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Apply for BSN number

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When you manage a Dutch company, or if you are planning to employed by a Dutch company, it’s required to obtain a BSN number in the Netherlands. The BSN (also called the RNI)  can be considered your personal Tax ID, and is meant for individuals only. Your Dutch company, if any, will have a separate identification number.

A BSN number is not required in order to start a business in The Netherlands. However, once your dutch business is up and running, your might get in a situation in which a BSN number is required. For example, if you will be on the payroll of the company, and when you represent the company in order to open a bank account in the Netherlands. Although not all banks require this, the main purpose of the BSN number is to check if you (as director) are a resident.

However, anybody can apply for the BSN number in The Netherlands, even if you don’t have a valid residency permit, and you are a non-EU national. 

You will be able to obtain a specific BSN number which is used for non-resident, but require a BSN to deal with certain affairs.

Are you not living in the Netherlands or for a period of less than 4 months? Then you can register as a non-resident in the Personal Records Database (BRP). You do this at a municipality with a counter for non-residents (RNI municipality). You will receive a citizen service number (BSN) after registration.

To apply for a BSN number in the Netherlands, you typically have to visit the City Council in which you will become resident (or when you will stay).

It's also possible to apply for a BSN number remotely, via the tax authorities in the Netherlands, but this can take upto 8 weeks.

In case you visit the City Council, you will obtain the Dutch BSN immediately, but you will have to schedule an appointment in advance.

When should you apply for a Dutch BSN number as a non-resident?


You can choose to apply for a BSN number if

  • you live abroad and need a citizen service number (BSN) for matters that you arrange with the Dutch government.

  • you come to live in the Netherlands for a maximum of 4 months for study or work, for example.

How to apply for a BSN number in the Netherlands

  • Make an appointment at one of the 19 municipalities with a counter for non-residents. Also view the municipality's RNI registration information.

  • Take a valid proof of identity with you.

  • Also state your home address in the country of origin at the counter.

  • Registration is free of charge

Do you not speak Dutch, English or German? Then take an interpreter with you.

When registering a child under the age of 16, also need to bring:

  • a valid ID of your child

  • a birth or recognition certificate stating that you are the parent of the child. Check with the municipality what conditions this document must meet.



TUTORIAL: How to apply for a BSN number in the Netherlands

In this tutorial we will use Breda as an example, as one of the 19 cities where you can schedule the appointment. We will also share tutorials for other cities soon.

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