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Contracts for work under Dutch law

Contract for work under Dutch law

WHAT IS the definition for A Dutch CONTRACT FOR WORK?

A contract for work under Dutch law can be defined as a private-law contract for the mutual exchange of services in which one party, the contractor, undertakes vis-à-vis another party, the client, to create and deliver a work of a material nature in return for a sum payable by the client.

Construction law in the Netherlands

The Dutch Civil Code governs the relationship between the principal and the contractor. However, statutory provisions can also be deviated from between the parties, as long as this does not constitute mandatory law. An example of a mandatory law is the provisions of the award for the construction of a dwelling commissioned by a natural person who is not acting in the exercise of a profession or business and is, therefore, a consumer.

As Dutch law contains consumer protection provisions in this respect, these may not be derogated. For the drafting of your contract for work or other legal questions on the subject, please contact our Dutch contract law specialists at MAAK Attorneys, who will be happy to assist you with the drafting or amendment of a contract for work.

In addition, there are special rules in the Netherlands for the termination of the contract for work and the resulting consequences. The client and the contractor can have the contract terminated by a Dutch court before the stipulated date if it is likely that the other party will not fulfil its obligations or will not fulfil them in time. However, in the event of termination on the part of the Client, it is possible that the Client will have to compensate the Contractor.



We know from our practice that various problems can arise during the execution of the order. But when is a delivery to be considered improper? Is it possible to suspend payment in case of improper performance of the contract? Must additional work be paid for even if it has not been agreed? If you have any questions about contracts for work and services, our English-speaking specialist lawyers for contract law in Amsterdam will be happy to help you; feel free to contact them without obligation.

Additional work is generally understood to mean activities of the contractor that go beyond his obligation to perform and deliver the agreed work. For this additional work, the contractor then regularly demands an additional payment that exceeds the agreed remuneration. Often the question arises as to whether these additional activities were necessary and whether the client actually has to pay the higher amount. In the opposite case, i.e. if the contractor has to do less work, it is a case of a transaction that was not carried out, but which was agreed between the parties and is included in the contract price.


Dutch law provides that additional compensation for extra work can be claimed if the contractor has informed the principal in good time of the necessity of a price increase. This obligation does not apply if the principal should have been aware of the price increase of his own accord. The purpose behind this provision is to give the principal the opportunity to consider and decide for himself whether he wants to have the additional work carried out or not. This provision is also mandatory law, which may not be deviated from by contract.


In the Netherlands, a fixed price is often agreed between the client and the contractor with regard to remuneration. However, this does not necessarily apply to all components that the contractor processes. This is because at the beginning of the work it is often not possible to say conclusively how high the costs will be. A cost estimate is then generally agreed between the parties, but it must not be disproportionate. In principle, however, even if a fixed price is agreed, all further changes must be discussed with the client so that additional remuneration can be demanded.


If you have any questions or require legal assistance regarding construction law in the Netherlands, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our knowledgeable and dedicated team at our Dutch law firm.  Our Dutch lawyers are committed to providing exceptional legal services and personalized attention to address your unique needs regarding contracts for work. We draft contracts, but also provide legal support regarding the termination of a contract for work in the Netherlands. You can contact us through our website, via email, or by phone. Our friendly and professional staff will be more than happy to assist you and schedule a consultation with one of our expert attorneys in the Netherlands, for example a Dutch litigation attorney or contract lawyer in the Netherlands in Amsterdam. We look forward to the opportunity to help you navigate the complexities of the legal landscape and achieve the best possible outcomes for your case.

Contact person: Remko Roosjen | attorney-at-law
Office number: +31 (0)20 – 210 31 38

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