BSN number - what is it? How to make and check the former Sofi number?

author: Maciej Wawrzyniak3 March 2023
BSN number - what is it? How to make and check the former Sofi number?


When planning an extended trip to the Netherlands, it is worthwhile to learn in advance about the regulations applicable there, in order to save yourself from possible complications related to employment and life in the Netherlands. One of the basic issues worth assimilating is the BSN number. Today we discuss this document and suggest how to get one and check it at any time. We invite you to read on.

In a word of introduction, that is, what is a BSN (Sofi number)?

On the Internet we can often encounter questions such as "what is a BSN number" or "burgerservicenummer what is it". The name may make you wonder - but in reality it doesn't mean anything complicated.

A BSN number (formerly a Sofi number) is the equivalent of an identification number. Burger service nummer, as its full name is, is assigned to both Dutch citizens and foreigners who have been in the Netherlands for more than 4 months. The BSN number is a document that allows a person's tax identification with the tax office and other administrative authorities.Banner angielski aangifte

BSN Netherlands document - is it mandatory?

The socio-fiscal identification number - as we mentioned above - replaced the Sofi number (Sofinummer). Today it has a lot of uses - the best example is that it is used to identify people living and working in the Netherlands in more than 50 different authorities.

The BSN number - although not mandatory for everyone - makes it significantly easier to function in the Netherlands. Why should you be interested in getting this document? First of all, because it is necessary in order to obtain legal work in the Netherlands. However, this is not all - the BSN number will also be useful, among other things:

  • in dealing with administrative authorities,
  • to open a bank account,
  • to take advantage of social benefits,
  • to settle income tax,
  • to obtain health insurance,
  • to purchase medicines at pharmacies,
  • to enroll children in kindergarten/school.

BSN Number - how to make one?

Customers often ask us "how to make a Sofi number in the Netherlands?" - However, from the article you already know that this is not possible due to its replacement by a BSN document. We always try to provide up-to-date information, so today we will tell you how it is to make the currently valid ID, the Burger service nummer.

Today we will discuss two options for those who decide to find a job on their own (i.e. without the help of an employment agency).

BSN Netherlands number - for those who come for less than 4 months

A sizable number of workers go to the Netherlands for a short period of time - usually during the vacations for seasonal work. If this type of trip is not longer than 4 months, you need to register with one of the 19 municipal offices - you can find the contact information, along with the cities where you can do this, here (page in Dutch).

At the office, you will need to register in the population registry as a non-resident - you should then receive a BSN number. Remember to have a valid ID with you.

Importantly - you need to make an appointment to visit the municipality office. You can do this online (online form) or by sending an email or calling the number provided (to the appropriate office on the list). Signing in with the population registry (BRP) is free.

Making a BSN number in the Netherlands - for those who plan to come longer than 4 months

Are you planning to come to the Netherlands for a longer period of time? If your stay will exceed 4 months, you will be required to register in the country at a specific residential address.

If this is the case, you should go to the municipality office (which has jurisdiction over the place where you intend to register). If this is your first registration in the Netherlands, you will automatically be entered in the population register (BRP), and you will be issued a BSN number.

Can you make a BSN number online? No - this is not possible.

Making a BSN number - what documents should I prepare?

In order to be able to register, and thus - to count on receiving a BSN number in the Netherlands, you need to prepare a couple of forms that confirm your residence at a specific address in the Netherlands. When going to the municipal office, take with you such documents as:

  • identity card,
  • tenancy agreement,
  • act of ownership of the apartment,
  • the landlord's statement of rent.

Dutch BSN number - how long do you have to wait to get one?

How long does it take to get a BSN number in the Netherlands? As a rule, as soon as an hour after filling out the documents, you should have your unique identifier assigned. However, there are situations in which you will have to wait even a few weeks - it all depends on the specific office.

Forget about complex forms, bewildering rules, and endless calls to the tax office. Just input your details into our online Dutch tax refund calculator, and it will quickly clear up any uncertainties, clearly displaying your entitlements. It’s straightforward and quick – exactly how it ought to be! With this help, your tax return will be effortless - try it out today!

Social and fiscal identification number - how to check? Where can you find it?

How to check the BSN number? You can do it at https://www.svb.nl/nl/ - provided you have a DigiD (you can read more about it in our previous article How to settle your tax in the Netherlands through DigiD? After logging in to the site, select the Raadplegen (check) option, where you should find your personal information, which includes your first name, last name, home address and BSN number.