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Payment term, collection charges and statutory interest

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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. You can decide on any payment term for consumers. If you deliver to companies or governments you need to 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. This term may not be unreasonably long. You specify this term in the contract or general conditions.

Business-to-business (B2B) contracts

Payment terms for agreements between companies are laid down in a European Directive.

  • Companies must pay the invoice within 60 days, unless you have made other arrangements and specified these in the contract.There are other rules for large companies.
  • You may set a longer payment period of up to 60 days in the contract if it can be demonstrated that this is not harmful to either party.
  • If no payment term is specified, 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 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 are allowed to:

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

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.

Demand for payment

Only if your customer is a consumer, you must send them a demand for payment. If your customer is a company, you are not obliged to do so.

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This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
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