hello strangers! Yes it has been forever and a day since my last post. I would love to tell you that I was too busy with my business and it is partially true, just not the way I had hoped.
now I am writing because I need to get this off my chest: Life is not fair- where is the justice?!
Back when this adventure of my own business started, I must confess, I was very starry-eyed. Sure that with my business background and my design degree it would be an easy ride. Well not easy, but never would I have ever thought I would stumble at every corner. And even now, I am faced with consquences that cost me money, time and sanity.
Back when this business started I was sure of my success. So much so, that my main worry was, what I would have to do to not get on the bad side of the fiscal institution. And honestly, this was probably the first mistake: thinking that the tax office would be my biggest issue (don't get me wrong, it is a big issue for me - later more).
Based on my stupid assumption that I would easily sell shirts worth 10-15k using this to invest in the production of my dresses, I registered a trade. And I had read a lot about starting a business, but somehow I missed the relevant bits! And that is not saying that the universe is being cruel, it is me being a stupid moron.
I was advised that with a business registration I would get a lot of letters from fake business telling me I have to pay for registrations and so on and so forth. So when I got a letter from the "trade association" I was sure this was such spam. Still I read the letter and from the information in there I was certain, this was not applicable to me. I then got a membership package from them. Can you imagine! My first thought: Wow, they are very persistant scam-artists! the cheek to pretend I had returned to memership application! However, I asked the post to return the docs to sender and they put a stamp on it "recipient refused letter" thinking that they would take the hint. Then I got a magzine upon which I mailed them that I want them to stop spamming me as this must be against the law for sure.
By the time I had already given up on my business, I received the first invoice for a membership payment! How dare they! I was angry and again mailed to them stating that I had not entered any memebership and as such I detest the invoice.
Haver I ever received any response from them? Only a dunning letter threatening me with execution proceedings if I do not pay within 2 weeks! I almost had a heart attack! It took me probably one hour to calm down. (Well you only know this story so far you don't know the rest) I called them (unfortunatelly duing my very stressed/panick phase) but the woman on the phone was the most condecending, unwilling to help person I have come accross (among top 10). She basically said "Well, if you don't wanna pay, we can end this call now" How rude - I was (embarrisingly) hyperventilating and she just brushed me off!
Funny enough, now, that a read a bit more about it, I still don't think that what I did qualifies for a membership in any association, but if I had to be in one it would be one for retail or online business, but not "energy, textile electric, media production" I get that because in my stupid business registration where I said part of my business is production of clothing they contacted me. But I put that in there so if I ever want to sell one of the dresses I actually do make myself rather than letting them be produced by professionals, that I would not get into trouble.
Trouble, yeah... the whole thing started because I did not want to get into trouble. I registered th business in Mühlenstr. at a shared office place, because I did not want to get problems with my landlord. I even contacted the city of berlin to find out if I would be allowed to have a business at home. But because finding this out took forever, I had already registered the business otherwise - and spend money for nothing.
I registered the business in general because I thought I had to.
I got a bookkeeping online tool, so that I would sumit my monthly VAT-return to the tax office , only to get money back every month - stopping at once stage because I did not want them to return my any more funds. Guess, what - that brought trouble. I don't know how many letters I exchanged with the tax office (by the way: big shout out, they might not have helped me the way I needed them to, but they were always super friendly!) and how many times I tried to submit my tax return, my VAT statement and so on and quite frankly I am scared that I did somthing wrong and I will get draggedd to court for it. I have nightmares about it! I really hope that the final doc I submitted last week was good. Especially as I already noticed that I did not submit my medical expenses that I believe are tax deductable.
I wonder how long my t-shirts acutally stay sellable in the boxes, by the way- if you need carton for germna post "Maxibrief" I have plenty in the basement and using one box as a cushing on a self made chair - let me know.
It is interesting how I did everything during my business exploits in order to not get into trouble and yet everything was leading me to trouble.
Since I started the business I lost almost all my savings, I am sure that while I really tried to fill out my tax statement as accurate as possible, they will find a way to turn it around and do say i did something wrong that makes we guilty of something.
Why does all of this needs to be so complicated? or was it really complicated or was I the once making everything way more complicated because i was trying to save money (like not spending another 400 euro on a tax specialist, or not investing 1000 euro into advertising)
Worst part, only today I realised that I think I only ever changed the business hoping to downgrade it but never cancelled because I still have not yet understood if I am allowed to sell shirts that nobody wants or stuff I sew for pleasure without a running business. BUT, song story short, I just did un-register completely. so no more business for me.
pennyless fashion designer working towards London