Enterprise population keeps growing

© Hollandse Hoogte / Erik van 't Woud
At the beginning of 2023, the Netherlands had more than 2.1 million enterprises, 79 thousand more than one year previously. These were mainly companies with 1 employed person. The Dutch enterprise population has been growing for many years. In 2008, it passed the 1-million mark for the first time. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports this based on newly released figures.

The number of companies with 2 or more employed persons has decreased slightly, to just under 427 thousand. This is less than 20 percent of the enterprise population.
Last year, there were more than 136 thousand enterprise deaths and more than 240 thousand enterprise births. The net increase was more modest than in 2021. The largest sector is specialised business services with just under 413 thousand enterprises, followed by trade (271 thousand) and construction (nearly 243 thousand).

Enterprise population, 1 January
Jaar2 or more employed persons (x 1,000)1 employed person (x 1,000)
* Provisional figures ** Revised provisional figures

Most start-ups in construction

At 11.1 thousand, the number of enterprise births was highest in the construction sector. The vast majority of these newcomers were one-man businesses (10.7 thousand). In addition, many organisational consulting firms (over 8 thousand), paramedical practices and financial holding companies (both around 7 thousand) started up. Many new businesses were also set up in study support, event catering and home care.
There were also many organisational consulting firms (over 6 thousand) and general construction firms (nearly 5 thousand) among the enterprise deaths. Other industries with ceasing businesses included online clothing shops, software developers and paramedical practices.
The highest net number of enterprise births was found in general construction (nearly 6.2 thousand), paramedical practices (nearly 4.8 thousand) and event catering (4.4 thousand).

Enterprise births and deaths, 2022
BrancheBirths (x 1,000)Deaths (x 1,000)
General construction11.25.0
Organisational consulting8.56.2
Other paramedical practices7.42.6
Financial holdings6.92.8
Study support, education6.32.4
Event catering6.01.6
Home care5.11.5
Other management consultancies4.62.1
Online clothing shops4.23.1
Creative arts4.12.4
Beauty and pedicure salons4.02.5
IT consultancies3.91.7
Software development3.92.7

Many births and deaths among webshops with over 1 employed person

Although enterprises with more than 1 employed person form a smaller group, they are generally of greater importance to the economy. This group saw around 17 thousand births and around 21 thousand deaths. Within this group, more online shops were dissolved than established in 2022: 3.3 thousand versus 3.0 thousand. A similar trend was seen among eating and drinking establishments with more than 1 employed person.
Most start-ups were shops selling home and garden items (675), clothing (655) and general assortments (535). Among businesses with more than 1 employed persons, an increase was seen in general construction. At 150, the net increase was highest among PR agencies, followed by web shops selling home and garden items (110) and agencies in general construction and employment services (both 65).

Births and deaths among enterprises with 2 or more employed persons, 2022
Online home and garden item shops675565
Online clothing shops655810
Online general assortment shops535555
Snack bars, lunchrooms and food stalls525650
General construction420355
Software development385495
Online food shops375380
Online shops in other non-food330490
Organisational consulting275450
Study support, education275245