Nearly a quarter of Dutch companies did not meet payment deadlines in 2023

Reading time: 5 minutes | Written by Shirley Chih | June 20, 2024

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Rotterdam, June 20, 2024 – Nearly a quarter (23.9%) of Dutch companies paid their invoices late in 2023. This is according to data from business data expert Altares Dun & Bradstreet. Notably, large companies (65.9%) paid invoices late more often than very small companies (21.2%) and small companies (31.0%). Nevertheless, the Netherlands still ranks in the top five for most punctual payers in Northern Europe, indicating that the impact of previous crises is still minimal.

For the third consecutive year, Altares Dun & Bradstreet has observed an improvement in the timely payment of invoices by Dutch companies. As many as 76.1 percent of invoices were paid within the payment term, an increase of 1.2 percent compared to 2022. Only 0.4 percent of invoices were paid later than ninety days, down from 0.5% in 2022.

Large companies pay later

Compared to other European countries, the Netherlands exhibits a unique pattern. Although the Netherlands is among the most punctual payers in Northern Europe, there are significant differences in payment behavior between large and small companies. The larger the company, the later the payments are made. Among very small businesses, 78.8 percent of invoices were paid on time, while small businesses paid 69 percent of their invoices on time. This is significantly better than medium-sized (50.9%) and large companies (34.1%).

Differences by sector

Compared to 2022, we see that more companies in the retail (+4.1%) and financial services (+2.1%) sectors are paying on time. In 2023, 82.3% of companies in the retail sector paid on time, while 78.3% of companies in the financial services sector paid on time. However, payment behavior slightly declined in some sectors. In construction, the number of companies paying on time decreased by 0.5% to 75.1%, and in the industrial sector, this number fell by 0.3% to 62.9%.

The Netherlands in the top 5, Belgium at the bottom

The Netherlands is among the most punctual payers in Europe. The country that adheres best to payment deadlines is Denmark, with a punctuality rate of 94.2 percent. In our neighboring country, Belgium, invoices were the least often paid on time (40.4%).

Barry de Goeij, Senior Data Scientist at Altares Dun & Bradstreet, says: “These figures, along with our previous reports on bankruptcies, illustrate the resilience of our economy. However, as in previous years, we see that medium to large companies pay significantly worse than micro and small businesses. The recently tightened legislation for payment terms – from sixty to thirty days – does not yet seem to have an impact on the payment behavior of these companies.”

You can view the entire report here.

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Shirley Chih

Marketing & Communications Officer

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