But, as things finally crystallized into focus, it’s turned out to be a good week for most everything else.
The big event was Thursday’s signing ceremony at my accountant’s offices, Finsens, in Amsterdam. The notary delivered a big black binder with gold lettering: Register van Aandeelhouders: Stone Bridge Biomedical BV, Gevestigd in Maastricht. There were smiles and congratulations.
The formal black book defines the Bedrijfsomschrijving (business purpose) as Het ontwikkelen en produceren van medische apparatuur en bijbehorende software applicaties; het verrichten van IT diensten, advisering van bedrijven in de medische wereld en het beheren van stamrechten. (or, “The development and production of medical equipment and related software applications; the provision of information technology services; advising companies in the medical world and the management of businesses.”) Inside, are my business particulars, articles of incorporation, founding capital, and shareholders.
This is the final confirmation of incorporation, capping an odyssey through the Dutch and US legal, banking, and tax systems. It’s really a remarkable thing; six months in conception, three in execution, and now real.
The legal elements went quickly and easily: I had good help and there were no surprises. The bank was the most difficult element, taking much longer to execute a simple process that nobody seems to understand. Tax matters are very complex, especially involving transnational considerations, but I got good guidance through setting up lasting structures and submitting forms within tight deadlines. I preserved my 30% ruling, got my AMEX card, and have books ready for my first quarterly report (already!). The business plan, logo, and website are drafted, and the actual content is starting to take shape.
Immigration and employment procedures, securing a new residence permit, is next. Most of the actual living arrangements are settled, and the last apron strings to the expat agreement will be cut next week. For the time being, a bicycle and train pass will substitute for a car, and meetings in local cafe’s are taking the place of long-distance flights. It’s all pretty amazing, a bit intimidating, and potentially exhilarating, but I suppose that’s not too much of a change from four years of expat life.