Contracting in the Netherlands
Are you planning to be contracting in the Netherlands? These pages will give you an overview about the Netherlands as a country, what’s required of you to be contracting in the Netherlands. Learn more about how to apply for Visa and Work Permit if necessary, the percentage of the Dutch Income Tax and how the Dutch Social Security works. For more practical information not just about contracting, download our guide Start Contracting in the Netherlands or our International Contracting Guide.
About the Netherlands
The Netherlands, is on the coast of the North Sea, and is a part of the great plain of north and west Europe and is 360 by 257 km in terms of dimensions. The Netherlands is a very densely populated country. The population density is about 408 people per km2 – 505 (July 2016) if water is excluded. In fact, it is similar to countries such as Bangladesh, South Korea, Taiwan. These all have a larger population and a higher population density. It is the world’s second-largest exporter of food and agricultural products. It is partly due to the fertility of the soil and the mild climate.
The largest cities in the Netherlands are Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague. Amsterdam is the country’s capital. The Hague holds the Dutch seat of government and parliament. The port of Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe. It was once the world’s largest port between 1962 and 2004. The name ‘Holland’ is also frequently and incorrectly used to refer informally to the whole of the country of the Netherlands.
It is a founding member of the EU, Eurozone, G-10, NATO, OECD and WTO. It is also a part of the trilateral Benelux Union and also a part of the Schengen Area.
The Netherlands is low and flat except in Limburg in the southeast which has the highest point of 322 m (1056 ft). The word “Netherlands” means “lower countries” due to its low land and flat geography. It makes the famous Dutch dikes a requisite for efficient land use. Reclamation of land from the sea through dikes has continued through recent times. All drainage reaches the North Sea, and the principal rivers – Rhine, Maas (Meuse), and Schelde – have their sources outside the country.
History of the Netherlands
This country was the third country in the world electing parliament. Since 1848 it has been governed as a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy, organised as a unitary state. The Netherlands has a long history of social tolerance and is generally regarded as a liberal country, having legalised abortion, euthanasia and prostitution, while maintaining a progressive drugs policy.
How to start contracting in the Netherlands?
Work Requirements in the Netherlands
All non-EU/EEA citizens who want to work in the Netherlands have to obtain a valid work permit. Normally it is the Employer that would make the request but the citizen can start this process themselves.
Read more about Work Requirements in the Netherlands.
Dutch Visa and Work Permit
You may need a Schengen visa to stay in the Netherlands for a period of maximum 90 days in any 180-days period (short stay visa). If you wish to stay longer than 90 days in the Netherlands, you will need an authorization for temporary stay: ‘machtiging tot voorlopig verblijf’ (MVV). Read more about the Dutch Visa.
Dutch Income Tax
The Netherlands taxes its residents on their worldwide income. Additionally non-residents are subject to tax only on income derived from specific sources in the Netherlands (mainly income from employment, director’s fees, business income, and income from Dutch immovable property). Dutch income tax varies according to the origin of the income and distinguishes three categories. These are known as “boxes”. The income in each of the three boxes is taxed at a different rate.
Read more about Dutch Income Tax.
Dutch Social Security
The Social Security Acts can be classified into 2 categories, which are National Insurance Acts and Employee Insurance Acts (excluding health insurance). National Insurance Acts provide benefits to all Dutch residents. National Insurance contributions are payable on taxable income of up to €33,363 and are not deductible for tax purposes. In fact, the maximum annual National Insurance contribution payable by an employee is €8,244 (after taking into account the social security credit).
Read more about Dutch Social Security.