Rise in bankruptcies again in the fourth quarter, Tax Authorities come to the rescue

Reading time: 5 minutes | Written by Shirley Chih | February 23, 2024

Press releases

Rotterdam, February 23, 2024 - Dutch companies engaged in less intensive trade in the last quarter of 2023, according to the latest analysis of Altares Dun & Bradstreet . The trade intensity decreased from 83.6 in the third quarter to 82.9 in the last quarter of 2023. This decline has a broader impact on the economy; the year concluded with 891 bankruptcies. This brings the total number of bankruptcies in 2023 to 3,184, a significant increase of 51.02% compared to 2022.

Looking at the fourth quarter of last year, it is notable that there was less trade in almost all sectors. Some exceptions can be seen in restaurants and cafes (+12.1%), retail trade (+7.7%), and the construction industry (+2.6%).

Bankruptcies on the rise in 2023

The last quarter of 2023 concluded with the highest number of bankruptcies for the year, totaling 891 bankruptcies. This marks an increase of 10.8% compared to the previous quarter and a significant rise of 27.3% compared to the same period in 2022, when the number of bankruptcies was 700. Once again, the majority of bankruptcies were concentrated in North Brabant (20.76%), South Holland (19.64%), and North Holland (14.70%).

The total number of bankruptcies in 2023 reached 3,184. This represents a substantial increase of 51.02% compared to the previous year, which recorded 2,107 bankruptcies. "After the COVID-19 period, the Dutch economy initially showed signs of recovery. Entrepreneurs facing financial difficulties received support through various means, including the NOW subsidy. Nevertheless, these companies are obligated to repay the assistance received," explained Barry de Goeij, Senior Data Scientist at Altares Dun & Bradstreet.

Most bankruptcies occurred in the trade, construction, and financial services sectors

In the past quarter, the highest numbers of bankruptcies were recorded in trade (196), the construction industry (142), and financial services (107). Most bankruptcies occurred in the sectors of transportation and storage (0.14%), trade (0.10%), and hospitality (0.10%). Historically, these are sectors where bankruptcies have always been prevalent.

Dutch companies are relatively good payers

In the last quarter of 2024, Dutch companies paid their invoices on average 2.31 days after the due date, a slight deterioration of 1.8% compared to the previous quarter. Compared to a year ago, the average also slightly worsened, with invoice payments occurring on average 2.15 days after the due date at that time. Despite some variations in payment behavior, Dutch companies typically settle their invoices between 2 and 2.5 days after the due date. In comparison to Belgium, where it takes an average of 10 days, Dutch companies perform quite well in terms of timely payments.

The Tax Authorities lend a helping hand to companies

The robust economic growth in 2022 gave way to a modest increase of 0.1% in 2023 in the Dutch economy. Our recent research on the NOW support emphasizes the challenges of debt repayment for vulnerable businesses, but it is encouraging that two-thirds of the COVID-related debts have been paid off. Despite increasing bankruptcies and a lenient collection approach, there doesn't seem to be an imminent wave of bankruptcies at the moment. The Dutch economy has shown resilience so far, but the situation in 2024 could be influenced by conflicts in Ukraine, Gaza, and economic figures from China," concludes de Goeij.

You can view the entire report here.

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Shirley Chih

Marketing & Communications Officer

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