My Baby is Born – IdeoScript.be

25 Mar

Wings for your Ideas

Judging from the screaming women in labour do, giving birth isn’t easy. Similarly, setting up a company (in Belgium) is quite a laborious process too. The ideas were there, we even brainstormed a name for my company on the beach in Gran Canaria, but then the formalities started. They created these ‘one-stop-shop’ enterprise centres, where according to the info leaflets you can set up a new company in 3 days. Maybe true, if it weren’t that you had to fight hard to even get an appointment with them (2-3 weeks later). And they can indeed do all the steps of founding a company for you, if you pay them money you haven’t even earned yet.

When they finally have some time for you, you better have some language skills for them, because in Brussels it is difficult to get any service worth of the name if you want to stick to your own language (which by the way is (should be?) an official language in the Belgian capital – yeah right). Good thing I speak a bit of French all right ;-)

Next challenge was to explain them what a copywriter is. Administration needs to fit your business activities in some boxes. And there was no box for ‘copywriter’. So after arduous negotiations with the whole office and searching their databases in French and Dutch, I am officially a mix between an advertising agency, journalist and printer/editor. That’s the best they could do.

  • So after this struggle I had my enterprise identification number – huray. IdeoScript was born – 1st January 2010

Value Added Taxes – not an added value

Writing in Action

Well, maybe the IdeoScript baby was not really born on 1st of January, because before you can start doing business (investing in the company, buying materials, invoicing customers), you need to activate your VAT number. Quite a vital thing because then you can deduct the VAT (so you get things cheaper for your company) and you can officially invoice people (add VAT on your invoices).

Of course, 1st of January is a public holiday, with a weekend following it, and lots of civil servants taking a few days extra. So before I managed to get through to anyone in the VAT office, it was 6th of January. The VAT offices in Belgium and Brussels are divided into different regions. So after a little bit of ping pong telephone calls, I found out that my company was part of the ‘Brussels 3’ VAT office. So once I got hold of the VAT people responsible for Brussels 3, they saw in my file I actually registered my company in Dutch (even though I spoke more French than Dutch when registering it). Alas, there was no Dutch-speaker in the Brussels 3 team, so my file would be treated by Brussels 5 instead… but I would remain part of Brussels 3 of course (how I love these administrations!).

So I ask them what it takes to activate my VAT number, and they tell me to fax back a form (yes, they still do faxes there). And they assure me that they will activate my VAT retro-actively from the 1st of January. Great. So I can invoice my first customer (a re-writing job) and put it on the date of 7th of January 2010. And you can already guess the continuation of the story… A few days later, indeed, I get the ‘proof of VAT activation’ stating that IdeoScript’s VAT number is active from 8th of January 2010. So I need to ask my first customer to tear my first invoice in pieces and replace it by another one. That must go down as very professional.

  • So the IdeoScript baby was a bit premature on 1st of January, but finally was alive and kicking on the 8th.

PS if you need something to be (re)written, just let me know ;-)

My logo finally arrived!


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My Baby is Born – http://www.IdeoScript.com

Judging from the screaming women in labour do, giving birth isn’t easy. Similarly, setting up a company (in Belgium) is quite a laborious process too. The ideas were there, we even brainstormed a name for my company on the beach in Gran Canaria, but then the formalities started. They created these ‘one-stop-shop’ enterprise centres, where according to the info leaflets you can set up a new company in 3 days. Maybe true, if it weren’t that you had to fight hard to even get an appointment with them (2-3 weeks later). And they can indeed do all the steps of founding a company for you, if you pay them money you haven’t even earned yet.

When they finally have some time for you, you better have some language skills for them, because in Brussels it is difficult to get any service worth of the name if you want to stick to your own language (which by the way is (should be?) an official language in the Belgian capital – yeah right). Good thing I speak a bit of French all right.

Next challenge was to explain them what a copywriter is. Administration needs to fit your business activities in some boxes. And there was no box for ‘copywriter’. So after arduous negotiations with the whole office and searching their databases in French and Dutch, I am officially a mix between an advertising agency, journalist and printer/editor. That’s the best they could do.

So after this struggle I had my enterprise identification number – huray. IdeoScript was born – 1st January 2010

Value Added Taxes – not an added value

Well, maybe the IdeoScript baby was not really born on 1st of January, because before you can start doing business (investing in the company, buying materials, invoicing customers), you need to activate your VAT number. Quite a vital thing because then you can deduct the VAT (so you get things cheaper for your company) and you can officially invoice people (add VAT on your invoices).

Of course, 1st of January is a public holiday, with a weekend following it, and lots of civil servants taking a few days extra. So before I managed to get through to anyone in the VAT office, it was 6th of January. The VAT offices in Belgium and Brussels are divided into different regions. So after a little bit of ping pong telephone calls, I found out that my company was part of the ‘Brussels 3’ VAT office. So once I got hold of the VAT people responsible for Brussels 3, they saw in my file I actually registered my company in Dutch (even though I spoke more French than Dutch when registering it). Alas, there was no Dutch-speaker in the Brussels 3 team, so my file would be treated by Brussels 5 instead… but I would remain part of Brussels 3 of course (how I love these administrations!).

So I ask them what it takes to activate my VAT number, and they tell me to fax back a form (yes, they still do faxes there). And they assure me that they will activate my VAT retro-actively from the 1st of January. Great. So I can invoice my first customer (a re-writing job) and put it on the date of 7th of January 2010. And you can already guess the continuation of the story… A few days later, indeed, I get the ‘proof of VAT activation’ stating that IdeoScript’s VAT number is active from 8th of January 2010. So I need to ask my first customer to tear my first invoice in pieces and replace it by another one. That must go down as very professional.

So the IdeoScript baby was a bit premature on 1st of January, but finally was alive and kicking on the 8th.

PS if you need something to be (re)written, just let me know ;-)

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