Time to assess: do you continue or end your business?

The coronavirus has hit us all. Due to the measures to prevent further spread, you might have had fewer customers. Or maybe your company was even forced to close, and your entire turnover was lost. How is your company doing now? Will you continue to move ahead or are you considering ending your business?

The government has set up several schemes to alleviate the financial consequences of the corona measures. But maybe these were not enough in your situation. 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.

1. Continue

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 due to the corona crisis 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

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.

Small credit guarantee for SMEs (KKC)

A bridging loan scheme is available for small, essentially healthy companies: the Small credit guarantee for SMEs (Kleine Kredieten Corona garantieregeling, KKC). With this KKC guarantee scheme, entrepreneurs are able to take out small loans of up to €50,000 relatively quickly and easily with financiers (usually banks). The Dutch government stands as guarantor for 95% of these bridging loans. The interest is 4% and the premium is 2%. You must repay the loan within a maximum of 5 years.

Tozo loan

In addition to income support, the Temporary bridging scheme for self-employed entrepreneurs (Tozo) also offers a loan. You can apply for a loan up to a maximum of €10,157 at 2% interest via an accelerated procedure. The repayment starts on 1 January, 2022. This date applies to all loans, regardless of the time of grant. Also, the interest accrual will also be suspended until January 2022.

In addition, the term within which a loan must be repaid is extended to a total of 5 years.

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.

Subsidy

The Dutch government offers many subsidies for different purposes. These subsidies may offer you opportunities. Also check the other government measures to support entrepreneurs during the corona crisis.

Regular financiers

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.

Voucher

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.

Debt restructuring

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 (in Dutch) with which you can talk about your situation, possible debt settlements, and other solutions.

Do you want to spar about your future plans or about ending your company? Call the KVK Advice Team: 0800 2117.

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