Each month we’ll feature a different AABC member in our new Member Spotlight, this month Noa Rawlinson. Would you like to be featured in a future edition of our Member Spotlight? Get in touch with Veronica at email@example.com
Who are you?
My name is Noa Rawlinson, I am a Dutchie and naturalized U.S. citizen who lived in the United States for close to ten years. I am a Certified Public Account, registered and licensed in the State of Florida. This is the State in which I spent most of my twenties together with my Floridian husband. I returned to Holland in late 2011 and I continued the business I set up in the United States: I am a U.S. tax preparer and since my return I have focused my efforts on preparing U.S. tax returns specifically for U.S. persons residing in the Netherlands. With the estimated 35,000 Americans living in the Netherlands who by virtue of the United States’ citizen based taxation regime need a U.S. tax return every year, business is steady and I am very proud to be able to continue servicing my community.
When and why did you join the AABC?
I joined AABC pretty much right after my arrival in the Netherlands. I searched for an organization in which I would fit: a mix of business and everything American. Although I lived quite a ways away from Amsterdam, I was excited to find out more about the club after some online research. I remember my first AABC event in the beginning of 2012 vividly. The first person I met at the event was John Milhado, who would later join me as a member of the AABC’s kascommissie (audit committee). The event was held at restaurant De Ondeugd in the Pijp, which is no longer operating under that name today. Many of the people I met that evening make up an important part of my business network and I am very grateful to the club for this fact.
Tell us about your business and how we can work with you.
As mentioned earlier, I focus on U.S. tax preparation for individuals and businesses in the Netherlands who are subject to U.S. taxation. You may consult with me on how to structure your administration and finances to make sense for both countries. My background of living both here and in the U.S. makes me also able to relate personally to individuals who are going through that same thing. On the entrepreneurial side, I have a few things to say about starting business in the U.S. or being a U.S. person starting a business in the Netherlands. Although I am usually busy preparing tax returns, I can always find time for an initial consultation. I have found that my (potential) clients get a big benefit from getting a general overview before diving into all the details.
What are your tips and/or advice about doing business in the Netherlands?
As a Dutch person who has developed my business habits in the United States, I am still sometimes disappointed with the Dutch idea of what customer service should be. But in the course of time I have learned to accept this as an unchangeable reality and once I stopped fighting it I have becoming happier and more effective in business. It’s all about understanding. As is true in business everywhere, it’s the relationships between individuals that make or break a business deal. I would invest some time in getting to know the Dutch culture, customs and habits. Expect to always be asked “why?” – Dutch people are curious and do not like to leave anything open for guesswork. Although the Dutch are seen as direct and sober, they like learning about all things that are new to them, open to fresh ideas, internationally oriented and are genuinely interested in others. And the most important tip: don’t forget to smile!
Photo credit: Alex Blanco www.kaptuur.com
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