Press release

Trend change in business dynamics in the third quarter of 2023

Increase in closedowns and bankruptcies, decrease in startups

In Q3 of this year, there were over 64,000 business startups, down 3% from the same period last year. In contrast, the number of businesses that stopped, over 29,000, increased by 6.9% compared to Q3 of 2022. Interestingly, the decrease in the number of startups can be seen in all age groups, except in the 60+ group. The Netherlands Chamber of Commerce KVK alerts to this in the KVK Trend Report Q3 2023.

"Dutch business dynamics are still in good shape with more starters than closedowns," says Erik Stam, professor of strategy, organisation, and entrepreneurship at Utrecht University. "The combination of an increase in closedowns and bankruptcies, and a decrease in startups does show a clear break with the previous trend. The increase in the number of bankruptcies has long been expected, but is still remains below pre-corona levels."

Looking at the trend in the number of starters per thousand establishments, an increase is particularly noticeable in the Retail, ICT and media, and Personal Services sectors. An increase in the number of closedowns per thousand establishments is mainly seen in the hospitality industry, construction, healthcare, and wholesale. Across the Netherlands as a whole, only Groningen and Limburg saw an increase in the number of startups, while the rest of the provinces saw a decrease per 10,000 inhabitants compared to Q3 in 2022.

Development number of starters per 1,000 establishments per sector (in Dutch)

(Q3 2022 vs Q3 2023)

Development of number of closedowns per 1,000 establishments per sector (in Dutch)

(Q3 2022 vs Q3 2023)


The number of bankruptcies remains relatively low in historical perspective (832 in Q3 2023). Over the past 5 quarters, however, the number of bankruptcies did increase. In Q3 2023, it was considerably higher than in the same quarter last year, when the number of bankruptcies stood at 441.

Last quarter was the final quarter in which entrepreneurs, who had not yet done so, could repay corona debts to the Netherlands Tax Administration or agree on a settlement. "There is insufficient data to see the impact of this at the moment. However, we do see the biggest increase in bankruptcies in the retail sector, a sector in which corona support measures have also been widely used," says Erik Stam.


Translation of Dutch header: Bankruptcies (business sector in total, development compared to the same quarter one year earlier)

Full Trend Report

Do you want to know more? Download the full KVK Trend Report Q3 2023 (in Dutch).