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Published on: 4 March 2024

WHOA proves effective tool, also for SMEs

We previously wrote about the WHOA. Meanwhile, the case law surrounding this subject has (further) developed. Interest groups have also shed their light on its practical applicability. In this article, lawyer Floris Krijt will inform you about the WHOA in relation to SMEs.


The Homologation Private Agreement Act was introduced on 1 January 2021. The law helps companies that still have viable operations but are at risk of bankruptcy due to high debts. Moreover, the WHOA makes it possible to still reach a debt settlement agreement without the consent of all creditors. Until the law was introduced, this was only possible if all creditors agreed to the arrangement. Therefore, it often happened that with the obstruction of one creditor, bankruptcy of the company became a reality. That obstruction can be countered with a WHOA procedure that is similar to an enforceable variant of the creditors’ agreement.

In addition, through the ‘liquidation agreement’, WHOA can offer relief to companies with no future prospects. In short, the possibility of controlled closure without bankruptcy. The entrepreneur thus retains control over his company, as there is no receiver. With this agreement, major financial losses can be avoided. How the process works, we explain in this article.

Sounds from the market

VNO NCW reported earlier that research has shown that dozens of companies have now been saved by a WHOA agreement. However, the business association did make a comment. The costs would be too high and the procedure too complicated. And therefore not the best scheme for SMEs.

Those objections no longer seem to be an issue, or much less so. Indeed, practical experience shows that around 200 agreements are already in place today. The fact that developers publish tools that help facilitate the administrative part of a WHOA process seems to contribute to that development. This involves, for instance, mapping out the (sometimes many) creditors.


In addition to a WHOA procedure, there are other options in the event of imminent bankruptcy, such as applying for a suspension of payments We would be happy to help you identify your options and implement them. Feel free to contact one of our specialists via e-mail, by phone or our contact form.

Articles by Floris Krijt

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