Coronavirus COVID-19

Dear relationship,

The coronavirus COVID-19, and the measures taken to avoid the virus spreading, have a huge impact on the Dutch economy, and will no doubt also affect your business and your employees (if applicable). The Dutch government is taking measures to help entrepreneurs affected by the crisis. This article covers these measures, and tells you which Dutch national organizations you can turn to for more information and advice.

NOW (only for companies with personnel)

Do you employ staff, and expect a turnover loss of at least 20%? You can claim a compensation towards wages for a period of 3 months from NOW: Temporary Emergency Bridging Measure for Sustained Employment. You can claim a maximum of 90% of wages, depending on how much turnover you lose. The NOW-scheme replaces the unemployment benefit during short-time working (wtv). You can no longer apply for unemployment benefit during short-time working.

Due to extraordinary circumstances, like the coronavirus, you have less or no work for your employees. You can claim NOW for a substantial compensation for their wages. In this way, you can continue to pay employees with permanent and temporary contracts. The Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) will pay you an advance. You can claim the compensation for 3 months, with the possibility to extend it for a further 3 months. You can claim the compensation for turnover you have missed from 1 March onwards. You may also use the NOW if your company experiences turnover loss due to other causes than the coronavirus outbreak.

For more information with regard to the NOW measure, please check the following link.

Extra Bbz support for self-employed professionals (Tozo)

Self-employed professionals (zzp-ers) who run a viable business can claim an extra, temporary financial support. The support is for zzp-ers who are experiencing financial difficulties due to the corona crisis. The scheme comes into effect with retroactive effect on 1 March 2020, and will remain in place until 1 June 2020 at least. You can apply for the support to the municipality where you live. The support consists of:

  • Income support, depending on the income and your household situation this can amount to a maximum of €1,500 (net). You do not have to repay, and there is no capital or partner test.
  • A loan for business capital to a maximum amount of €10,157. You do have to repay this loan, but it is possible to request a delay of your payment obligation. The interest rate will be lower than under the regular Bbz.

You apply for the extra support (Tozo) to the municipality where you live, if you have been experiencing financial difficulties from 1 March 2020 due to the corona crisis.

These are the requirements:

  • you are an established self-employed professional, ages between 18 and retirement age
  • you live and reside in the Netherlands legitimately
  • your nationality is Dutch or equaled (valid residence permit)
  • you practice your business or profession in the Netherlands
  • you meet the legal requirements for being a business owner, for instance you are registered in the Commercial Register (Handelsregister)
  • you started your company before 1 January 2020, and you meet the hours criterion (a minimum of 1,225 hours per year are put into your company or professional activities)
  • you live in the municipality where you apply

For more information with regard to the Tozo measure, please check the following link.

Compensation for sectors affected by corona measures

You are an entrepreneur with hardly any or no income, because of the measures taken by the government to fight the corona crisis. Your fixed costs continue, and it will be hard for you to make up for the lost income after the corona outbreak. You are, for instance:

  • a hospitality entrepreneur, who has been obliged to close
  • an entrepreneur in the cultural sector, where events are cancelled
  • an entrepreneur in the travel sector, affected by the travel ban

At this time, the conditions are being elaborated. There will be a complete list of types of businesses that can apply for the € 4,000 compensation. That list will be updated if and when necessary.

The Compensation for affected sectors measure will be available shortly. As soon as the measure is open, you can apply for it to the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO, in Dutch).

For more information with regard to the compensation measure, please check the following link.

Other measures

There are also some other measures from the governmet with regard to the corona crisis:

  • You can apply for a payment extension for income tax, corporate tax, payroll tax, and turnover tax (VAT). The Dutch Tax Administration will put on hold any measures in place to collect payment immediately upon reception of your request.
  • If you have a business in the Netherlands and employ no more than 250 workers (you have an SME), you may be eligible for a guarantee for part of a loan through the SME credit guarantee scheme (BMKB). The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy stands as guarantor. This will enable you to borrow more than would otherwise be possible based on your collateral.

Perhaps some of the measures of this article are applicable for your company. Please feel free to contact me if you have any additional questions.

At last on behalf of our office, we wish you and your family and friends all the best of health.