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Financial management in times of crisis

25 March 2020

© Claire Mueller
Many designers are in dire financial straits since the Coronavirus outbreak. Do you also wonder what you can do to improve your financial situation? In this article you can read what you can do today and what you need to do in the short term.

Unfortunately, the outbreak of the Coronavirus has led to the loss of financial security for many designers in the Netherlands. Because assignments and current agreements are postponed or even terminated, many freelancers see their turnover decrease in short term. In order to help designers keep their organisation financially healthy, the Association of Dutch Designers (BNO) has collected a number of important measures.
Please note that the BNO website is Dutch only, yet all information is available in English on request. 

Personnel and freelancers

Do you own a company with multiple employees? Make a distinction between a basic team, consisting of employees with a fixed or indefinite contract, and a team with flexible employees, consisting of freelancers with whom you could terminate the agreement if necessary. Take a good look at what is included in all contracts and determine which one(s) you can terminate for now.


Furthermore, try to determine which suppliers are essential to your organisation and to which suppliers you can (temporarily) say farewell. Do you want to know what will be the consequences for your design practice? Read more about legal liability in times of crisis here (in Dutch).

Assistance for the self-employed

Are you self-employed and do you expect your income to fall below the level of social security despite all the measures taken? Apply for assistance in the form of a BBZ benefit at your municipality. This allows you to supplement your income up to the minimum income. Would you like to know more about the measures that have been introduced to help those who are self-employed? Read more about the available arrangements and facilities here.

Until 1 June, many self-employed persons and companies will unfortunately still have to deal with financial uncertainties. Therefore, make sure that the measures above have the highest priority in your organisation and assign one person responsible for monitoring the progress of these measures.

Want to stay up to date on the effects of the coronavirus? The BNO (ed. Assocation of Dutch Designers) makes an inventory of the impact on the creative sector, advises and informs about the financial consequences and support measures, and monitors the design sector. Follow the Corona page here (in Dutch).

Do you have any ideas how we can support you or other creative entrepreneurs? Share your suggestions, questions, concerns and initiatives via