BSN is a general unique registration number for every citizen and is to be used in contact with any government service. Your employer needs your BSN for example to be able to pay you a salary. Also you need your BSN to register yourself with the public healthcare insurance.
You receive your BSN when you are registered with your local council (in the registration called the BRP). When you receive the confirmation from your local council that you have been succesfully registered in the BRP (Basisregistratie Personen) you will also find your BSN number in this letter.
Registration in RNI (Registratie Niet Ingezetenen - Registration for non residents), is open to you when you are considered a non resident in the Netherlands if:
- Your stay in the Netherlands will be shorter than 4 months
- You will not stay in the Netherlands at all
When you work for a Dutch employer but you are not situated in the Netherlands, a BSN might still be required. In these cases it is possible to apply for the BSN via the RNI. If you are not able to register in the RNI yourself, in case you will never visit the Netherlands, your employer can register you on your behalf by contacting the Dutch Tax Authorities.
For more information about how and where to regsiter in the RNI you can visit the website of the Dutch government.