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If you own a company in the Netherlands that is unable to pay their staff's wages or taxes and contributions, your company is said to be in a state of permanent insolvency. In such cases, the Dutch Employee Insurance Agency (Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen, UWV) can take over part of your wage payments.
Types of insolvency
There are 4 types of insolvency
- You have filed for suspension of payment
- You have been declared bankrupt by the court
- You have been granted a debt restructuring arrangement
- There is no court ruling yet, but you cannot pay you staff’s wages and creditors and are unlikely to be able to do so in the future
Reporting insolvency to Tax and Customs Administration
You must report your insolvency to the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration (in Dutch) within 2 weeks of missing the payment of taxes and contributions. If you do not, you could be held personally liable.
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, you should report this immediately to the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration, the Employee Insurance Agency (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.
Wages paid by UWV
If your company has petitioned for bankruptcy, is being managed by an official receiver or has requested permanent insolvency from a court of law, part of your payment obligations can be transferred to UWV. This applies to wages due or wages with regard to your staff's notice period. In the case of insolvancy, you need to apply for a dismissal permit from UWV first, before your employees can apply for unemployment benefit. If you have been declared bankrupt or are in a (statutory) debt restructuring arrangement you do not need to apply for a dismissal permit.
Company takeover prior to bankruptcy
If your company is being taken over prior to its bankruptcy, the new owner continues to employ and pay your staff.