A record 2,000,404 companies were registered in the Netherlands at the beginning of 2020 according to a KVK report published Tuesday. This number is an increase of nearly 100,000 from last year – a 5% growth.

The KVK attributes the surge of companies mainly to zzp’ers (freelancers), as more than half of the businesses are self-employed operations. KVK writes that this year, “the number of full-time self-employed people without employees increased by 6% to 1,045,283 and the number of part-time self-employed people without employees increased by 11% to 185,647 companies.”

KVK also says the age of new entrepreneurs is falling – while the average entrepreneur age in the Netherlands is still 46 years, the average age of first-time registrees fell from 36 in 2018 to 35 in 2019.

6,572 companies were founded last year by entrepreneurs younger than 18 – a 70% increase from 2018. Webshops were the most common type of company for this age group but creative businesses are also popular, “such as advertising, photography, film and performing arts.” 4 out of 5 teenage entrepreneurs were male.

Overall, KVK writes that “The proportion of male entrepreneurs compared to the proportion of female entrepreneurs did not change in 2019 compared to 2018: 64% of entrepreneurs are men and 36% are women.”

Expats in the Netherlands owned more businesses last year, as “the percentage of entrepreneurs who were not born in the Netherlands increased in 2019 by one percentage point to 16%. Almost a quarter (24%) of starters in 2019 were not born in the Netherlands.” Expat entrepreneurs were especially active in the Horeca (Hotel/Restaurant/Café) (30%), Logistics (27%) and Construction (22%) sectors.

Bankruptcies rose by almost 1% last year – from 3,067 in 2018 to 3,084. The construction and business services sectors were especially affected by bankruptcy. Contrarily, last year financial institutions, culture, recreation and sports companies, agriculture, and horticulture businesses experienced a “sharp decline” in bankruptcy.

Featured Image: mystic_mabel from Province Zeeland, The Netherlands [CC BY-SA]