Moving day is fast approaching; I’m due to pack up over the weekend, sign for the new apartment and take possession at noon on Monday, and move my archetypical “13 boxes of stuff” from the old residence to the new that same afternoon. A phalanx of phriends is on standby to grab boxes and convoy across the Stone Bridge.
Of course, as General Manager and sole shareholder, Stone Bridge Biomedical moves with me.
The first step in any Dutch move is to visit the Gemeente Maastricht, the city hall (above), and declare the change of address. There is no cost, just bring the old and new addresses and your identification and the process takes about ten minutes. To be safe, a signed copy of the Rental Agreement answers any questions. I also pick up a new Uittreksel, the stamped certificate confirming my residence address, which is needed for IND yearly renewals of my residency permit. The document costs 10 euros and is prepared on the spot.
The next stop is the Kamer van Koophandel (KvK, righr), the local Chamber of Commerce that handles business registrations. Their database may be updated automatically when the Gemeente updates their records, but I like to do it in person. Again, address details, identification, the signed rental agreement, and (to be safe) the Uittreksel is all that is needed; there is a form to be filled in and no charges.
The KvK gives a paper confirmation of the change which can then be taken to the banks and services that support the business. It’s fraud to change the mailing address for bank statements and telephone bills ahead of the KvK change, so take things in sequence. It takes an afternoon to make the rounds of the various services, post office, telephone, and banks: each will want to see the statement from the KvK and each will encourage the change to be made by mail. I’m not a very trusting soul, and asked for each to simply walk through the process and make sure it was entered correctly and completely into their computers.
I pre-notified the accountant and then sent copies of the relevant paperwork from the city and KvK. They will make sure that the tax and pension authorities get the changes, and keep my quarterly audits and VAT reports current with the new information.
Finally, I make the changes to the stationary, business cards, web site, signature attachments,and social networks, following up with clients or services that miss the first round of messages. I’m sure I’ve probably missed something, but the sequence is holding up so far.
(PS: I missed KPN, the Internet provider, of course. They need 21 days to move the ADSL line, even though I can continue to use the same distribution box.)
(PPS: The Postoffice takes six days to register a change of address submitted over the internet. The process is painful: there are a dozen screens asking for account numbers so that they can notify individual vendors and utilities. I stop short of giving the post office my bank account numbers, but it’s worth letting them talk to magazines and loyalty cards.)