In order to work in the Netherlands, you will need a BSN number (Burger Service Nummer). Your BSN Number is your personal identification number. Everyone who resides in the Netherlands has one. Amongst other things, on a work related note you will need it to be able to pay taxes over your income and to open up a bank account, which is why it is required to have a BSN Number before starting your employment.
where can I get a BSN Number?
You receive a BSN Number when you register at the municipality. Everyone who moves to the Netherlands and plans to stay longer than four months is required to register themselves at the municipality within the first 5 days after arrival. You will need to bring the following documents:
- valid passport (driver’s license is not enough!)
- non-EU members also need to bring a residence permit and employment contract if applicable
- address to be registered
Some municipalities only process registrations via a pre-scheduled appointment. Getting one can take a few weeks and delay the process of getting a BSN Number. We therefore advise you to make an appointment as soon as possible upon arrival.
getting a BSN number while still living abroad
EU-members can also get a BSN number while still living abroad. You will still have to make an appointment at the municipality, but you can register with your current address. You will then receive a temporary BSN Number which is valid for 4 months.
I need a BSN number right now, what do I do?
If you are in urgent need of a BSN number and cannot wait for the appointment at the municipality, there is one other solution. The expat center in Amsterdam issues BSN numbers right away. Note that the expat center charges a fee for this service.