Rising Trend of Self-Employment in the Netherlands


This article was last updated on April 10, 2024

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Surge in Self-Employment

Despite the challenges in the market, the number of self-employed people continues to surge. Based on the data from the Central Bureau of Statistics, more than 1.25 million people in the Netherlands identified as self-employed at the onset of the year, marking an increased figure by nearly 160,000 compared with the previous year. The past decade has seen the self-employment curve double, demonstrating a fundamental shift in the labor force. Distribution centers, the transport sector, and construction have witnessed a rapid increase in self-employed individuals offering their services independently. In addition, professionals in business services and communications are increasingly choosing to work on a self-employed basis rather than through traditional employment structures. The total count of small and medium-sized businesses in the Netherlands currently stands at 1.56 million. This figure encapsulates both self-employed individuals and companies managing up to 250 employees.

The Challenge of Bogus Self-Employment

While the number of those opting for self-employment increases, the government’s efforts to curb bogus self-employment persist. Bogus self-employment creates a dangerous loophole where self-employed individuals lack the social rights characteristic of regular salaried employees, even though they heavily rely on one company. The tax authorities classify someone as a bogus self-employed person when facts and circumstances insist they are, in reality, a full-fledged employee. Enforcement of rules trimming around bogus self-employment was on a hold for a significant period. However, the enforcement is set to resume by 2025. In addition, the government is charting ways to limit the tax benefits enjoyed by self-employed individuals.

Endurance of Self-Employment

The relentless rise of self-employment amidst discouragements underscores the buoyant spirit of self-employed workers. It reveals how, against odds, people find ways to create opportunities, continuously contribute to the economy, and increase the nation’s workforce. The future will undoubtedly ring with tales of more individuals rallying towards self-employment, striving to make a living while contributing to the economy. Irrespective of any discouragements, the spirit of self-employment continues unabated, serving as an indicator of resilience and the continued growth of the entrepreneurial spirit.

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