Making a new start after a bankruptcy

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

Sometimes a restart of your business is possible. In a restart, you continue with the profitable parts of your business. This is only possible if your company is a legal entity, such as a private limited company (bv). Read this step-by-step plan on how a restart after bankruptcy works.

1. The curator examines your business during the cooling-off period

A curator (also referred to as the receiver, liquidator, curator, or administrator) determines if your business can be restarted. They do so during the cooling-off period. The court sets a cooling-off period if creditors demand a quick payoff. A cooling-off period lasts up to 2 months, and can be extended for another 2 months. During this period, your creditors cannot demand money or goods from you. The curator takes this period to investigate your company's financial situation.

2. Make a restart plan

For a restart to be successful, you need to act quickly. Making a restart plan can help you do so. This plan states which parts (assets) you want to buy from your bankrupt company. And how much and how you want to pay for them.

You will need the restart plan for your negotiations with the curator. In your plan, explain exactly how you want to proceed with your business and justify why. For example, by including a valuation report or a statement from your accountant proving the value of your assets.

3. Arrange financing

A restart requires money. If your bank or investor is also a creditor, you will need to obtain financing in other ways. Read more about options for financing.

4. Negotiating with the curator

Now you start negotiations with the curator. You offer an amount of money for the parts (assets) of your business that you want to keep. Such as:

- the customer database

- intellectual property rights

- orders/assignments not yet fulfilled

- inventory or supplies

In your offer, describe how you want to proceed with your business. You have prepared this in your restart plan.

Other interested parties can also bid for the company. The curator will give them a few days or weeks to do so. that way, the company does not lose value unnecessarily.

5. Determine which contracts you will take with you

For example, you do not automatically retain contracts with suppliers in case of a restart after bankruptcy. You can decide which contracts you want to take over. This is part of your offer.

6. Taking employees with you

After a restart, you do not have to rehire your employees. You decide who you give an employment contract. During bankruptcy, employees are paid by the wage guarantee scheme of the Employee Insurance Agency (Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen, UWV).

For a restart, you need another legal entity. Do you not have one? Then set up a new legal entity with a civil-law notary and then register with the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce KVK again. Choose a legal entity and go through the registration steps. Fill out the forms as completely as possible. To finalise your registration, make an appointment online by logging in with DigiD. You can register at any KVK office in the Netherlands.

8. Asset transaction

Your negotiations with the curator have been successful. The curator records in an asset transaction which parts of your company you have bought. These parts are transferred out of the bankrupt legal entity, into another or new legal entity. The debts remain with the bankrupt legal entity. Your creditors cannot claim debts from your new legal entity.

Pre-pack in case of bankruptcy

In a pre-pack deal, you investigate with a ‘silent administrator’, before the bankruptcy, whether a restart after bankruptcy is possible. Read how this works.

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK