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The business side of sex work

The business side of sex work

In the Netherlands you are able to work in different workplaces as a sex worker. Sex work is a legal profession in the Netherlands.





Rules and regulations around working as a sex worker

  • Most cities require you to be over 21 to work as a sex worker.
  • You need a valid residency permit or visa (no tourist visa).
  • You require a Burgerservicenummer (BSN).
  • You work voluntarily in a legal workplace.
  • You have a registered address.
  • In some cities you can work from home, but in most cities this is illegal. Check this with your local council just to be sure.
  • You have to pay taxes.

More information about rules and regulations

Do you want more information on the rules and regulations around working as a sex worker? Have a look on the website Prostitutie Goed Geregeld. Here you will find information for self-employed, salaried and opt-in sex workers.

Rules

In your work you will have to deal with Dutch rules. When you want to start out as a sex worker it is important to know what rules and conditions there are and what things you need to sort out. Things like having health insurance and applying for health care allowance, paying taxes and if you have your own business, registering with the Kamer van Koophandel. Below you will find an overview of the things that you need to arrange.


The business side of sex work

Everyone in the Netherlands who has an income, has to pay income tax. This is why it is useful to keep a monthly overview of your income and expenses.
You can work in a salaried position, as self-employed or via opting-in. On the site prostitutiegoedgeregeld.nl you will find a useful overview of the differences between these options.

You don’t have to register with the Belastingdienst separately. When you register with the Kamer van Koophandel you will automatically be registered with the Belastingdients. You will get a BTW (Value added tax) number. If you do not hear anything from the Belastingdienst, it is sensible to get in touch with them. You will receive a letter that will state when you have to do you BTW tax return.

The BTW tax return (income tax) must be returned to the Belastingdienst within a month after the end of the tax period. Payment of tax must also be done in the same timeframe.

  • If a business owner files or pays their tax return late, they risk a fine or a correction payment. This is an estimation of the amount of tax the business owner will have to pay.
  • The Belastingdienst has a duty of confidentiality in regards to everything you tell them or write to them. Website: www.belastingdienst.nl. You have to be able to prove to the Belastingdients that you keep (daily) records of your income and expenses. This is why it is useful to have a ledger.

When you are self-employed, for example if you work in a window or on the street, you are required to register with the Kamer van Koophandel. For this, you need to be registered with your local council. This can be done with an address in the Netherlands, or a foreign address.

  • For registration with the Kamer van Koophandel, you need the following: a valid for of ID and a filled out registrations form to be self-employed as provided by the Kamer van Koophandel.
  • The Kamer van Koophandel has a register. Details in this register are accessible by the public. When you use a name your clients know as your business name, they will be able to find your details. Keep this in mind when you select a business name to register under.
  • You can find the required forms on the website for the Kamer van Koophandel.

You can also be salaried or working via Opting-in (for example in a club, private house or an escort service). If you are salaried, your employer will calculate and pay tax on your wages.

Opting-in is also known as ‘working according to the terms and conditions’. Most operators work with this system. The operator pays tax on your income. You are not salaried but will get an income overview that states your income and taxes as paid by your operator. In this instance you would have to file a yearly tax return.

When working via Opting-in you have no protection against dismissal. An operator can stop working with you without notice. The Belastingdienst and the UWV do not regard you as employed, or as self-employed, meaning you won’t have a right to unemployment benefits.

To work via Opting-in you need a registered address and a Burgerservicenummer (BSN).

If you live or work in the Netherlands you are require by law to insure yourself against healthcare costs via health insurance. For a comparison of health insurance providers, click here.

If you do not pay for six or more months of your health insurance premium you will be registered with the CAK for the Regeling wanbetalers (arrangement for overdue non-payers). You will pay the CAK a premium, which is €135,- per person per month. You will no longer pay your insurance company, but will remain insured via them. This payment does not clear your debt with your insurance company, you will have to pay that off yourself.

Health care allowance

Depending on your income, you could be eligible for health care allowance. Via this link you can do a calculation to see if you are eligible. To apply for health care allowance, you require a DigiD. Use this link to apply for a DigiD.

Advocacy

Proud is the advocacy group organised for and by sex workers in the Netherlands.
Visit the website of Proud

Can we help you?

Do you have questions about the business side of sex work? Please feel free to contact us. We gladly think along with you.

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