Twice as many businesses in the Netherlands were declared bankrupt in the third quarter of 2023 compared to last year, according to figures from the chamber of commerce (KvK).
The government agency said the figure was lower than the long-term average, but indicated that the recent decline in bankruptcies had come to an end.
It also said it was too early to tell if more companies were going out of business as a result of having to repay loans issued by the government during the coronavirus pandemic.
In September the tax office sent out demands to 91,000 people who had fallen behind on their pandemic repayments, including 43,000 who have not paid anything at all.
Companies were given five years from October last year to pay back the money they borrowed to cover their costs during the lockdown period, when many businesses had to stop trading or saw their sales fall dramatically.
A total of 832 companies were declared bankrupt in the third quarter of 2023, while 29,000 ceased trading. In the same period last year the KvK registered 441 bankruptcies.
The number of new businesses registered was 64,000, 3% lower than a year ago, with a decline in all age groups except the over-60s.
“The dynamics of the Dutch business sector are still healthy, with more starters than stoppers,” Erik Stam, professor of entrepreneurship at Utrecht University, said.
“The increase in the number of bankruptcies was long expected, but is still below pre-coronavirus levels.”