There are almost 1.5 million companies in the Netherlands, an all time record, the national statistics office CBS said on Wednesday.
The rise is almost entirely due to the increase in the number of one-man firms, which now stands at 1.1 million, a rise of almost 25% on five years ago, the CBS said. The Netherlands has a population of 17 million.
The number of limited companies has risen by 30,000 over the past five years to around 360,000. Nevertheless, there has been an overall drop in the number of firms with a workforce of more than 50.
Most of the new firms are based in the business services, healthcare and education sectors.
In healthcare, for example, thousands of home helps and nurses are self-employed. The same pattern is also developing in specialist parts of the education service, such as sports education.
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