Am I allowed to work as a prostitute in the Netherlands?

You may work as a prostitute in the Netherlands if you are over the age of 18. You must also satisfy a number of conditions, which depend on your country of origin.

Prostitutes from EEA countries and Switzerland

If you are a citizen of one of the countries within the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, you may work in the sex industry as a paid employee or a freelancer. You will need a valid identification card.

There is also the ‘opt-in system’ (voorwaardenpakket). This is a package of standard working conditions. By ‘opting in’ a prostitute can work for a business owner without being an employee. A business owner who wishes to apply this system must obtain an advance tax ruling regarding prostitution from the Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst).

If you are a citizen of Croatia, you may only work in the sex industry as a freelancer.

Prostitutes from outside the EEA

If you are from outside the EEA, you may only work in the sex industry as a freelancer. You will need a valid residence permit with the status ‘freelance work permitted’.

Conditions for working in the sex industry

All the conditions for working as a prostitute can be found in the ‘Working in prostitution in the Netherlands’ brochure (in Dutch).