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Written by:
Bas Hollenberg


Customary salary in 2017

The “customary salary scheme” applies to any employee who is the holder of a substantial interest in the company he or she works for (usually the company’s director-cum-controlling shareholder and his or her life partner). The minimum level of a director-cum-controlling shareholder’s salary must be the same as the highest of the following three amounts:

  • 75% of the wage from the more or most similar service contract;
  • The top wage earned by the private limited-liability company’s other employees;
  • € 45,000 (2016: € 44,000).

The private limited-liability company has the option of applying a lower salary level than that outlined above (on condition, that is, that it should succeed in making this plausible). Allowances may be made for an up to 25% variance (to an absolute minimum of € 45,000 p.a.) compared with the salary from the more or most similar service contract.

A less stringent regime has been in force since the first of January 2017 where directors-cum-controlling shareholders of innovative start-ups are concerned, in that the minimum wage or lower wage from a similar service contract will apply as their customary salary. The criteria for qualifying as an innovative start-up are as follows:

  • the private limited-liability company should have a Research & Development Certificate for (part of) the year at its disposal;
  • the private limited-liability company should be entitled to the increased R&D rate for start-ups;
  • there should be no question of prohibited state aid.

Dutch version: Gebruikelijk loon in 2017

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