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  • The Dutch government has taken important measures in order to minimise any liquidity issues that companies may be facing as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.

    • Emergency Fund Bridging Employment (NOW)
    • Deferral of payment of various taxes
    • Compensation for Entrepreneurs in Affected Sectors Covid-19 (TOGS)
    • Financial support for microcredit provider Qredits

    Update 22 April

    Emergency Fund Bridging Employment (NOW)

    Under the NOW companies of all sizes can apply to the Executive Institute for Employees Insurances (UWV) (website in Dutch only) for a substantial contribution towards wage costs if they expect a loss of turnover of at least 20% for a consecutive period of three months in the period from 1 March 2020 to 31 July 2020. The amount of the allowance depends on the decline in turnover. Upon request the UWV will provide an advance payment of 80% of the expected compensation. It will be determined afterwards what the actual decrease in turnover has been, after which a correction can be made. On our website we discuss the main features and conditions of the NOW.

    The NOW was published on 31 March 2020. The scheme and the explanation thereof can be found here (in Dutch). The application period is from 6 April 2020 to 31 May 2020. More information about the scheme can be found in this letter to the House of Representatives (in Dutch) and on the website of the central government (in Dutch).

    Deferral of payment Dutch tax authorities

    Companies that experienced or will experience liquidity problems as a result of the corona crisis can apply for special deferral of payment of tax. In order to apply for this the company must submit an online form (in Dutch) or send a written request (in Dutch) to the Dutch tax authorities which should address the reasons in relation to the financial problems. Once the Dutch tax authorities have received the request, the collection of taxes is put on hold and a deferral of payment for a period of three months is granted. If this period is too short, deferral of payment can also be requested for a longer period. In such case additional conditions apply. As part of the measures, no penalties will be payable for the late payment of tax.

    This tax measure is anticipated to be in force until 19 June 2020. More information about deferral of tax payments and other tax measures can be found on our website and the website of the Dutch Tax Authorities (in Dutch).

    Compensation for Entrepreneurs in Affected Sectors Covid-19 (TOGS)

    Entrepreneurs that have been directly affected by the government's measures can apply for a set compensation of EUR 4,000. The compensation scheme is intended for eating and drinking establishments and other establishments that are forced to cease most of their activities. As of 30 March 2020, the scheme has been extended to entrepreneurs in the non-food sector (e.g. retailers). Only companies with a physical establishment outside a private residence are eligible for the allowance. An exception can be made for certain sectors where there is significant business activity while the entrepreneur is registered at his residential address. In such case an additional statement must be submitted. More information on, among others, this exception can be found in this letter to the House of Representatives (in Dutch). The application must be submitted to the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO). This is possible from Friday 27 March 2020 4:30 pm to Friday 26 June 5:00 pm. More information about the conditions (in Dutch) and the application process (in Dutch) can be found on the website of the RVO (in Dutch).

    Qredits

    Microcredit provider Qredits finances start-ups and small business enterprises. The Dutch government will financially support Qredits in an amount up to EUR 6m in order to allow for Qredits to extend credits by six months and decrease interest rates during such period.

    More information on this matter can be found on the website of Qredits.

    Corona Bridging Loan (COL)
    As from 29 April 2020, startups, scale-ups and innovative SMEs that do not have bank credit may apply for a special bridging loan from Regional Development Companies (ROM), provided they require financing as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. If certain criteria (in Dutch) are met a three-year loan can be obtained in an amount varying from EUR 50.000 to 2.000.000 and an interest rate of 3%. In respect of any amount above EUR 250.000 it is expected that current shareholders or other investors will provide cofinancing under the same terms for an amount that is equal to at least 25% of the requested loan amount. The expected processing time is two weeks. The scheme is not intended for companies active in retail, catering or small business services or for independent entrepreneurs. 

    Applications can be submitted here (application form in Dutch only). More information can be found on the website of the Regional Development Companies (in Dutch). 

    Temporary Bridging Loan Program for innovative Startups and Scaleups (TOPSS)
    As from 29 April 2020, innovative high-potential startups and scaleups can apply for bridge financing, provided they are experiencing difficulties with accelerating growth and/or obtaining financing for their activities as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. Invest-NL has decided to make EUR 100 million available for this programme. Financing is provided in the form of a convertible loan in a minimum amount of EUR 2.000.000. It is required that current or new investors provide at least 50% cofinancing under the same terms. An overview of the relevant criteria for TOPSS applications can be found here (in Dutch).

    Characteristics of the convertible loan:

    • maturity of three years without repayment commitments;
    • fixed interest rate of 8%;
    • interest will be added to the principal amount of the loan (PIK-loan);
    • early repayment is not possible;
    • Invest-NL has a unilateral right to convert the loan on the basis of a valuation of the most recent financing round or, if lower, the subsequent financing round; and
    • consent Invest-NL required in relation to important (financial) decisions.

    Due to the envisaged processing time of three to five weeks (after internal approval) it is not possible to negotiate the terms of the TOPSS.
    Applications can be submitted here (application form in Dutch only). More information can be found here (in Dutch).

    More about

    Jelmer Baukema

    Lawyer

    Jelmer is a lawyer in the Finance & Restructuring practice at Van Doorne. Jelmer focusses his practice on advising financial institutions and other domestic and international clients on financing and (debt) restructuring transactions. In addition, he advises clients on legal aspects connected to alternative financing and funding methods such as peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, crowdfunding, debt-based securities and invoice financing.

    Joost Volkers

    Lawyer

    Joost is specialised in insolvency law, commercial contracts, liability issues, litigation and international private law. He also has broad experience in the finance practice. He focuses on advising on and litigating with respect to loan and security documents, insolvency law and various commercial contracts. He also drafts and reviews commercial contracts for national and international clients. In addition, Joost advises on liability issues and any international private law aspects thereof.

    Sjoerd Kamerbeek

    Partner, Lawyer

    As corporate law specialist, Sjoerd advises clients on stakeholder management and counsels companies on commercial and corporate disputes and litigation. In addition, he assists with strategic mergers and acquisitions in connection with takeover and shareholder disputes.

    Stefan van Rossum

    Partner, Lawyer

    Stefan is a financing transactions specialist with lots of experience. He heads Van Doorne’s Restructuring and Insolvency team, and provides advice to banks and investors (including several of the world’s largest hedge funds) on Dutch and international restructuring. Moreover, he has developed outstanding skills relating to acquisitions and other corporate and project financing transactions.