If you have been following my blog you will know I am on a long journey to changing my career and setting up my own culinary business in Belgium (I have a Dream).
There are certain regulations you need to follow to be able to set up your own business in food in Belgium. For example, you need to have a Chef Diploma and a Business Diploma. There are shortcuts to getting these, but unfortunately as I am a Career Changer, and I don’t come from Belgium, I have had to do it the long way.
The most important Diploma was the Chef Diploma that I achieved last year after a 3 year evening course (Cours de Restauration) at Ceria (What do you want to be when you grow up?). For the past two months the focus has been on the Business Diploma (Gestion de Base). I might have been able to argue that since I have been working in Business for the past 10 years, and I have a degree, and I am married to someone who has an Economics degree, I wouldn’t necessarily need it, however I signed up for the exam anyway. I actually think it is a really good idea to ensure that anyone wanting to set up a business are able to prove they at least have some basic understanding of what documents are required by law, and how to go about creating them and keeping them up to date. The idea is that although your accountant will probably do most of it, your business will be less likely to fail if you have some basic understanding. In addition to that, for me, as a foreigner living in Belgium I have found it extremely useful to understand all the laws and regulations (they really are quite different than in the UK).
Yesterday, I sat the 1.5 hour exam, and I passed! Woohoo! I have achieved another milestone toward my dream, and in the process, I might actually be able to understand what is being said the next time I talk to a Belgian Accountant!