Ending your professional partnership (maatschap)

Published by:
Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK
Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK

If you decide to end your maatschap (professional partnership), you must notify the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce KVK. First, you must dissolve the partnership. You will also have to settle with the Netherlands Tax Administration. Keep your administration for at least 7 years. Read this checklist to find out how to end your public partnership.

1. Check the agreements with your partners

Have you and your partners made oral or written agreements? If you have a partnership agreement, this includes agreements on the distribution of profits and liability for losses and debts when the maatschap is dissolved. Partners will need to pay part of the debts and may get their share back in cash or in kind (such as products).

2. Dissolving the maatschap

In order to end your partnership, you must dissolve it. All partners must then give notice. Report the dissolution of your partnership to KVK with form 17a 'Dissolution of a partnership or shipping company' (pdf). KVK immediately deregisters the maatschap from the Business Register.

KVK informs the Tax Administration that you are ending the partnership. The Tax Administration will send you a letter about the VAT and income tax consequences (see steps 7 and 8). Do you want to apply for unemployment benefits? Then wait a little longer before deregistering (see below).

Dissolution through a court

If the partners do not agree with the dissolution of the partnership, you can go to court to have the partnership dissolved. This can only be done for important reasons, such as disturbed relationships and non-performance.

Dissolving a maatschap with outstanding debts

Are you forced to end your professional partnership because your company is in debt? Investigate whether you qualify for debt restructuring. For temporary debts, you can first request a postponement (suspension of payment). If you are still unable to pay off your debts, you must file for bankruptcy.

3. Check the financial consequences

When you end your professional partnership, you and your partners draw up a final balance (or have it drawn up). This is a final overview of the assets of your maatschap. The capital must be settled (vereffening) and divided. Therefore, always check the following matters:

Does your professional partnership have loans? Check what the agreements are. If you cannot fulfil your obligations, then contact the financier and try to find a solution.

Do you have lease agreements? For example, for a company van or machines? Check the duration of the contract. Contact the leasing company (lessor) to find out what the options are.

If you were born before 1960 and you own a business which is no longer viable, you can apply for a benefit via the Decree on Social Assistance to the Self-Employed (Besluit bijstandverlening zelfstandigen, Bbz). With the help of the Bbz you can receive benefits in addition to your income up to the level of a social welfare benefit. Please note: you must have spent at least 1225 hours per year on your maatschap. If you were born after 1960, the benefit applies until the professional partnership ends. You can apply for the Bbz benefit at the social services of the municipality where you live.

Are you aged between 55 and the state pension age? Then you may be eligible for the Older and Partially Disabled Self-Employed Income Support (IOAZ). With the IOAZ benefit, your income will be supplemented up to social welfare level. You must be able to demonstrate that you have too little income to live on. Apply for the IOAZ benefit at the municipality where you live.

Apply before deregistering from KVK

Please note: you must submit the application for Bbz and the IOAZ benefit before you deregister your general partnership with KVK.

If a car is registered to the company, the registration of the car needs to be transferred to another company or to a person. It can not be registered to the company any longer when the company is deregistered from the Dutch Business Register. Read more.

4. Check what to cancel

Before you deregister your business or board member, make sure you know what the consequences are for your bank account, financing, insurance, pension fund, or municipal permits. For example, if you are deregistered from KVK, you can no longer access your business bank account. So before you deregister from KVK, consider what you need and what it could mean for you. Make sure you cancel contracts and insurance policies of your maatschap. For instance:

5. Inform your staff and customers

Do you have staff? Tell them in time that you are going to end your business. This way your staff can look for different work in the meantime.Also check which contracts or agreements you have with customers and suppliers. Do this before you tell them you are ending your business.

6. Dismissing staff

There are rules that you must adhere to if you employ staff. If you need to dismiss staff, you must apply for a dismissal permit. You must also lay down agreements in a social plan, such as a transition payment and job counseling. Also notify the Netherlands Tax Administration of the dismissal.

    7. Submit your final VAT return

    After the Tax Administration has been informed that your professional partnership has been deregistered, all partners will receive a letter stating that you must submit a final VAT return.

    8. Pay income tax

    The Tax Administration will send you a letter confirming the deregistration from the Business Register and the tax settlement. Each partner must file a final income tax return.

    9. Keep your records

    After ending your professional partnership, you must keep business records for at least 7 years. You may also scan the records to keep them digitally.

    Questions relating to this article?

    Please contact the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK