Music students from outside EU want to make music! And get paid for it!

14 november 2018

Music students from outside EU want to make music! And get paid for it!

door | nov 14, 2018 | Geld verdienen

A lot of students in dutch conservatories are not dutch, but they want to perform. Or teach, or have any other job to make a living. And get paid for it. But… are they allowed to do so? Because of our activities at dutch conservatories and other schools, we get questions about it. Here’s some insights in how it works.

We gathered the information from different sources, like IND (Immigratie en Naturalisatie Dienst), different websites from dutch government and our partner: payrolling company Tentoo. Some things may still be unclear or even missing. If so, or if you have something to add, let us know!

Before I start: sorry about the horrible abbreviations, but it’s unavoidable!

Are you from an EU country? Then worry about nothing, you can do everything a native dutch person can do. You can just get a job over here, and start a business.

From UK? Then it’s a different story. Sorry, but at them time of writing a lot is unclear. Let’s hope they figure something out in London and Brussels.

OK, but what if you’re not from an EU country ?!

Definitely not an EU country

First: you got to have a valid study permit for the Netherlands. If you have that, you must have a dutch address. So: register in the dutch town where you live. Then you can get the so called BSN number. You get it from the town hall of the city where you registered and it can even last 2 months before you really get it. (In a music school? Sometimes they offer help, like Rotterdam conservatory Codarts does)

This BSN number opens some doors…

1: You want to get a regular job?

Then your employer needs to get a permit to hire you, the so called TWV. If he’s got that, then you can work for maximum of 16 hours per week. Or full time in june, july or august.

Getting this TWV is relatively easy for an employer if he/she wants to hire a student. If he wants to hire a regular worker then it’s much harder:  in that case your employer must really need you, and must prove he/she not can not find someone who’s from an EU country. Here are the rules for it.

Next year studying and performing in The Netherlands

2: You want to start as an independent?

For example: doing concerts, teaching, and sending invoices for it?

That is surprisingly easy: with your BSN number (see above) you can get the sales tax number at the Chamber of Commerce of your city. This sales tax number is also known as BTW number, and you need it to make invoices. BTW is a tax you add to your invoice, your home country probably has the same system (VAT in UK of USA, IVA in Spain, TVA in France, MwSt in Germany etc).

However, you do have to meet the requirements of “being a real student”. That basically means: you have to do a fulltime study, you must pass for a minimum of 50% of your study per year. And you must have enough means (=money) to live.

If you have that, you can write invoices including BTW! And make money! You are a real dutch entrepreneur!

Very cool, but there’s always a “but”. It also means: paying tax. Which is the BTW quarterly tax and income tax at the end of the year. If you have a dutch bookkeeper, that should be not a very big deal. But if you don’t: that can be tiresome.

3: Let an intermediate handle the paperwork

Or: payrolling. That means the intermediate (payrolling service, yes, just like Tentoo) sends invoices to your employer or client. Examples: the restaurant where you work, or the venue where you performed. This intermediate handles all taxes, all they need is a valid BSN number. They charge a bit for their services, but stops you from having the hassle with tax. And all these abbreviations!

4: Your study is over, but you want to stay here

That’s a completely different chapter. In short it’s this (for the non EU citizens):
Want to work in a regular job? Then still you need a TWV, or if for a longer time then a GVVA permit.
Want to extend your independent company? Then you have to make a business plan. The dutch immigration office (IND) will check it, with help of other institutions. If they think it’s a valuable addition to the dutch economy, you may get a licence to stay here. One of the main criteria: is your business innovative enough?
And then there’s the “zoekjaar” (searchyear). That means: if you successfully ended your studies, you can ask for a permit for a so-called zoekjaar. Within one year you can work as much as possible, even without above mentioned TWV. After this zoekjaar you may have found a job that can get you a full stay in our country. Check this link.

OK, that’s about it. As I mentioned above: let us know if you have things to add. We’re curious! As a reaction to this blog, or maybe just mail us:

This text was written by Ewout van der Linden (Music Motion, Codarts, SAE Institute) with the help of Asia Ross of Rotterdam Conservatory Codarts, Niels Hoorn (Tentoo) and of a nice but nameless  person at IND and someone behind IND twitter.

Ewout from Music Motion teaches music entrepreneurship at music schools and conservatories. Classes about music business, income sources for music, administration, music rights, music marketing.
Music Motion also organizes knowledge and network events about these subjects. Check the activities for musicians at our general page: 

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