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Daily Dutch News in English

More Dutch businesses closed down, fewer start-ups

The number of new business start-ups in 2012 was 19 thousand down from 2011 and the number of closedowns grew by nearly 11 thousand. Yet, the overall number of businesses increased for the sixth year in a row according to Statistics Netherlands.

More new businesses were started up last year than closed down in 2012. The overall number of businesses in the Netherlands has risen since registration started in 2007. With 144 thousand, the number of new businesses was significantly lower than in 2011 (162 thousand). At the same time, the number of closedowns increased to more than 97 thousand in 2012. Only 8 percent concerned bankruptcies.

Most business start-ups were recorded in the sectors construction, trade and business services. These sectors also reported the highest amount of closedowns.

Most substantial decline starters in construction sector
The number of new businesses dwindled across all branches in 2012. The number of new businesses was 12 percent down from 2011. With 20 percent, the construction sector faced the largest decline, in particular among specialist self-employed, like plasterers, plumbers, painters and glaziers. The smallest reduction in business start-ups in 2012 was observed in the sector logistics. Mail and courier services benefited from the rising amount of online sales.

Seven in ten start-ups are one-man businesses
The number of one-man business start-ups has soared in recent years. In 2007, 55 percent of new businesses were one-man businesses versus 67 percent in 2012. Many one-man businesses were started in the construction sector (80 percent). The percentage is also high in IT and information services. With 61 percent, the share is much smaller in the sector trade. The share is also small in the sector hotels and restaurants where half of starters are one-man businesses.