Good to know
The Dutch legal structure maatschap is known in English as a professional or 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 cancel your partnership, you must dissolve it.
If one of the partners does not agree with the termination of the partnership, you can have the partnership ended in court. This is only possible in special cases, such as difficult relationships between the partners or non-fulfilment of obligations by one of the partners.
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.
4. 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.
5. Dismissing staff
There are rules that you must adhere to if you employ staff. If you , you must apply for a dismissal permit. You must also lay down agreements in a , such as a and job counseling. Also notify the Dutch tax authorities of the dismissal.
6. Deregister your general partnership from the Business Register
Deregister your maatschap from the Dutch Business Register. To deregister your professional partnership, you must first dissolve it (see step 2). The Netherlands Chamber of Commerce KVK informs the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration about the termination. You will receive a letter from the Dutch tax authorities about the consequences for income tax and VAT. Do you want to apply for a benefit? Do this before deregistering (see step 3).
7. Submit your final VAT return
After the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration has been informed that your professional partnership has been deregistered, all partners will receive a letter stating that you must submit a final .
8. Pay income tax
The Dutch Tax and Customs Administration will send you a letter confirming the deregistration from the Business Register and the tax settlement. Each partner must file a final .
9. Check what to cancel
Make sure you cancel contracts and insurance policies of your maatschap. For instance:
- business insurance
- phone numbers
- domain name
Canceling your business bank account
Before you close your business bank account, take care of the following:
- Download all bank statements and/or the annual financial statement.
- Stop current debit agreements and periodic transfers.
- Cancel linked credit cards and insurance.
- Do you have a G-account? Contact the Dutch tax authorities to cancel it.
Ask your bank about the procedure for canceling a business bank account.
10. Keep your records
After ending your professional partnership, you must keep for at least 7 years. You may also scan the records to keep them digitally.