Step 1 of 5

Consider the signals and emotions

Recognise and handle the financial and emotional signals that come with having debts. Read where to find help for emotional problems, and start as soon as possible.

You have been feeling uncomfortable for a while now. Some invoices you pay on time, but most pass the due date. You have less grip on your private finances as well. Or worse. You have stopped opening blue envelopes, your business credit is maxed out regularly, and you use your private savings to pay business expenses. These are all signals that you are not doing well financially. You are feeling stressed out and insecure.


You can recognise signals if you know where to look. Within yourself and within your company. Financially as well as emotionally.

Financial signals in your business

Numbers give an indication of how your business is doing. For example, the number of assignments, the number of clients, and your turnover. Are they decreasing? That may be a signal that things are going in the wrong direction. Apart from income, expenses also give you information on the financial state of your company. For example:

  • You are behind in your payments to suppliers or your landlord.
  • You get angry phone calls from suppliers who threaten to stop deliveries unless you pay right away.
  • Your average stock has been going up for months.
  • An automatic transfer bounces. More than once.
  • You receive payment reminders, a bailiff comes to your premises, or there is talk of seizing your assets.
  • You cannot pay the business interest or loan repayment.
  • You cannot pay your tax assessment and have to apply for a postponement.
  • You request a postponement of payment from your landlord or suppliers.

Financial signals in your private life

Your private finances can also provide signals that your business is no longer financially healthy. Possible signals are:

  • You pay for business expenses using private capital.
  • This month, you are unable to take the amount of money you need as private income out of the company bank account.
  • You are behind on private payments due to a lack of income.
  • You have taken out the maximum overdraft on your private bank account.
  • You ask friends or family for a loan.
  • You think of ways to make more money to pay your debts.

Emotional signals

Apart from financial signals, you may also deal with emotional ones:

  • You feel anxious, worried, financial pressure, and stress.
  • You are frustrated and angry because you cannot solve your problems.
  • You lose sleep and are irritable.
  • You have personal problems due to your business situation.
  • People who are close to you tell you they worry about you.

Help for emotional complaints

Accept your emotions and share your worries. It helps. If you feel well, you are more capable of dealing with financial problems. So talk about your debts, for instance with:

  • Family and friends: discuss your situation with family, friends, and others close to you.
  • GP: your doctor can help you with physical as well as mental complaints, and refer you to specialists. If the GP refers you, your expenses are often paid for by your healthcare insurer.

There are also several Dutch organisations which offer phone, chat, or email help:

  • De Luisterlijn: this phone line is open for calls 24/7 if you need to talk to someone. Anonymous and confidential. You can reach de Luisterlijn on 088 076 70 00.
  • MIND Korrelatie: the psychologists and social workers at MIND Korrelatie offer anonymous, professional mental and psycho-social support. They help you if you struggle with mental complaints due to financial worries, and refer you if necessary. Call them on 0900 14 50 or chat online.
  • 113 Zelfmoordpreventie (Suicide Prevention): the 113 Zelfmoordpreventie helpline is open 24/7. If you have suicidal thoughts, or know someone who does, their experts can help you. Fully anonymous. The number is 0800 01 13.
  • MKB Noodlijn (SME Distress Line): the MKB Noodlijn is for persons who need advice or support for their business. It is an initiative of entrepreneurial associations ONL and IMK. You can call them during business hours on 088 999 01 55.
  • The KVK Advice Team: KVK advisors listen, discuss possible solutions, and refer you to the correct organisations. You can call the KVK Advice Team during business hours.

Overview of your debts

You make an overview of all your debts in step 2. That will help you see your way to a solution that works.

Step 2

KVK Advice Team

Do you have questions about debts and the situation you find yourself in? Contact the KVK Advice Team.