Bankruptcies continues to rise

Dutch courts declared nearly 6.8 thousand bankruptcies in 2002, 16 percent more than in 2001. The continuing increase, which started in 1999, is connected with the current economic decline.

The number of bankruptcies in 2002 was high compared with the numbers in the last fifty years. Only in the beginning of the eighties were more bankruptcies registered. The record year was 1982, when courts declared 8.6 thousand businesses and natural persons bankrupt

Declared bankruptcies 1951-2002

Large differences between legal forms

Fifteen percent more businesses and institutions went bankrupt in 2002 than in 2001. Corporate bankruptcies accounted for three-quarters of this increase.

The number of natural persons declared bankrupt, excluding one-man businesses, rose by 22 percent to 1.8 thousand.

Declared bankruptcies by period in business

Short lives

Just over 40 percent of all companies and institutions going into receivership in 2002 had been in business for less than five years. Only a fifth had been in business for more than fifteen years. Of the one-man businesses going into liquidation, nearly 60 percent had existed for less than five years. For partnerships this was 40 percent.

Declared bankruptcies of companies and institutions per 1,000 companies and institutions per province, 2002

Strong differences between provinces

The number of companies and institutions declared bankrupt rose in nine of the twelve provinces. The increase was largest in Utrecht with 49 percent, followed by North Brabant with 31 percent.

The number of bankruptcies per thousand companies was highest in Flevoland and lowest in Zeeland.

Arie Eilbracht