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Eenmanszaak - Sole trader

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Also known as a sole proprietorship, the structure of an eenmanszaak is exactly as its name states: a one person business. This is a great structure for individuals who are starting up a business for themselves without partners or (substantial) investors. It’s quick and easy and offers several tax breaks in the first three to five years.

As a sole trader your business income and personal money are not required to be kept separate. This means that you can use your personal bank account to receive and pay invoices. It’s also important to note that sole traders can still employ personnel.

The eenmanszaak is particularly popular with freelancers (ZZP’ers) and small business owners. You can set up an eenmanszaak directly at the KvK

The eenmanszaak in a nutshell

  • Establishment: free (small KvK fee)
  • Capital required: none
  • Governance: owner
  • Liability: private 100%
  • Social security: no sickness or unemployment benefits
  • Taxation: BTW / Income tax / Payroll tax (for employees)
  • Tax breaks: yes if requirements are met

Eenmanszaak or BV?

Entrepreneurs are often undecided about choosing between an eenmanszaak and a BV (private limited company) when starting their business in the Netherlands. Both structures have different benefits and the right choice for your business depends on what you’re doing.

For example: tax rates are lower for BVs, but administration is more complex and annual costs can be higher. A greater turnover is usually necessary to offset these expenses. On the other hand, if there is a greater financial risk or investment involved in the establishment of your business, then a BV may make a better choice. To help the decision process you can draw up a list of pros and cons for each structure.

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