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Government information for entrepreneurs

Petitioning for bankruptcy

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO | Statistics Netherlands organisation, CBS

When you own a business in the Netherlands and you are no longer able to pay off your debts, you can petition the courtExternal link (in Dutch) to be declared bankrupt. To do so, you must use a special formExternal link (in Dutch). You can do this for yourself or for the company you represent. Whether or not you will be declared personally bankrupt depends on your legal structure.

Insolvency and directors' and officers' liability

If you are a director or officer of a public (NV) or private limited company (BV) that is no longer able to pay certain taxes or employee or pension contributions (insolvency), you should report this immediately to the Dutch Tax and Customs AdministrationExternal link, the Employee Insurance AgencyExternal link (UWV, in Dutch) or your pension fund. If you fail to do so, you may be held personally liable, and your private assets may be seized.

Administration ban

If one of the company directors has committed bankruptcy fraud, he/she can be banned from acting as a director for a period of up to 5 years. During that time he/she cannot act as a director for a legal entity.

What happens after you have been declared bankrupt?

If the court declares you or your company bankrupt, they will appoint an official receiver. This is the only person who is allowed to manage your company from the day that you have been declared bankrupt. He/she decides on the order in which your creditors will be repaid.

Starting again

If you want to start again as entrepreneur, but you still have unpaid debts or accounts, then be aware you will still have to pay these debts or bills to your creditors, for example to the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration.

Your customer's bankruptcy

If one of your customers has gone bankrupt and still owes you money, their receiver will send you a letter about their bankruptcy. If you have not received this letter, make sure to contact them yourself. During a meeting, when the receiver will discuss all outstanding accounts, you may clarify your claim.

Central Insolvency Register

All bankruptcies, suspension of payments and debts managements of natural persons are listed on the Netherlands Judiciary website (Rechtspraak.nl). This is called the Central Insolvency RegisterExternal link (in Dutch).

Statistics: bankruptcies

Number of bankruptcies.

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Statistics Netherlands organisation, CBS