Setting up as a freelance translator in The Netherlands
Thread poster: Elizabeth Slaney

Elizabeth Slaney  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
Sep 3

I have just moved to the Netherlands after freelancing for many years in Spain. I do not speak Dutch (language classes start soon) but I am now looking to set up as a freelancer in my new country of residence. I am not looking for new customers, merely information on the legal and tax requirements. I will obviously have to get local professional advice but I would really appreciate starting off with some practical tips from fellow translators here in the Netherlands. I can find no country-specif... See more
I have just moved to the Netherlands after freelancing for many years in Spain. I do not speak Dutch (language classes start soon) but I am now looking to set up as a freelancer in my new country of residence. I am not looking for new customers, merely information on the legal and tax requirements. I will obviously have to get local professional advice but I would really appreciate starting off with some practical tips from fellow translators here in the Netherlands. I can find no country-specific forum and no recent discussions seem to help. I have a BSN Number and bank account, so where do I go from here?

Would any Europeans working here be able to provide some helpful advice? Anything you can advise on... I would also be keen to connect up for future cooperation. I translate from FR & ES > EN

Many thanks,

Liz
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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:29
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
No advice, but an interesting link Sep 3

Good luck with the move, Elizabeth. I found it so hard to learn Dutch during my three years in Den Haag (prior to becoming a translator). The language itself seemed relatively easy (once you get your tongue round the pronunciation) as it's nicely structured but not overly regimented, and only the prepositions and telling the time seemed totally illogical, to my mind. However, getting to practise what I'd been taught in lessons was a nightmare! Every Dutch person I met, down to the kids in the st... See more
Good luck with the move, Elizabeth. I found it so hard to learn Dutch during my three years in Den Haag (prior to becoming a translator). The language itself seemed relatively easy (once you get your tongue round the pronunciation) as it's nicely structured but not overly regimented, and only the prepositions and telling the time seemed totally illogical, to my mind. However, getting to practise what I'd been taught in lessons was a nightmare! Every Dutch person I met, down to the kids in the street, spoke better English than I spoke Dutch, and they all wanted to speak English. I felt I was fighting a losing battle.

At least that means you should have little trouble setting up as self-employed. That was not the case for me here in Spain, as a non-speaker of Spanish.

Anyway, here's a link to something I received in a newsletter just today: https://infoautonomos.eleconomista.es/blog/salario-minimo-autonomo/?utm_source=Noticias%20para%20el%20infoautónomo&utm_campaign=07b0879ea2-NEWSLETTER_03092019&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_4efd5a53b2-07b0879ea2-315905721

Apologies to those who don't speak Spanish -- I'm not really in a position to translate it as my Spanish still isn't great. But it looks as though you might be facing having a statutory minimum rate per hour imposed by the Dutch authorities. How that will affect freelance translators in the Netherlands, I can't imagine . Mind you, at EUR 16 per hour, it shouldn't cause anyone to have to increase their rates.
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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 17:29
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Elizabeth Sep 3

Elizabeth Slaney wrote:
I do not speak Dutch but I am now looking to set up as a freelancer in [the Netherlands]. I am not looking for new customers, merely information on the legal and tax requirements.


You are required to have a business bank account that is separate from your personal bank account. You must register your business at the Chamber of Commerce, who will also issue you with a VAT number. Read the tax department's handbook for businesses (Google Translate will have to be your friend). The Dutch tax people use the word "freelancer" for something that is not a freelancer in the sense that we use the word, so you're not a "freelancer" but a "ZZP'er" in the Netherlands. Read the book on ZZP'er finance. Read one or two books on doing businesses as a ZZP'er, e.g. this one and/or this one. If you can get an ebook version, and you google for removing DRM, you can use Google Translate on it. Investigate joining a bread fund. Depending on your age, investigate whether you think it's worth buying extra old-age grant (AOW) -- don't put it off until it's too late.


Jorge Payan
 


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Setting up as a freelance translator in The Netherlands

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