectations regarding payment timelines to the contractor. Both parties should engage in transparent negotiations to reach agreement on payment terms that are fair and acceptable. This may involve discussing various options such as milestone-based payments or fixed-price contracts.

Once terms are agreed upon, they should be documented in a written contract that outlines payment amounts, deadlines, and invoicing procedures. Legal review may be necessary to ensure compliance with Dutch contract law. Throughout the project, clients should monitor compliance with the agreed-upon payment terms and address any issues or disputes promptly to maintain a positive client-contractor relationship.

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payment terms for contractors in Netherlands

How to Form a Contract in Compliance With the Laws of Netherlands?

Forming a contract in compliance with the laws of the Netherlands involves several key steps. Firstly, the parties involved must agree on the essential terms of the contract, including the subject matter, obligations, and consideration. The agreement should be clear, specific, and free from ambiguity. Secondly, documentation of the contract in writing is essential to provide evidence of the agreement.

While not always required, a written contract can help prevent misunderstandings and disputes. Thirdly, both parties must have the legal capacity to enter into the contract, and both need to give their consent without coercion or fraud. Additionally, the contract must comply with Dutch contract law, which includes principles such as good faith, reasonableness, and fairness. Finally, it’s advisable to seek legal advice to ensure the contract complies with all relevant laws and regulations in the Netherlands.

Contractor Invoicing in Netherlands

Contractor invoicing in the Netherlands follows specific guidelines to ensure compliance with local regulations. Invoices must include essential details such as the contractor’s and client’s names and addresses, invoice number, date of issue, description of goods or services provided, quantity, unit price, total amount, and VAT (Value Added Tax) if applicable. VAT is typically charged on invoices at rates of 21%, 9%, or 0%, depending on the nature of the goods or services.

Issuing of invoices in Dutch is advisable, although inclusion of translations may be necessary for clarity. Payment terms, such as the due date and any discounts for early payment, can be specified on the invoice. It’s important for contractors to retain copies of invoices for tax and auditing purposes and to be aware of statutory interest and debt collection costs in case of late payment by clients. Electronic invoicing is becoming increasingly common, and contractors can issue electronic invoices in compliance with standards set by the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration.

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Payment Terms for Contractors in Netherlands

Quick Wrap Up

Understanding and implementing appropriate payment terms is crucial for contractors operating in the Netherlands. By adhering to local regulations and best practices, contractors can ensure smooth invoicing processes, timely payments, and compliance with tax obligations. However, managing contractor payroll and payments can be complex, especially for small and medium-sized businesses. This is where platforms like Asanify come into play.

Asanify offers streamlined solutions for managing contractor payroll, simplifying invoicing, and ensuring compliance with Dutch laws and regulations. With features such as automated invoicing, payment scheduling, and tax calculation, Asanify empowers business owners to focus on growing their businesses while leaving the administrative burden of contractor management to the platform. By leveraging technology to streamline contractor payroll, Asanify enables business owners in the Netherlands to optimize their operations, enhance efficiency, and drive growth in the competitive marketplace.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)- Payment Terms for Contractors in Netherlands

1. What are common payment terms for contractors in the Netherlands?

Common payment terms for contractors in Netherlands include “net 30 days,” “net 60 days,” and “2/10 net 30,” where payment is due within a specified number of days after invoicing.

2. Can contractors specify payment terms on their invoices?

Yes, contractors can specify payment terms on their invoices, including the due date for payment and any discounts for early payment.

3. What happens if a client pays late?

In case of late payment by the client, contractors may charge statutory interest and debt collection costs, as outlined in the Dutch Civil Code.

4. Are electronic invoices common in the Netherlands?

Yes, electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) is becoming increasingly common in the Netherlands, with many contractors issuing electronic invoices in compliance with standards set by the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration.

5. What information should you included in contractor invoices in the Netherlands?

Contractor invoices should include essential details such as the contractor’s and client’s names and addresses, invoice number, date of issue, description of goods or services provided, quantity, unit price, total amount, and VAT (if applicable).

6. How long should contractors retain copies of invoices for tax purposes?

Contractors and clients need to keep copies of invoices for a certain period, usually seven years, for tax and auditing purposes.

7. What is the Dutch system of payment?

The Dutch system of payment typically involves invoices with specified payment terms, such as “net 30 days” or “net 60 days,” indicating the timeframe within which payment is due after invoicing. Value Added Tax (VAT) is commonly applicable, with rates of 21%, 9%, or 0% depending on the nature of goods or services provided. Electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) is increasingly common, and late payments may incur statutory interest and debt collection costs as per Dutch Civil Code.

8. Is the VAT rate 9% in the Netherlands?

Yes, in the Netherlands, there is a reduced VAT rate of 9% for certain goods and services, such as food, non-alcoholic beverages, books, newspapers, public transportation, and cultural events. This reduced rate is lower than the standard rate of 21%, which applies to most other goods and services.



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.