Debt Collection in The Netherlands

Don't your Dutch client bill for your invoices?

Invoices in the Netherlands are generally paid higher than in other European countries.

While in the last few years Dutch firms have started paying their overdue bills much quicker, a third of all invoices are still paid late.

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1.1 Contact your Dutch customer directly and ask why no payment has yet been received, then send a written note. Clearly state the payment period in this warning. You should send a request letter by email if you are used to remotely communicating with your customer and say that if no payment is made promptly, you can deliver your request letter by email.


2.1 Our Dutch debt recovery attorneys have vast experience and knowledge of Netherlands laws and regulations.

2.2 We are also fully conscious of the business traditions and culture in the Netherlands. That makes it easier for your debtor in the Netherlands to pay quickly.


3.1 Our attorneys know both the language and Dutch, which allows them to quickly transcend language barriers.


4.1 Our business debt recovery strategy is customized to every single case, and we provide tailored advice.


5.1 We will always offer our honest advice on the likelihood that your debt recovery will be successful. It is vital to us to put your needs first; we are endeavoring to provide you with your choices and guidance on the best route to take. It is clear to see how we are upholding our core values of honesty and justice.


6.1 The debt collection process may be split into two phases in the Netherlands. Selection takes place during the extrajudicial process, without the intervention of the Court. They do include the Court during the legal process in order to make the Dutch debtor bill.

6.2 Because we are a debt collection firm, we are able to assist you in both processes. About 95 percent of debt recovery problems in the Netherlands are settled during the extrajudicial process, without interference by the Tribunal.


7.1 In principle, we often continue with the extrajudicial step of the debt collection process. We're hoping to remove the need to go to Court during this phase, as that can be expensive. We'll call your debtor in the Netherlands to seek payment. We do have the following options at this stage:

  • Written demand letters and phone calls: You send a written complaint letter to the claimant and contact them by telephone, asking that they settle the fee with interest and expenses within a few days;
  • Draft a payment arrangement: in some situations, you will agree to a short payment arrangement. The downside of this is that if the defendant fails to comply with this agreement, there can be no dispute as to whether or not the argument is legitimate. After all, if the debtor commits to a payment arrangement, then the debtor accepts the claim; declares legal proceedings: when there is no payment, the declaration of legal proceedings will often convince the Dutch client to pay. Your Dutch client does not wish to run the risk of commencing legal proceedings against them.
  • Bankruptcy lawsuit: The Netherlands ' most successful debt recovery mechanism seeks to lodge a motion for bankruptcy. This is a simple, cheap means of optimizing the debtor's burden.

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8.1 If your defendant refuses to pay during the extrajudicial process, we can go to Court after mediation with you.

We will always provide you with information about the possible costs in advance and we will only continue with your approval.

There are a number of legal cases in the Netherlands which you could start collecting your claim.

The most important protocols are laid out below:

  • Insolvency proceedings ("Faillissementsaanvraag"): the insolvency proceedings can be started in an undisputed argument. The bankruptcy proceedings are very quick; there will be a hearing at the Court within three weeks. The Court determines during that hearing whether the claimant is to be declared bankrupt. Nevertheless, the purpose of the bankruptcy motion is, in theory, to exert pressure on the debtor in order to get your claim paid. Most debtors are going to pay out very quickly. If the debtor really can not pay then they may be declared bankrupt. In that case, a receiver is named, who will then equally divide the debtor's properties among all creditors;
  • Ordinary civil litigation: Civil proceedings may be opened for both contested and undisputed claims. That means a case is brought against the debtor. The Court can order settlement of your petition to the debtor. Proof may be addressed in various ways in those trials. Often the Court must try to persuade the parties to agree to a settlement. The downside of these trials is that they take a fairly long period of time. In the Netherlands, on average, simple civil proceedings take six months to a year. If this is a complex matter, it can take even longer (about one or two years). There could also be an appeal, adding to the time until the lawsuit is finally resolved.

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In the case of an uncontested dispute between two parties located in EU Member States (except Denmark)

European order for payment proceedings may be initiated.

In your situation, the prosecutor who manages the case will decide whether this kind of action is acceptable.

The creditor usually fills out a standard form for EU Order for Payment procedures and submits this to the Tribunal.

Instead, the Court issues a Local Transaction Notice. The debtor then has 30 days to decide whether they object to the charge. 

If no notice is obtained within the 30-day span, you can require the Court to finalize the payment order (called a "declaration of enforceability"). This decision is true and enforceable and is recognized in any Member State (except Denmark). 

The EU Payment Order is never appropriate for contested issues (so not in situations where there is a disagreement over the invoice).

The benefit of this process is flexibility and low cost (some Member States don't even impose a court fee), but the drawback is that if it gets challenged, the case stops, and if the claimant wants to continue, a regular civil action will have to be launched.

Debt Recovery in The Netherlands. Fast.

Our business debt recovery methodology is customized to every single instance, so that we can provide objective advice to you.
We will always give our objective advice on the likelihood of your debt recovery being successful.
It is essential to us to place your interests first; we aim at providing you with your possibilities and suggestions on the best path to take. It is clear to see how we are pursuing our fundamental values of integrity and justice.

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What To Do When Your Dutch Customer is Not Paying

- Contact your customer and demand why no payment has been and when exactly it will be.
   Always request the payment copy sent to you.
- Are you not able to solve the problem with your customer? Send them a certified letter requesting immediate payment.
- Be conscious that with ambiguous payment terms or arguments, your Dutch debtor may try to gain additional time.
Persevere, be direct and never postpone.
- In The Netherlands, a payment period of three to seven days is normal

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Our Dutch debt collection experts have comprehensive experience and perspective of Dutch laws and policies.
Therefore they are perfectly aware of The Netherlands trading values and traditions.
Which makes it easier for your Dutch debtor to quickly make payments.

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Debt Collection Law The Netherlands

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We follow your instructions at all times and ensure regular communication with you via collection reports, recommendations regarding debtor payments, payment plans and, where necessary, repossession and Court proceedings.

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