Set up as self-employed: Step-by-step plan for setting up a sole proprietorship

Set up as self-employed: Step-by-step plan for setting up a sole proprietorship

14 May 2024 – reading time: 3 minutes
Are you considering self-employment? There are many things you need to think of when setting up a sole proprietorship. To prevent you from overlooking stuff, Kees de Boekhouder has created a handy step-by-step plan.

#1. Do your research
Starting out as a self-employed person is not something you just do out of the blue. Explore the field in which you want to work as a self-employed person, and do research into entrepreneurship itself. If you want to combine self-employment and employment, you have to dig into what the complications of this might be.

#2. Write a business plan
Writing a business plan isn’t mandatory. But by putting your plans on paper you make things clearer for yourself, and it makes it easier to determine whether becoming self-employed will yield enough to make ends meet.

#3. Choose a name for your business
The name of your business should suit you, and reflect what you do and what you want to convey with your company. Remember that a trade name registration with the Chamber of Commerce doesn’t prevent someone else from using the same name. The only way to prevent this is with a trademark registration.

#4. Put thought in your corporate identity
The graphic elements that form the visual identity of your company influence how people see and experience your company/brand, and contribute to your recognisability. Moreover, it allows you to distinguish yourself from your competitors.

#5. Determine your rates
Many self-employed people work with an hourly rate, but certain activities are better suited to a rate per word, project price, fixed fee, or a result-oriented rate. Offering subscriptions for recurring services might also be a good option.

#6. Register with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (KvK)
Make an appointment at the KvK to register your sole proprietorship. You’ll need to pay a one-off registration fee (€80.10 in 2024). As soon as the registration has been completed, the KvK will notify the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration on your behalf that you’ve set up a sole proprietorship. You’ll receive a VAT ID and sales tax number by post within 14 days, so you don’t have to apply for a VAT number yourself.

#7. Set up a business administration
From the moment your business is registered, you’re officially an entrepreneur in the eyes of the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration. This comes with a number of obligations, including keeping business records.

#8. Open a business bank account
Having a business bank account makes it easier to separate business transactions from personal transactions.

#9. Make sure you are properly insured
Hopefully you’ll never have to use it, but occupational disability insurance for entrepreneurs does provide a safety net if you’re (temporarily) unable to work due to illness or an accident. Depending on your field, business liability insurance may also be worth considering.

#10. Save time by using bookkeeping software
Bookkeeping software saves you a lot of time – time that you can then invest in your business. Kees de Boekhouder’s bookkeeping software provides an instant overview of your business income and expenses, allows you to send invoices and quotes, and makes submitting tax returns super easy.

More info?
Don’t hesitate to make an appointment for a no-obligation introductory meeting, so that we can tell you everything about our methods and online bookkeeping software.


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