Starting as a private security contractor

You get plenty of excitement, a dynamic work environment, and you help keep people safe. You are alert and capable of keeping the peace at events and protecting buildings. As a self-employed professional, you will have to have the right diploma’s and permits. Read here what to arrange when you start working as a private security contractor.

The following topics are of special interest to startups in the private security industry:


In the past 5 years, the number of private security companies registered with the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce KVK (in Dutch) has increased by 167%, from 3,766 in 2018 to 10,051 in 2023. This growth is due to the large number of self-employed worker‘ in the industry. The number of zzp’ers in private security rose from 2,511 in 2018 to 8,613 in 2023. An increase of 243%.

Training obligations 

In order to work in the security industry, you must have the diploma ‘Beveiliger’ (security guard) from the ‘Stichting Vakexamens voor de Particuliere Beveiligingsorganisaties’ (Foundation for Professional Examinations for Private Security Organisations). For some professions, additional diplomas are mandatory. For example, catering supervisor, event security officer, and alarm operator. View the educational obligations (in Dutch) for security guards on

Diploma exemption

If you do not have a diploma, Justis may, in very exceptional cases, grant someone an exemption from the training requirement (in Dutch). To obtain an exemption, as a (prospective) security guard, you must prove that you have done everything you can to obtain a diploma. And that you have sufficient knowledge and experience for the job.

Rules and permits 

The Private Security Organisations and Detective Agencies Act (‘Wet Particuliere Beveiligingsorganisaties en Recherchebureaus’ Wpbr) establishes the legal basis for all security work. You must have a permit to work as a private security company. You can apply for this permit at Justis (in Dutch). This is also known as a Wpbr application. The permit is valid for a maximum of 5 years. Is your permit due to expire? Apply for renewal at least 3 months before the expiry date of the Wpbr permit.

Dutch Service Number ND

After your application is approved by Justis, you will be given a so-called Dutch Service Number (‘Nederlands Dienstnummer’). A self-employed person with an ND permit may take on independent assignments. You are free to make arrangements with the client, set your own rate, and offer your services independently.

You will also get your own identity card (in Dutch) in your company’s name. When a larger security company hires you, you will work under that company’s ND number. 


Anyone doing security work must wear an approved uniform. This uniform must feature, at the very least, the well-known V sign. The uniform has to be approved by Justis. For personal or shop security, it is possible to request a waiver for this requirement from the chief of police. You are not allowed to carry handcuffs, unless you have been explicitly authorised to do so by Justis. You must also make sure that your belongings are safely stored. For example, your laptop and your client data.

Using a dog

Do you want to use a dog during your work? Then you must have a certificate showing that the dog is suitable as a surveillance dog or guard dog. Certificates are issued by the Royal Dutch Police Dog Association (‘Koninklijke Nederlandse Politiehond Vereniging’, in Dutch) or the the Netherlands Association for Patrol and Police Dogs (‘Nederlandse Bond voor de Diensthond’, in Dutch).


Do you have employees? Then you need a Management Certificate (‘Toestemming leidinggevenden’, in Dutch). You can apply for this certificate together with your Wpbr application at Justis. If you plan to hire staff, each employee must be approved by the chief of police (in Dutch). You submit the application by email to the chief of police (in Dutch) in the region where your company is located. Your employees must also carry proof of identification during working hours.

Ensure that your employees' personal information is properly secured in accordance with the rules of the General Data Protection Regulation GDPR (‘Algemene verordering gegevensbescherming’ AVG, in Dutch).

Collective Labour Agreement CAO

Security guards are covered by the CAO for the security industry (in Dutch). The collective labour agreement (CAO) covers wages, working hours, allowances, holidays, and pensions.

Employment Relationships Deregulation Act (DBA) 

As a self-employed security professional, you often work for different clients. Do you usually work for just 1 client? This may be a case of false self-employment. False self-employment is the situation in which you take on an assignment as an entrepreneur, but actually work as an employee. Together with your client, you are responsible for the working relationship you enter into. Use the flow chart of the Dutch Tax Administration (‘Belastingdienst’, in Dutch) to check if you are self-employed or employed. Are you in doubt? Then work according to a model agreement (in Dutch).

General information for new business owners 

In addition to all the above, new entrepreneurs in the security sector will also have to deal with the following: