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Five crucial questions for the start of the year:

Am I doing well as a freelancer?

The beginning of the year is an ideal moment to take a step back and assess your end results: The core of your activity lies in your achieved turnover. Take the time to analyze your invoices: how did I achieve that turnover? Is it a matter of many small amounts or a few large ones? How much effort was required to satisfy customers with a small contribution compared to larger ones? Will you continue at the same pace next year, or is it worth considering a different course? What about your cost structure? Have you taken sufficient account of possible business expenses?

Do you want to make changes to that from next year? And what about your profit? Is it on the rise compared to other years, and why is that?
Or have you incurred a loss, and is it due to insufficient turnover, or are the costs too high? Time to draw conclusions for next year.

Accountant: yes or no?

It's noticeable when I consult freelancer forums how many freelancers still work without an accountant. Yet, I believe it's worthwhile, especially because: A freelancer takes on this task for you, allowing you to focus on your core activity and save a lot of time and stress. You receive assistance with your tax return, VAT return, advice for tax optimization, and fiscal advice on specific items. You can address various questions related to your pension, legal matters, your social secretariat, doubts about whether you can deduct certain costs, etc. You can deduct the cost of your accountant. VAT system or not? Small businesses with a turnover of up to 25,000 euros (excluding VAT) annually in Belgium are exempt from VAT reporting. Some sole proprietors/freelancers sometimes choose to remain small to avoid this hassle. However, don't let this be a reason to hinder growth and embrace opportunities. If you haven't worked with an accountant yet, they will guide you through the VAT maze while you focus on your opportunities.

Remain a sole proprietor or switch to another legal form?

The beginning of the year and your financial overview are a perfect time to consider switching from a sole proprietorship to another legal form. For example, to shift liability from yourself (sole proprietorship) to your company (e.g., an LLC). Here, too, there are numerous options available (partnership, limited partnership, etc.) depending on your personal situation: did you hire employees this year, did you add an online store, do you want to switch to the status of an association? It's advisable to consult a notary and accountant for guidance.

How can I continue to grow?

Finally, it's a good time to think about how you, as an entrepreneur, can continue to grow in the coming years. This can be achieved by reconsidering the contacts you turned down during the year (probably due to lack of time) or by adjusting your prices because life has become more expensive or your offerings have become more complex. Conclusion: Whatever questions you ask yourself, it's good to ask them and find answers. You chose to be an entrepreneur, so you want to look back on a successful career as a self-employed individual and build a good reputation as an entrepreneur!

Isabelle Colle is a copywriter who always finds the right words for your target audience.

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