More start-ups than closedowns

Last year, 172 thousand businesses were started up and a record number of more than 129 thousand were closed down. They were mostly one-man businesses. Among the start-ups were many management consultancies and web shops.

Number of management consultancies further up

Most new businesses are annually registered in the sector business services. Last year, nearly 14 thousand management consultancies (8 percent of all new businesses) were registered. In the top ten of sectors with the most new business registrations, the costs involved in setting up a new business are relatively low.

Top ten sectors with most starters, 2013

Top ten sectors with most starters, 2013

Record number of web shops started up

In the sector retail trade, a record number of more than 8 thousand online shops were started up in 2013, mainly shops selling clothes and fashion articles. The number of web shop closedowns is also the highest since registration started in 2007. The number of online home and garden shops forced to close down was even higher than the number of new shops. In recent years, the number of new businesses had already been in decline. The poor situation on the housing market plays a part in this respect.

Many closedowns

A record number of 129 thousand shops closed down last year; 8 percent went bankrupt, versus 4 percent in 2008 at the onset of the recession.

Many management consultancies were closed down. Seven in every ten closedowns concern one-man businesses.

Top ten sectors with most closedowns, 2013

Top ten sectors with most closedowns, 2013

Growth total number of businesses slows down

The overall number of businesses increased by more than 3 percent in 2013, as against 6 percent in 2011. The smallest increase was recorded in the construction sector. Property developers and businesses specialised in exterior and interior completion reported poor results as the number of closedowns was higher than the number of start-ups. In the clothing industry, the printing industry and in newspaper and magazine publishing, a similar trend was observed.

Number of businesses, 2007-2013

Number of businesses, 2007-2013

Ralph Wijnen and Lico Hoekema