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Payment term, collection charges, and statutory interest

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

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What is a reasonable payment period for goods or services delivered to consumers, businesses, or government in the Netherlands? Find out.

If you sell products or provide services, often a payment term is determined. If you deal with consumers, you can decide on the payment term. If you deliver to companies or governments you must comply with the legal maximum payment terms. The payment term is usually detailed in the general conditions of the contract.

Payment term for consumers

There is no legal payment term for consumers. As an entrepreneur you can set a reasonable payment term for consumers yourself. This term may not be unreasonably long. You specify this payment term in the contract or general conditions.

Payment term for business-to-business (B2B) contracts

Payment terms for agreements between companies are laid down in the European Directive for combating late payment in business dealings.

  • The legal payment term for companies is 60 days, unless you have made other arrangements and specified these in the contract.There are other rules for large companies to pay their SME clients.
  • You may set a longer payment period of up to 60 days in the contract if you can demonstrate that this is not harmful to either party.
  • If you did nog specify a payment term, the payment term is 30 days.

Payment term for large companies

Large companies must pay the invoice to SMEs or self-employed professionals (zzp’ers) within 30 days. You can only set a longer payment period than 30 days in the contract. But you are only allowed to do so if you can demonstrate that this does not have negative consequences to either party.

It depends on the number of employees, the annual revenue, and the balance sheet if your company is considered an SME or a large company. The basis for this is the legal entity.

Reporting late payment

If you have an SME and a large company fails to pay within the agreed or legal payment term, you can (anonymously) notify the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (Autoriteit Consument en Markt, ACM, in Dutch). Please note that reporting will not help you get paid. ACM collects these reports and sends them on to the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Contracts between companies and governments

There are legal payment terms for contracts between companies and governments. Governments must pay the invoice within 30 days of receiving it. This period can only be extended to 60 days in extraordinary circumstances. The central government in the Netherlands uses the General Government Terms and Conditions.

When your customer fails to pay

Did you deliver goods or services and has your customer not paid your invoice in time or not at all? You have the right to:

  • charge a standard fee for collection costs of €40
  • charge a reasonable compensation for expenses incurred, such as legal fees or collection costs
  • charge statutory interest, calculated from the date the payment term expires

Send a payment reminder

If your customer did not pay, you can send them a payment reminder (warning). Is you customer a consumer? You must first send a reminder without charging any reminder fees. If your customer is a company, you are not obliged to do so. You can then follow the collection procedure you outlined in your general terms and conditions. Check the Step-by-step plan: customer does not pay invoice for more information on payment reminders, demands, and collection.

Collection Costs

Collection costs are the costs you incur as a creditor in order to collect a money claim, if your debtor fails to pay this claim of his own accord. The fee is a percentage of the bill. If your debtor is a company (B2B), you can deviate from this in an agreement. Statutory regulations will apply if there is no agreement.

Statutory interest

Statutory interest for commercial transactions applies to deliveries to companies and to the government. In case of deliveries to consumers, the statutory interest rate for non-commercial transactions applies. The Dutch central bank (De Nederlandsche Bank, DNB) publishes several interest rates, among others the current statutory interest rates.

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This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
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