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Number of SMEs in the Netherlands 2016-2020

According to the Dutch business registry, the Netherlands gained roughly 1,300 new small and medium enterprises between early 2019 and early 2020. The source defined SME (or mkb, a Dutch abbreviation of midden- en kleinbedrijf) as a company having between two to 249 employees, as well as companies with one employee that are not classified as a freelancer/self-employed person. SMEs were the Netherlands’ second largest type of business enterprise.

SMEs play an important part in the Dutch economy

Dutch SMEs were responsible for an added value of roughly 220 billion euros in 2017, a higher amount than in Belgium and Luxembourg. The companies also employed more people that other business segments, as SMEs in the Netherlands accounted for roughly 3.6 million employees.

Most SMEs to be found in retail

According to survey results from April 2018, the most common SME sectors in the Netherlands consisted of retail or wholesale, media, arts and personal services. In the most recent quarter, however, bankruptcies in the hotel, restaurant and catering industry (often referred to as horeca in the Netherlands), saw an increase. As of the first quarter of 2019, there were approximately 80 bankruptcies in this industry.

Total number of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Netherlands from 2016 to 2020

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Release date

January 2020



Survey time period

2016 to 2020

Supplementary notes

The source mentions that the numbers provided are at the beginning of the year, as of January 1st.

The figures have been taken from several publications.

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