Time to assess: do you continue or end your business?
- Gé Sletterink
- Edited 28 February 2023
- 3 min
- In trouble
Due to several crises, such as corona, the war in Ukraine, and the energy prices, you may experience financial problems. How is your company doing? Will you continue to move ahead or are you considering ending your business?
Before you take further steps to guide your company through the crisis, it is useful to determine your current position.
The flowchart below is a simplification of reality. In this article, we elaborate on the 3 options: continue, make choices, or end your business.
Your company is viable. That means you can carry on doing business. Before the corona crisis, your company was profitable. You made good money and could meet your payment obligations. You managed to keep your head above water during the lockdowns. For example, through savings, use of private money, an additional loan, use of tax measures, tax extensions, and government support measures. Perhaps you have also adapted your business operations. This way your company remained viable and you can now look towards the future with confidence. Read more about keeping your business financially healthy (in Dutch)
2. Make choices
You have doubts about the viability of your company. You are at a tipping point and you have to make a choice. Do you want to continue or end your business? 2 situations:
- Your company was doing well, but you are now in a bad financial position. You do expect that you can get your company ready for the future. For example, with a new business model and additional financing. Make a plan to deal with your financial problems. Use this step-by-step plan (in Dutch) to adapt your business.
- Your financial situation was already weak before the corona crisis. Due to the restrictive measures, you are now in an even worse financial position. You have to make a choice: do you continue with your business, or do you end it? Map your situation with this step-by-step plan (in Dutch) to identify opportunities or end your business. That will give you some guidance in making your choice.
Looking for money
Use our step-by-step plans and investigate whether the following options will benefit you.
Government schemes offer opportunities if you are in a bad financial position now, but expect your company to become viable again in the long term.
Assistance for the Self-Employed
If you need more than €10,157, your municipality can offer you various forms of social benefit options under the Decree on Social Assistance to the Self-Employed (Bbz). In consultation with your municipality, you can request part of the required amount via the Tozo, supplemented with another part through the Bbz. The Bbz offers entrepreneurs who have been established for no longer than 1.5 years a credit of a maximum of €37,000. Longer established entrepreneurs can apply for a maximum of €203,000.
You can use various regular financiers such as the bank or family and friends. If a bank fails, try non-bank financing such as leasing or a business angel. The better your situation and your prospects, the greater the chance that you will be able to submit a successful application to regular financiers.
Offering a voucher or gift card to your network of customers can also give you some financial leeway. You can see it as a mini crowdfunding campaign. Perhaps this way you can test whether crowdfunding suits you in the future. Property owner
In some cases, a landlord or property owner is willing to invest (extra) in your company. You can of course always discuss rent reduction or (partial) rent deferral.
3. End your business
You doubt whether your company can become viable in the long term, and have therefore compared multiple scenarios. Financially you are in bad shape and the prospects are not good. It makes no sense to take on any new financing and, with that, additional debts. As emotional and difficult as it may be, ending your business is probably the right option. Go through the step-by-step plan for ending your business.
Video: Ending your business
Ending your business? You can do that in different ways. Depending on your situation, you follow different steps. This video explains it all.
Video: Ending your business
If you have high debts, it is advisable to explore options for getting out of debt. This can be done through the Natural Persons Debt Restructuring Act (Wet schuldsanering natuurlijke personen, Wsnp), the amicable route, or the route of the Homologation private agreement in bankruptcy Act (Wet Homologatie Onderhands Akkoord, WHOA). If you can no longer make payment arrangements with creditors, the court can declare your company bankrupt. You can also file for bankruptcy yourself.
Help in times of crisis
Whatever your situation, you can always contact one of the organisations with which you can talk about your situation, possible debt settlements, and other solutions.