BSN / Sofi number
The BSN (Burgerservicenummer) / Sofi number (social security number) is the first bureaucratic issue that expats in the Netherlands have to deal with.
What is the BSN / Sofi number?
A BSN (Burgerservicenummer) / Sofi number (social security number) is the citizen service number; a unique registration number for everyone who lives in the Netherlands.
The BSN will facilitate any interaction with the Dutch authorities; deducting your taxes and social security contributions, registering with the health insurance, opening a bank account, getting paid, being entitled to benefits etc.
How to apply for a BSN?
To apply for a BSN (Burgerservicenummer) you need to arrange an appointment with either your local office of Tax Administration (Belastingdienst) or City Hall within four months of your arrival.
EU citizens need to provide a valid proof of identity (not a driving license) and their registered address, while for non-EU expats other documents (residence permit, registration, employment contract etc.) have to be presented too.
Important notes on BSN / Sofi number
› To arrange an appointment with your local office of Tax Administration (Belastingdienst) call 08000543 or visit BSN for more information.
› A BSN does not automatically allow an expat to work in the Netherlands. Depending on their country of origin, expatriates may need to apply for a work permit.
› In case your stay in the Netherlands is not (going to be) longer than four months or you do not have to stay at all (but you work for a Dutch-based firm), you have to apply for a Sofi number (social-fiscal number).
Again, you have to contact your local tax office (Belastingdienst) and arrange an appointment. The procedure as well as the necessary documentation is exactly the same as for the BSN.
› As from November 2007, Sofi number has been automatically converted into a BSN for those who already had one.