Starting a business
We are frequently asked these questions.
It is possible to start a part-time business next to your job. You continue to work for your boss, while devoting a (large) part of your spare time to your own business. The same rules that apply to full-time entrepreneurship, also apply to part-time entrepreneurship. It is advisable to inform your employer of your plans.
Even for a part-time entrepreneur, it is important to be well-prepared before you start. Investigate your options and get started with this handy checklist.
That depends on whether your business fulfils the criteria for a business. If it does, you are required to register.
We use 3 criteria to determine whether you have a business:
- You supply goods and/or services. Or you are preparing to do so. For example, you have already started buying products.
- You demand more than symbolic payment for this. Or a (commercial) price or hourly rate that makes you money. Think of making a profit or cutting costs. So it is not a hobby that only costs money and does not make a profit.
- You regularly provide goods and services to people other than just your family or friends.
Do you meet these 3 entrepreneurial criteria? Then you can register your business at KVK.
There are also 4 additional questions that say something about entrepreneurship and help you decide if registration is necessary.
- Do you invest money and/or time to start or grow your company?
- Do you work in your own business on a regular basis, as opposed to a one-off assignment? You should also register large one-off activities, such as Christmas tree sales.
- Will you be working for more than 1 client? If you have a single client over a longer period of time, it is more likely that you are in .
- Do you decide when and how you do your work? Even if you get hired by a client. Does that apply to you too?
Are you in doubt? Check out the examples on how to deal with these 3 criteria and 4 questions.
There are various options for starting your own business when you are receiving a benefit. The Order on the provision of assistance for self-employed persons (‘Bijstandsbesluit (in Dutch) offers some possibilities for those receiving financial assistance. You can find out more about this from your local municipal authority. If you receive unemployment and want to start your own business, you should first consult the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) to discuss the options for starting a business while retaining your unemployment benefit. If you are retired and want to start your own business while receiving your state retirement pension (AOW), your pension will not be affected, but there may be tax .
An invoice must meet certain conditions. For example, an invoice must show a KVK number and VAT number. So if you are not an entrepreneur, you cannot draw up an invoice.
Do you occasionally do a job for a company and they want proof of payment? Then you can make a receipt. The receipt will show your name and your client's name, what goods and services have been delivered, the date of delivery, and the amount paid. You sign the receipt to declare that the company has paid.
Your client must report the amounts (in Dutch) to the Tax Administration through the (data portal, in Dutch). Your client may process the amounts paid in their business records.
You report your earnings for income tax purposes as 'resultaat overige (income from other activities, in Dutch).
Writing a business plan is not mandatory. But it is an important part of preparing for your own business. If you want to take out a loan or want to start while you are on benefits, you will be asked to write a business plan.
Read how you can draw up a business plan and find some links to sample plans.
When you start a business, you need to choose a trade name (business name). Choose a name that is specific to your sector and region. Learn more in our steps for choosing a business name.
Choosing a legal form depends on various economic and personal reasons. For example, with which form do you pay the lowest amount of tax? With how many people are you starting your business? Or, which form provides the best protection against risks? Use the ‘Which legal structure suits your company?’ tool to make a choice based on your situation. Or read more about the different legal forms (in Dutch) and key points to consider.
Depending on the sector, you can encounter specific rules, permits or other points of attention. Read more about various starting situations (in Dutch) and what may apply to your sector.
It is not compulsory for a business to file its general terms and conditions, but it is recommended. General terms and conditions are the rules that apply when you sell products or provide services. You can draw up general terms and conditions yourself. Or have them drawn up by a lawyer. Are you a member of a trade or professional organisation? Then you are usually obliged to use the conditions they draw up. Read in this article what you can and cannot put in your general terms and conditions and how to use them properly.
Taxes and financial matters
As an entrepreneur, you want to earn at least the same as if you were working as an employee and cover all your costs. Preferably a bit more, of course. But how do you determine what your services are worth? If your rate is too high, you are pricing yourself out of the market. If the asking price is too low, might give the impression that your work is not worth much. Determine your hourly rate using our step-by-step plan.
The small businesses scheme (KOR) is an exemption from VAT obligations, such as keeping VAT records and filing VAT returns. Entrepreneurs with an annual turnover of up to €20,000 can use this scheme. If you take part in the KOR, you must participate in it for at least 3 years. Before applying, consider the advantages and disadvantages of the KOR and read these frequently asked questions (in Dutch).
There are 2 types of insurance:
- Personal insurances such as sickness benefits, disability, unemployment and your pension.
- And business insurances such as business liability insurance or insurance for your business premises.
You have to arrange these insurances yourself. Read about the 10 most important insurance policies for starters.
You are not an entrepreneur. But you received money as an individual. For example, because you helped someone with their administration. Or you made something for friends or neighbours. Additional income you receive in cash, by bank transfer, or Tikkie is added to your other income for tax purposes. You have to declare this yourself. You may deduct any expenses you incur for the additional earnings from this amount.
Do you have no other income? Then you may end up not having to pay any tax on your additional income thanks to the tax credits. Tax credits are a reduction on your income tax and national insurance contributions. Up to what amount you can earn tax-free depends on your personal situation.