Expat Services

The services bubblecake offer are wide ranging and are aimed at making your day-to-day life in the Netherlands as simple as possible.  Whether you are planning to move to the Netherlands, have just arrived in the country, or have been living here for many years, we can assist with all aspects of expat life.

The following sections will give examples of the kind of services that we can offer.  This is not an exhaustive list, but it will give you an idea of what bubblecake can offer.

Obtaining a BSN / Sofi Number

gemeente utrechtTo start working and earning money in the Netherlands, you will need to obtain a BSN (formerly known as SOFI number). This is a personal ID number that you get as soon as you register with your local city council ("Gemeente", department "burgerzaken").

Registering needs to be done within 5 working days of arriving in the Netherlands and can only be done in person. Even though this is a relatively simple task, it can be frustrating if you do not have all the correct paperwork with you, which can make for a wasted journey. If you need any assistance with registering, please This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Dutch Tax Office (Belastingdienst)

belastingdienstThe Dutch Tax authorities can be inconsistent with their approach to non-Dutch speakers.  The telephone menu system can be difficult to navigate through and if you do get to speak to someone, they will often refuse to speak to you in English, especially if the matter in question is a complicated one.  This, they say is their policy, but as an expat, it's not very helpful.

If you're having difficulties corresponding with the tax authorities, please This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we'll be happy to help.

Getting a Bank Account

bankpassUnfortunately, credit card usage and acceptance in the Netherlands is not as great as it is in other European countries.  This can make paying for items difficult as your choice is limited to either cash, debit card or "Chipknip" (re-chargeable cashcard).

We have had customers come to us who had been unable to obtain a bank account and could therefore not get a Chipknip, which was the only means of payment their office canteen accepted. They ended up not being able to pay for their own lunch at work!

The banking rules and regulations for expats can vary from bank to bank.  Obtaining a bank account in the Netherlands without a Dutch address or BSN makes the task even more complicated.  If you are having difficulties obtaining a bank account, please contact us and we'll be happy to try and assist.

Legal Matters

gavelBeing an expat can be complicated and there are times when you may need to know your legal rights as a citizen in the Netherlands.  We have assisted expats with all manner of legal issues, including marriage, divorce, buying a house, challenging debt collectors and pursuing a fraudulent website for the non delivery of goods.

Bubblecake are not trained legal professionals, however, we believe that knowing the facts and researching your situation before involving lawyers can save you significant amounts of money in the long run. 

We are also able to recommend legal services that have a history of delivering for our clients.

House Hunting

te koop verkochtWhether it's renting or buying, the Dutch housing market has its quirks.  Finding a good estate agent can certainly help understand these, but for an overview of general advice, recommended agents, and location advice, we can help.

Also, if you are leaving the country and have a house to rent out or sell, we can advise on rules and regulations and can even be available to deal with any administrative work that you are unable to undertake due to being out of the country.

Switching to a Dutch Drivers License

Walters Driving LicenseIt is a legal requirement to have photographic identification with you at all times in the Netherlands.  Carrying a passport around is not very practical, so, many expats planning on an extended stay in the Netherlands choose to switch their driving license to ensure that they have approved identification.

The advice that expats are given on this varies widely and their are some important rules and regulations that you should be aware of.  For help with this, please This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Day care and schools

school bus

If you move to the Netherlands with children, it can be challenging to find the right school to fit your children's needs. If you and your family want to stay for a longer period, you might want to enroll your children into a Dutch school. We can assist with finding a good school and offer advice on how to deal with homework etc.

If you prefer your children to go to a French, German, English or a general international school, there are several options. To find out more, please This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

For the smaller kids, you can choose from a number of day care centers. We can help finding one near you, where you feel understood. We can also advice on tax issues related to day care and schools. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .