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Freelancing in Groningen

Groningen is one of the happiest places to live in Europe and places high in safety rankings. This makes it an ideal city to set up a base in for your freelancing gigs.


The number of self-employed people working in the Netherlands is increasing. Between 2018 and 2022, the number of full-time freelancers in the Netherlands rose from 927,319 to 1.1 million. Similarly, the country also experienced an increase in part-time freelancers.

In the Netherlands, freelancers are locally referred to as ZZP'ers (a Dutch abbreviation for “zelfstandige zonder personeel”, which translates to “independent with no staff”). If you’re a freelancer it means that you are an entrepreneur without staff who works for a number of different customers. You’re generally an expert in something, and you who work at your own expense and risk. During illness or when business is slow, you cannot fall back on benefits.

Most freelancers or self-employed professionals register with the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce (KVK) as a sole proprietorship (eenmanszaak) or a private limited company (besloten vennootschap, bv). The Chamber of Commerce has helpful checklists to get you started.

Once you’re set up you can start offering your services to clients in Groningen and beyond. If you’re still coming up with ideas for your business, maybe you can consider teaching a skill you’re passionate about in person or online from the comfort of your own home. Alternatively, you can set up a base in one of the various co-working spaces Groningen has to offer.

Groningen is a relatively small city with vibrant communities and strong networks. People are willing to help connect you to one of these networks so you too can be embedded within the bustling ecosystem in the North. Teams such as the one at Founded in Groningen can connect, support and promote your initiatives.

Is freelancing for you?

One can reap a lot of benefits by becoming a freelancer. These include being in charge of your own working hours, choosing your clients, and allowing for a better work-life balance as you see fit.

There are however some downsides to this kind of employment. Being a full-time employee of a company with a specific hour-based contract may come with relatively more job security. There are also other benefits such as paid-time off and sick days.