I am a zzp'er, am I an entrepreneur?

Zzp'ers, or self-employed professionals without staff, make up the majority of all entrepreneurs in the Netherlands. Many zzp'ers do not think of themselves as entrepreneurs, however. But they are.

Running a business as a zzp'er

It is true: if you are a zzp'er, you are an entrepreneur. You run your own business, in other words, are self-employed, without any staff. That's what the abbreviation zzp'er stands for. You take on temporary assignments from various clients. Your clients do not hire you as their employee. They pay your invoice. The only condition is that you do not work as a fake self-employed professional. False self-employment, or schijnzelfstandigheid in Dutch, means that you take on an assignment as a self-employed person, but under the same conditions as a paid employee. As a zzp'er, you have to file your income to the Dutch Tax Administration (Belastingdienst) in your own income tax return.

No difference between a freelancer and a zzp'er

There is no difference between a zzp'er and a freelancer. They mean the same thing. There are some professions where it is usual to call yourself a zzp'er, if you are in the construction business for example. In other professions, for instance journalism, freelancer is the more widely used term. Either way: if you are a zzp'er or a freelancer, you are an entrepreneur. 

Want to become a zzp’er? Check the steps you need to take.