I need a registration number for tax and social security. Is that the BSN?
If you live in the Netherlands you will need a registration number: the citizen service number, in Dutch called "burgerservicenumber" or "BSN". If you don't live in the Netherlands but you receive an income from the Netherlands, for example because you are working here, you also need a registration number. In that case a BSN will not be applicable, instead you will have to request a "sofinumber". In the past a SOFI number was the standard registration number for everybody, but in 2007 the BSN was introduced for people living in the Netherlands. Currently the BSN is also required for non residents who work in the Netherlands.
What is a BSN used for?
The citizen service number is used by all government organisations. A BSN is required in order to be permitted to work, open a bank account, make use of a health care institution (a doctor or hospital) and to apply for benefit or an allowance.
How do I get a BSN?
When you arrive in the Netherlands you have to register with the municipality. Part of the registration procedure is that a BSN is issued to you. The same if you register a new born child. If you are not living in the Netherlands you will need to go to the municipality of the place you are working. Not all municipalities may be able to register you as a non resident in which case they will refer you to the right municipality.
Where can I find more information about the BSN?
See also our website: www.expatax.nl/bsn.php.