BSN: your citizen identification number in the Netherlands

The BSN, or Burger Service Number (translated: Citizen Service Number), is a unique personal number. If you can pronounce it bay ess en, you will sound like a local. Everyone working and living (or even just living—everyone) in the Netherlands is required to have one. The BSN has different names in other countries; it might be familiar to you under the name Social Security Number, Citizen Service Number, or Social Fiscal Number. The number was introduced in 2007 in order to streamline communication between Dutch citizens and the government, and it’s now required to open a bank account or get health insurance—in fact, for quite a few things you will do when you live here. Payingit International is here to help you apply for a Burger Service Number.

How do you get a BSN as a non-Dutch citizen?

Dutch citizens get their unique BSN at birth, but how do you as a non-Dutch citizen get one? If you are staying in the Netherlands for less than four months, you can register as a non-resident on your own. However, if you are going to stay for longer than four months, you will get a BSN when you register with the municipality (the gemeente) where you will be living. Payingit International arranges this registration for knowledge migrants.


BSN Expat letter
A letter from a municipality showing the BSN of an expat living and working in the Netherlands for a period longer than four months.


Here’s how Payingit International makes it easier on you

Since getting all the right documents for settling in here can be a trial, we have a service designed to make it easier on you, and our total package includes applying for a BSN. If your employer or hirer makes use of our Payroll Umbrella Services, we will become your legal employer so it is also in our best interest that you get a BSN.


So we make the appointment, arrange all the necessary documents, and go with you to the appointment. Doesn’t that sound better? It makes it way easier for you to focus on more important things like getting settled in your new job.


Do you have questions about the bay ess en?! Or need help to apply for one? Do not hesitate to contact us. Call us +31 20 225 25 20 or email us