Eenmanszaak, een man… what ?

Een {one} mans {man} zaak {business}, sole proprietorship, legal structure without legal personality... Here's a definition!

What is an Eenmanszaak?

Easy! It speaks by itself: een {one} mans {man} zaak {business}.

An eenmanszaak, as defined by the chamber of commerce (Kamer van Koophandel, also known as KvK), is a sole proprietorship

It is “a legal structure without legal personality. As sole trader, you alone are responsible, and liable, for the company, its finances and its debts. You can only set up one sole proprietorship in the Netherlands, but you can operate under various trade names, perform different commercial activities and work from multiple premises.”

We often hear people say “I have a ZZP”. This is actually incorrect. Being a “Zelfstandige Zonder Personeel”, translated as “independent with no staff”, is not a legal structure, but just a status. You can therefore BE a ZZP, but need to HAVE a legal entity such as an eenmanszaak or BV.

How to set up an eenmanszaak?

In the Netherlands, you can create a maximum of one of those individual businesses. But you can have multiple trade names, multiple operations, and multiple branches within this eenmanszaak. You’re not limited.

Many entrepreneurs choose this legal form because it is very simple to incorporate and at a low cost. There is no need for a notary or a lawyer to intervene in the setup process.

Registration is done directly at the KVK of your city for a single amount of 51,95€. You can pre-register online via this link and then make an appointment to complete your registration.

You will receive your VAT number and your revenu tax number from the tax authorities by mail within 2 weeks.

Please note that you cannot use employee insurance, health insurance, WW, WAO or WIA with a sole proprietorship. You’re not an employee. Depending on your personal situation and your business activities, we advise you to purchase additional insurance policies.

Responsibilities and Liabilities in an eenmanszaak

As eenmanszaak (or ZZP’er), you are responsible for all your actions and finances. There is no distinction between your private or commercial assets and debts.

If you are married, your partner is also financially responsible for the debts. A prenup contract can be written to limit the risks.

Taxation rules for an eenmanszaak

With such a sole proprietorship, you pay income tax on the profit you make.

Tax benefits exist: do not hesitate to ask your bookkeeper what your rights and benefits are. Especially if you start, you can benefit from the starter deduction for the first 3 years. This benefit can amount to several thousand euros on an annual basis. It would be a mistake to miss it!

An eenmanszaak is subject to VAT, so remember to do your quarterly returns as well. Feel free to refer to our detailed blog on a worry-free VAT.

When it comes to the administration of an eenmanszaak, remember that your accounting is an important consideration. You have to keep records. It will give you an overview of your activity while enabling you to file your tax returns on this annual basis.

The annual report of a sole proprietorship does not need to be filed with the KVK and is not made public. The tax authorities set the requirements for your administration. This is not just about your annual accounts but also about your calendar (recording your hours) and your billing. It’s up to you to decide if you do your administration yourself or get help from an accountant.

Staff in an eenmanszaak

With this legal form of sole proprietorship, you have the freedom to hire staff. If you do so, you will become an employer and will have to pay social security contributions as well as payroll taxes for your employees. You will have to register as an employer with the tax authorities.

Often less expensive and binding than a BV (company), this status of eenmanszaak is often chosen for artistic activities, gives its chance to the most ambitious and courageous and gives access without pressure to the most shy to take the big leap in the world of self-employment.

You want to start your eenmanszaak but still have some doubts?

At De BoekhoudHoek, we support you in the various steps of your entrepreneurship journey and answer your questions whether they are simple or technical. We are here for you!

The future of your eenmanszaak starts here.

Christel Berrod</br>and Guillaume van den Hoek

Christel Berrod
and Guillaume van den Hoek

Respectively ZZP’ers Satisfaction Officer
and Personable bookkeeper for international ZZP’ers at De BoekhoudHoek

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