Checklist for closing down your Netherlands small business
You can always quit your business or cease trading. You do not need permission for this. There is a lot to consider with company closure (also called liquidation). But what rules and permits will you have to deal with? What are the tax implications? What should you do with your registration in the Trade Register of the Chamber of Commerce? Read on this page which are the most important steps you need to take to end your business.
Let customers and suppliers know that you are going to stop
Contact your customers and suppliers. First, take a good look at which contracts or agreements you have with them. Only then let your customers know that you are quitting.
Do you have personnel? Then there are obligations that you must meet. If you need to fire staff, you must apply for a dismissal permit. You can record agreements in a social plan, such as severance pay.
Check whether you are eligible for a discontinuation allowance
Are you selling your business and is it profitable? In that case, you must pay tax on the profit (discontinuation profit). You may be eligible for a discontinuation allowance. You then pay less tax on the strike profit.
Check whether you are entitled to benefits
If you quit your business, you as an (older) self-employed person may be able to get financial help from your municipality through
- the Self-Employed Assistance Decree (Bbz)
- the Income Provision for Older and Partially Disabled Self-Employed Persons (IOAZ).
One of the conditions is that you are still registered in the Trade Register of the Chamber of Commerce.
Deregister from the Trade Register
Deregister your company from the Chamber of Commerce. How you do this depends on the legal form of your company. To deregister a legal entity, you must first dissolve it.
The Chamber of Commerce will inform the Tax Authorities that you are stopping. The Tax and Customs Administration will send you a letter about the consequences for VAT. Would you like to apply for benefits? Then wait a while before unsubscribing.
Stopping a business with debt
Are you forced to quit your business? For example, because creditors have filed for bankruptcy. See if you can settle your debt. And check what to do with your staff.
Settle for VAT (sales tax)
The Chamber of Commerce will pass on your details to the tax authorities. The tax authorities will send you a letter if you are an entrepreneur for VAT purposes. If you still have to make a final VAT return, this will be stated in this letter.
Pay for income tax
You must settle with the tax authorities for tax purposes. This means that you close the administration of your company. You draw up the balance sheet and pay for all tax types. Have you built up an old age reserve? Then you settle it for income tax. Do you still have stock in the warehouse? You have to pay VAT for your own use.
Cancel your business insurance and subscriptions
If you quit your business, you must cancel your business insurance. Also consider cancelling permits, telephone numbers and subscriptions. And also cancelling current contracts, for example for an office space.
Cancel (the domain name of) your website
To cancel a .nl domain name, contact your hosting provider (also known as 'registrar'). The latter will pass on the change to the Stichting Internet Domeinregistratie Nederland (SIDN).
Keep your records
After your business has ended, you must keep your administration for at least 7 years. You may also scan your paper administration and only keep it digitally.
Facts and figures: how many companies quit per quarter?
The graph shows the number of business closures in the Netherlands per quarter.
Interested in reading more on closing a Dutch BV company? See our other article.