Self-employed (zzp) vs. employed

What is better: being self-employed (zzp) or employed? Before you start as a zzp’er, you can ask yourself this question. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Of course, you choose whether you start as a self-employed person or remain in paid employment. This article offers you the opportunity to weigh the pros and cons.

Difference self-employed (zzp) and employed

First, it is good to know what the difference is between a self-employed (zzp) and an employed person? The biggest difference, of course, is that when you are an employee, you work for a boss. As a freelancer, you are your own boss, and you have different clients. The latter is important to be seen as an entrepreneur (you are also not allowed to work more than 70 percent for one client). We list the advantages and disadvantages of being self-employed and employed below.


Our tax services are for both self-employed (zzp’ers) and employed professionals. Do you want some help with filing your Dutch tax return, VAT return (btw), and/or ICP return? We are happy to help! Please, fill in our contact form or call us on + 31 (0)20 217 0120.

Pros and cons of being self-employed

Pros self-employed

  • Own boss. This is a reason why many people want to start their own business. You decide which activities you do and when you do them.

  • Flexibility. Just because you are your own boss, you determine your hours, hourly rate, and which projects you take on.

  • Deductions and tax benefits. Are you seen as an entrepreneur for income tax purposes? Then, you are entitled to various deductible items (think of the entrepreneur’s deduction and SME profit deduction exemption). You can also deduct the business costs from your profit.

Cons self-employed

  • Uncertainties. Owning your own company brings uncertainties. Are you sick for a day, or do you have less work? You will then not be compensated. As an entrepreneur, you also have more risk in the field of pension and social security. So, you should set enough money aside.

  • VAT return. In addition to the annual income tax return, you must submit the VAT return (btw) (and ICP return) to the tax authorities every quarter. We are happy to help you with this!

  • Administration. Usually not the biggest hobby of self-employed people. Yet, it is important to keep track of everything. Are the tax authorities in doubt whether it is all correct? Then, they can check your administratoin.

Pros and cons of being employed

Pros employed

  • Security. When you are employed, there is often a pension plan. In addition, there is security in the form of disability insurance and leave. Also, you collect vacation days, and you will continue to be paid in the event of illness.

  • Stable salary. Unlike freelancers, you are always sure of a salary when you are employed.

Cons employed

  • Less flexibility. On, for example, how to organize your time.

  • Less freedom. After all, you work for a boss. Your hours, activities, etc., are listed in your contract. So you have more certainties, but you do give up some freedom for this.

Zzp next to your regular job

Do you want to start as a freelancer next to your regular job? Or do you want to make the switch to go from salaried employment to being self-employed, but do you want to build it up slowly? That is possible! In fact, you are by no means alone: ​​more and more part-time entrepreneurs are joining.

However, you should not underestimate this! Do you want to enjoy all the tax benefits as a self-employed person (for example, the deductible items)? Then you have to put in quite a few hours (1,225 hours) in your company. So imagine: you work 49 weeks a year for your own company. In this case, you have to work an average of (1,225/49) 25 hours a week. A full-time workweek is 40 hours. Subtract the 25 hours you put into your own company, and you still have 15 hours left for your other job.

We are happy to help!

Have you just taken the step to move from an employed person to a self-employed person, and could you use some help with the VAT (btw) and income tax? Or do you have other tax-related questions? We are happy to help you! Please, feel free to contact us using the information below.

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+31 (0)20-2170120