Registering in the Netherlands

When you arrive in the Netherlands, the first step is to register with the Dutch authorities. When you register, you receive a BSN number. BSN is a unique number given to everyone who lives or works in the Netherlands, whether temporarily or permanently.

It is therefore important for things like your salary, bank account and health insurance.

We recommend you to also apply for a DigiD, which you can use for the online services of government organisations.


  • Are you staying in the Netherlands for less than 4 months? You will then be registered as a non-resident of the Netherlands (‘niet ingezetene’). This registration can be done at one of the 19 available Non-Residents (RNI) offices.
  • Your stay will be longer than 4 months? Then you register as a resident (‘ingezetene’) in the municipality you live in.

Are you going to move within the Netherlands because you are going to work elsewhere?

Please inform your new municipality of your new address.

Can I live and work in the Netherlands without a BSN?

No, that is not permitted. Without a BSN you cannot work in the Netherlands if you are working for a Dutch employer. Your employer needs your BSN in order to file your payroll tax return. You also need a BSN if you live in the Netherlands. Only if you are not living here, but you are only working here (temporarily) for an employer abroad, or have been posted here by an employer abroad, then
you do not need a BSN.


We encourage you to apply for DigiD, which you can use to handle official matters online with. It is advisable to do this as soon as possible, so that, for example, you can check your employer’s declaration of employment and reported earnings with the tax authorities. You can use a DigiD for the online services of government organizations.

To obtain a DigiD, you must be / must have been registered in the Netherlands and have BSN.

If you stay in the Netherlands it is important, how you are registered:

  • If you are registered as a non-resident, apply though the website Home | DigiD. In order to apply, select ‘Apply’, provide your personal data and select the option ‘Ik woon buiten Nederland [I live outside the Netherlands]’. You will pick up the activation code at the designated DigiD collection points in a number of municipalities. You can only pick up the activation code in person within 30 days of the date of your application with your ‘baliecode’ which you obtained with your DigiD application. Some municipalities require you to make an appointment to collect your activation code.
    See: Collecting a DigiD activation code in the Netherlands | Netherlands Worldwide
  • If you are registered as a resident, apply though the website Home | DigiD. In order to apply, select ‘Apply’, provide your personal data and select the option ‘Ik woon in Nederland‘ [I live in the Netherlands]. A letter with an activation code will be sent to your home within three working days at the latest.

If you stay abroad:

Be careful. DigiD is personal: do not communicate your username and password to others.

Read more about DigiD here: Registering in the Netherlands | Work in NL

Consult your questions:

  • How do I register?
  • What kind of documents I need to register?

Read more at workinnl.nl