Almost a year ago, I became a freelancer in the Netherlands. The common term is a ZZP’er. I have learned a lot about working for myself as a writer and editor. Some things have been amazing, and some have been challenging. If you’re interested in working for yourself, here are some of the pros and cons of freelancing in the Netherlands.
1. Pro: The Tax Laws Are Great For Freelancers
When you become a freelancer, your tax situation is different than working from a company. In many cases, you can allocate things such as computers and transportation to your business expenses. That means you’ll get the VAT back, and the money you spend isn’t considered profit. You usually only pay tax over profit. Of course, it’s best always to consult an accountant to know exactly what you can and cannot put on your business.
2. Con: You Don’t Get A Company-Sponsored Pension
In most cases, you’ll still get a pension from the Dutch government, but that won’t be a whole lot of money. So you’ll have to set aside and invest money into a private pension or investment fund. Don’t forget this as your future is very important.
3. Pro: You Can Set Your Own Schedule
Are you not in the mood to work today, or do you just want to go on vacation? Well, you finally can. You control your own schedule for once. As long as you schedule your work well, you can have more days off and spend time on things you want.
4. Con: The Are No Such Things As Bank Holidays
Unlike working at a company, you cannot just take a day off if you have work due. So if you are not good at setting yourself up for success and managing your schedule, freelancing won’t be fun for you. If you have a deadline, you have to work on bank holidays.
5. Pro: You Can Take An Assortment Of Different Projects
One of the best parts about freelancing is that you can say no. If you don’t want to work with someone or are just not interested in the project, you can just say no. Working as an employee, you need to do what you’re told. Not anymore.
6. Con: There Are No Paid Sick Days
Sadly if you’re sick and have something due, you might still have to work. Most of my clients have been very understanding and willing to extend the deadline when I was sick. But not everyone is so understanding.
7. Pro: You Can Charge What You Want
Do you want to make more money? You can charge what you want. Some people may say you’re expensive, but you’ll most likely find some people who are willing to pay your rate. If you can’t find anyone, then maybe you are charging too much. You can also increase your rate more often than your company will give you a raise.
8. Con: You Don’t Get Paid Unless You Have Work
If you don’t work, you don’t get paid. So you won’t get a regular paycheck. So it’s important to have projects lined up as far out as possible, so you always have money coming in. You should also be good at budgeting and planning your money so you won’t be broke when you have a dry period.
9. Pro: It Is Very Easy To Become A Freelancer
Becoming a freelancer is so easy in the Netherlands. You don’t need a business plan or a lot of start-up money. Finally, doing what you love isn’t a complicated process. There’s no time like the present to chase your dreams.
There Are So Many Available Resources
If you’d like to learn more about how to become a freelancer in the Netherlands, check out this Youtube video, this podcast episode, and this article. In all of those, I speak about how to start your own business and the details of doing so. I can help you write the text on your website, social media posts, blog posts, scripts, and much more. Just head over to my business website for more details.
What is your passion, and what is stopping you from doing it?