“A self-employed person is an entrepreneur who, in principle, determines how the work is carried out. Whether someone is actually regarded as a self-employed person for the law always depends on all the circumstances of the case”

Many companies make use of the services of independent contractors without staff (zzp’ers). The Netherlands now has more than a million self-employed persons.

The basic principle for self-employed workers is that they work for their customers or clients on the basis of a contract for services – and not on the basis of an employment contract. Special statutory rules apply to the agreement of assignments.

In practice, it often happens that a self-employed worker formally works on the basis of a contract for services, but that in fact there is an employment contract. In such cases, the question is always whether the mutual relationship between the self-employed person and his client should still be regarded as an employment contract and/or tax employment relationship. In doing so, the question of whether or not there is a relationship of authority between the parties is always examined. If there is actually an employment contract, this has important – often unforeseen – consequences.

When it comes to indepedent contractors, we help with:

  • assessing whether in a specific case there is a contract for services or an employment contract, and about the Deregulation of the Assessment of the Employment Relationship Act (Wet DBA)

  • drafting clear and concrete contracts of engagement
  • advice on disputes about the execution or termination of contracts for services.
    For example, in a management agreement between a company and a director
  • litigating disputes regarding the execution or termination of contracts for services
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Self-employed workers (‘zzp’ers’) in practice

Are these agreements sufficiently concrete and have all risks been provided for? What is the chance that a judge or the tax authorities will rule that there is an employment contract? And what can we do in concrete terms to ensure that there is actually independence and a contract for services?

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