Freelance Dancer as a Business
Becoming a freelancer is becoming a entrepreneur!
Perhaps not with employee’s, but being self-employed will certainly bring some interesting challenges which you would not experience as an employee.
The main reasons of becoming a freelancer dancer is normally quite diverse, but in the dance world it can be required to obtain temporary projects.
Even so, it does not change the fact that becoming a freelance dancer is not for everyone.
Some do not like the risks, others are not so talented in communication and others just don’t like hopping from project to project. In other words a lot of reasons why you should or should not be self-employed.
Most freelancer’s I have spoken to remember the precise moment they decided to be self-employed and the day they registered their company at the Chamber of Commerce.
What they remember after those memorable moments was the mere panic in what to now? Do I need a bookkeeping? How do I do my bookkeeping? What are the quarterly VAT tax declarations? How do I make invoices and which expenses are deductible?
Based on a multitude of dancers who started working as a freelancer, we could easily extract a short Do and Don’ts:
Think of a company name! Although a lot of freelancers take their original name as a company name, its not obligated.
Open a separate bank account for your business. Its more transparent to keep private and business transactions apart.
Keep track of all your time working in your own business. Also of the preparation time before you officially opened your business. To be recognized as a business you need to be working at least 1225 hours in your business. This includes doing your paperwork, buying essential products etc.
Save all receipts! All the costs that are work related are deductible, and some in ratio depending how much you use it privately and for your business. For example your telephone costs.
Apply for a VAR (Independent Contractor Status Statement). There are 4 different ones, but as a freelance dancer you will need the VAR-wuo which actually declares that you have profits from business activities. It declares whether the Dutch Tax Administration considers you an payroll-employee or an entrepreneur.
Your life a freelancer is hectic, especially as a dancer. Training, performances and taking care of your business. Make sure you take a bookkeeper that can and will adjust to your specific needs in opening hours and modern communication. Traditional bookkeepers who can only be reached by normal mail and telephone during office hours from Monday to Friday will not suffice.
Although this is just a short summary, it essential to get above points done before you start or just started your own company. In the next article I will go deeper into the fiscal part of being self employed as a dancer in The Netherlands.
Co-owner of B&T Financials