Rigid tax system, features of finding housing and moving and remarkable facts about the Dutch. The founder of the game Studio, tinyBuilds Alex Nichiporchik wrote for publication a column about the DTF establish a company in the Netherlands, living conditions and the taxation of the country.
Now in the beautiful city of Amsterdam hosts a conference of the Unite. In the tape you see a bunch of Facebook friends, admiring the city and the country as a whole. I lived there from 2010 to 2017 — seven years.
I moved there in 2010 to work in the company Spil Games. There he met with a lot of flash developers who eventually moved on to developing PC games. At the end of 2011 started a side project that you now know how tinyBuild. We still have Studio in the Netherlands dedicated to porting and corrubedo games.
Now Im building a Studio in the US, about the practices which will be known early next year. In this article I want to tell you about my experience seven years of his life in Holland. It is important to understand that Amsterdam is a tourist center and does not represent the country as a whole. It lives only 800 thousand people, and throughout the country — more than 16 million.
For comparison, Latvia is almost the same size, but its population is only 2 million people. Holland is very densely populated and it is difficult to find the rural wilderness or nature. Forests are very rare, each neatly laid out paths and maps. Getting lost is almost impossible.
If you are thinking about moving to Holland, I recommend the zone around Te Gooi. If you take the map of Amsterdam, Utrecht and Amersfoort, in any point of the formed triangle can point the finger and get into a good area to live. Take a trip to Utrecht and look at it. Similar to Amsterdam, but cheaper and with fewer tourists. Amersfoort a little further away, but he has a great center in the form of a walled castle with walls.
I originally moved to the city of hilversum, just because it was based in my employer company. For €800 a month you could rent an apartment of 80 square meters, close to station, shops and work. Suddenly, completely disappeared in the machine.
About visa and legal issues will speak separately. Now on the practical part. When moving to Holland, suddenly comes with a lot of bureaucracy. Im talking about practical things like the Internet, the registration service provider of water, electricity, and the like.
In no case do not skimp on realtor. Rent an apartment through an Agency. You will have to pay approximately three monthly fees. For the first and last months rent to the landlord and one month for the services of a realtor.
A realtor will register you everywhere and make sure you have water and electricity. ?300 per person per month you need just to lay in mandatory spending. This includes health insurance, utilities and city taxes. You will be charged for the supply of water to the house for filtration and the maintenance of infrastructure — all separate companies. So the apartment for €800 a month will cost you €1—€1.1 thousand in the form of mandatory spending.
This is all you need to keep in mind when negotiating the salary. Life in old Europe is very expensive. Hilversum is a 30-minute train ride from the airport, and it has everything I need.
Beautiful centre, cinema, compactness and practicality. When I retired from Spil Games, and began to build tinyBuild, it was found that there is a University HKU, teaching Unity and game design — very convenient. To Amsterdam 20 minutes by train. And it is the center region Te Gooi, it is considered to be safe and beautiful. Sat on the bike and in 15 minutes youre in the forest, 20 minutes — and youre on the beach on the lake.
Many believe hilversum boring, and if you want more like this place — not for you, it is better to live in Utrecht. There is a lot of universities and a large nightlife scene, including gamedev community. And if you want a bunch of drunken Brits in mankini, Amsterdam.
In Holland expensive to live in terms of prices and in terms of taxes. If you are an it specialist, to move to Holland easier for highly skilled immigrant visa. She has a number of requirements in the form of education or outstanding achievements in the sphere of high technologies and give big tax rebate. When negotiating the salary you need to expect that at least 30% of it will go to taxes.
Always negotiated “gross” (income before taxes). Salary requirements for this visa change every year, but usually its less than €50 thousand per year. Most often this figure is enough to rent a house and live comfortably. Immediately find out if you find yourself under the 30% rulling is when 30% of the salary is not taxed.
That is, with wages of €50 thousand per year €15 thousand will automatically be given “freely”, without taxation. This bun can shift you to a lower level, since the tax system in the country progressive. Calculate 30% “rollinga” and without on the basis of €50 thousand per year using the calculator. Without 30% “rolling”.
Out €2.8 thousand “clean” in a month. Note that the employer pays on top for approximately 30% of their taxes. This applies only to employees. If you run your business and consider yourself in hiring, add another 30% on top.
So if you ask for his salary to €4 thousand a month (about €50 million per year), home, no tax benefits will carry €2.8 thousand. With a 30% “rollinga”.
Taxable salary is €37 thousand a year. There are reasons why its not exactly “minus 30%”. Its hard. Can count themselves progressive taxes in 2017, together with non-taxable minimums.
As you can see, the difference is significant. In 2010 the discount was given for 10 years, today give seven. Its mission is to integrate international professionals into the society. Without her earning it becomes very expensive. The top tier of income tax — 52%.
So that one moment you realize that you have spent €1 on top of each €1 that you spend. In Holland you can get a loan to buy a house. It is very difficult and it is necessary to have a lot of money in the account, good work history, a permanent work contract and so on. But you can write off with taxes mortgage on the house.
Yes, in Holland everything is very expensive in terms of taxes. And if you are an employer generally do not go there. In addition to the laws on taxes from the employer that I mentioned, there is also a trick with the contracts.
For example, if I take a man for the job, then give him a one-year contract. If you suddenly decide to fire him three months later — I have to pay him for the entire year. If you extend the contract, you can renew for a year or two (do everything in one year). However, the third contract must be permanent.
People with tenure are almost impossible to fire — need to agree. The law is a minimum of one salary for each year of the employees work (if the dismissal is for a good cause). If not, people are paid salary for two years. Ive seen employees with permanent contracts went to “cheer” for a year and a half, while after the ninth month of the hospital they still had to pay 70% of salary.
Holland is a Paradise for the workers and a hell for innovators and founders. For the founders of the companies put the minimum wage. This means that I, as a Director of the firm, cant pay himself a salary of €0. Minimum, and to work around it, it is necessary to request exclusion from the government.
Couldnt you just be a freelancer or self-employed?. The question I asked when we started the Studio. The short answer is no.
There is a law that prevents freelancers work for one client for a period of more than six months of the year. Many try to circumvent it through the structure of the firms. We threw the staff between multiple paying companies, though in fact all worked on the same project. It works, but not for long.
The only thing you can do as an employer is to pay another 30% on top of all the taxes and work through a recruitment Agency. They have a license to the results of hourly contracts without restrictions. For all these reasons in the Netherlands is very poorly developed game development. In addition to Guerilla Games theres no one there.
All indie first generation have died or are unable to expand because of restrictions due to the risk of recruitment. It is, frankly, shameful. For the same reason I went there. But the article is not about that.
Yes, taxes are huge and its all very sad in terms of creating business. But if you go to work in an established it company, Holland is a Paradise. All smiles. Everywhere is clean.
No homeless people. Decriminalized virtually all drugs. All are in “middle” class. Last, I hope, is clear — if there are huge taxes, that to be rich is very difficult. And the poor support a strong social system.
The Dutch have a well thought out help system. It is impossible to fall so much that he will not stay home. Most of the homeless find themselves in such situations due to mental disorders, but in the country there are solutions to these problems. As I said, Ive seen people that were on leave for a year.
Its called “burnout” (when tired at work). Sounds like a joke, but this is something there. In the country a little sun, bad weather, and people begin to get depressed. If you were on the street and want to eat — youre not going to ask for help.
Apply to the local government, it gives you a bed and food in exchange for what you go to a specialist and you will be integrated into society. Comes to me for an interview the developer. Learned in University, Unity Developer (bachelors degree). Year out of work.
Ask what he did this year. Says collect unemployment, its hard, tired already. Want to work. Ask — where examples of work. Where the experience.
Says no experience, because he is busy receiving unemployment benefits. It is clear that such unmotivated person I wont keep in the office. The next day I get a call the government, and begins to bargain. “Well, give him a chance.
We will pay his salary for four months. Six. And give tax credits!”. The standard of living is actually average a very high.
No poor. No rich. People are very happy and enjoy life. For example, if you want to buy a car for example, BMW 5 series and youll pay 20% above market value as a tax of €200 per month and €150 for insurance. Large heavy cars are a luxury, and its very precious.
In the Netherlands, there was the financial crisis of late 2000-ies. It is difficult to get loans (even credit card), and so the residents feel the effects of the. People can enjoy what they have. So when I came to work on a healthy SUV (Latvian rooms), I was condemned and feared.
People are afraid to stand out, to be normal is quite crazy. They are very stiff and love the binary approach to the task. Hence, this is the charm of small Dutch doll houses. Therefore, no one dresses up nicely.
Dutch girls do not know the words “heels” and “cosmetics”. Imagine what is to come with a beautiful Ukrainian girl for a corporate party. All these things help in business because people are afraid of conflict. For example, the head of the University from which we hire employees once tried to pressure me in public — why we dont hire anyone with a “proper” contracts.
I went on a local talk show, openly called on the subject it and all the Dutch government — say, why do you stifle startups. In the end, I was invited to be a lecturer at this University. There is a Belgian joke. The Dutch typically high.
Mini Cooper — car is small. How to shove it 10 the Dutch. To throw a coin. When Julia, our PR Director, was a Director of showcase at Casual Connect, in their Amsterdam show is a funny situation.
Rented hostel for indie developers. A total of over six thousand euros. When you transfer money somewhere in kotah lost €10. Because of these accidents €10 hostel called and threatened to cancel my reservation. I had to ask friends to escape to this hotel and pay the difference.
The Dutch work very hard. They are very, very picky and greedy in terms of money. Neither the Dutch not to say. “Okay, then come back”.
This is due to the tax situation described above. Even the Dutch love to plan. I have never seen that after work someone could easily stand up and drink beer. Usually it was a group of foreigners.
True, the Dutchman has already planned everything six months ahead. At first it used to drive me mad. Then I realized that this is due to the overall structure of the work. Want to see a doctor — a record for four weeks.
You cant go anywhere just come and say “want to do” such as go karting or paintball. There are so many people that the initiatives need to be planned in advance and the schedule quickly becomes clogged. Even this is complicated by the fact that many people every day are traveling 100-150 miles one way. Very well developed system of trains and work day, many spend their 2-3 hours.
Time for spontaneity is almost gone. I learned how to find balance in this, but honestly, in my personal life for one week in the United States have more than a month in the Netherlands. Yes, the country decriminalizing almost all.
You can buy marihauna that “mushrooms”. For hard drugs, no one jailed. Many people ask me how bad it is and how often “meet addicts”. The answer is very simple — I have never seen fights “stoned” people. All sitting around the coffee shop and playing chess or other Board game.
Its very friendly people. And strong drugs the British in Amsterdam (nobody likes them). The Dutch culture of tolerance to such. If you want to do something — do importantly, do not disturb others around themselves.
Therefore, problems with drugs as there are none. And with the social assistance people always have someone to talk to. Another reason why the Dutch bad game design and really well with any stable industry is the approach to work. They love specialization.
My job is to make a picture. Yours is to stick it on the website. We do it well and efficiently. If suddenly I need to do to insert this picture, the system crashing. Culture cant work with multitasking.
So they can successfully take existing technologies and optimize their. To build effective processes that can be “Skalite”. And in the gaming industry this does not work, as the processes are changing every year and a half. But if you cant fire people that you dont need money, the business collapses.
But if you can build a process in a stable industry and hire people who are very responsible approach to their single task, to achieve success. Beer is drunk from very small glasses — 0.3. The theory is that beer then becomes warm and is exhaled. With this I agree was in the third year after I took 27 of these glasses for the evening.