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Checklist for ending your business

This information is provided by:Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVONetherlands Enterprise Agency, RVONetherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVKNetherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVKStatistics Netherlands, CBSStatistics Netherlands, CBSLast updated on

There are many possible reasons you may have for ending your business. There are also some obligations you need to fulfil. Use this 10-step checklist to find out what you need to do.

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Watch this video for an overview of ways to end your business.

This checklist serves merely as a guideline. You may need to fulfil other obligations as well. Several steps can be carried out at the same time. Please note: This checklist is not meant for entrepreneurs who change their legal structure. Also, if you want to sell or transfer your business or if your business goes bankrupt, different rules apply.

1. Inform your clients and suppliers

Contact your clients and suppliers. Make sure to check the agreements you have with them before informing them.

2. Dismiss your staff

If you employ staff, you must terminate their employment contracts. You require a dismissal permit from the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV). Do you still owe your employees wages, but cannot pay them due to insolvency? Having a dismissal permit will allow you to transmit part of your paying obligations to the UWV. Your employees can claim insolvency benefit from the UWV. You must notify the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration about dismissing your employees.

3. Check whether you are eligible for business discontinuation relief

If you end your business, you may be eligible for discontinuation relief (stakingsaftrek). If you use this facility, you will pay less tax on profits on suspension of business.

4. Check whether you are eligible for benefits

Are you a self-employed professional and do you wish to cease trading? You may be eligible for financial support from your municipality. There are two options:

One of the conditions is that you are still registered in the Dutch Business Register.

5. Deregister from the Dutch Business Register

You must deregister from the Dutch Business Register. You can send the deregistration form to the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce (KVK) or hand it in personally.

6. Submit a final VAT return

KVK will pass on your notification of deregistration to the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration. You therefore do not have to deregister separately from their registers. Are you an entrepreneur according to the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration? Then they will send you a letter. If you have to make a final calculation and submit a final VAT return, it will say so in this letter.

7. Settle matters fiscally

You have to draw up a final balance sheet and settle with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration fiscally. You must send in final tax returns with regard to all relevant taxes, such as for example income tax. If you have built up a retirement reserve, you must settle this with your income tax. If you withdraw goods from your business for private use, you must pay VAT on these goods.

Read more about tax matters to deal with.

8. Cancel contracts, permits and business insurances

Remember to cancel your business insurances, permits, telephone numbers and subscriptions and to terminate running contracts, for example, for office space.

9. Discontinue using the domain name of your website

Contact your domain name registrar to discontinue use of the domain name(s) you have registered. The registrar will pass on the change to the Foundation for Internet Domain Registration in the Netherlands (SIDN).

10. Keep your business administration

After your business has ended, you must keep your administration for at least another 7 years. You may save your paper administration digitally.

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