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Subsidies: unknown, unloved?
After his legal studies, Jos started his career in 1993 as an adviser in social law. Eight years later, he took up a new challenge and specialised in subsidy advice for companies at a Big Four accounting firm. Since the beginning of 2016, he has helped realise the growth plans and ambitions of Titeca clients together with young talent and other experts within the SPE department. Jos assists entrepreneurs in applying for and obtaining subsidies for their projects.
“Entrepreneurs are often oblivious of the fact that an ambitious SME can obtain subsidies for a great deal of initiatives. Several subsidy databases are available online, but for most companies this is something unknown. As a result, they miss out on a lot of potential government support. As a subsidy adviser, I can certainly be of value in this area.”
The Titeca label on a subsidy dossier guarantees high quality and an excellent chance of success.
How do you become a subsidy adviser?
There is no academic programme for subsidy advisers. Neither will you find any manuals or reference books on this subject. Subsidy advice is something you learn by experience. “As a result, it is a very volatile subject. All of a sudden, support measures can be changed drastically or even abolished completely. Some support measures are based on a system of periodic calls to which you must respond promptly. It is therefore key to keep up to date with developments. I consult various specialised websites on a daily basis and attend as many seminars, information sessions and lectures as possible.”
“Subsidies are not an exact science either. Even if the regulations remain unchanged, the assessment pattern within the scope of a particular support measure may evolve. That’s why good contacts with subsidy granting agencies such as VLAIO (Flemish Innovation and Enterprise Agency) and the European Social Fund (ESF) are crucially important.”
Titeca breaks new ground
“As far as I know, Titeca was the first accountancy agency to hire a full-time subsidy expert who provides maximum support to clients in this field. A daring yet at the same time well thought-out move, which has already been taken up by other accountants. After all, accountancy firms are at the source and are usually the first to hear that a client plans to make investments, wants to hire a strategic staff member, wishes to provide training to their employees …Bearing in mind that timing is a crucial factor in the granting of subsidies – most subsidies must be applied for prior to commencement of the project – it is obvious that such advance information is a major asset in the provision of subsidy advice. This way, we can inform our clients of the support possibilities in good time and before they hear it from someone else. Of course, this implies that we have specialised knowledge at our disposal. The most important aspect of my job is to pass my knowledge on to my colleagues in the company and ensure that all front-office employees immediately spot potential support opportunities for clients. Then it is up to me to determine whether or not subsidies are attainable.”
Increase your chances of success!
In addition to monitoring the subsidy developments and screening support opportunities for clients, Jos is also engaged in real fieldwork: applying for and obtaining subsidies. Since the vast majority of Titeca’s clients are SMEs, he mainly implements support measures specific to this type of company. For instance, he has submitted numerous applications for SME growth subsidies, a support measure granted by VLAIO whereby SMEs can get up to € 25,000 in support for hiring a strategic profile or seeking external advice. His flourishing practice also includes strategic transformation subsidies, amounting to a maximum of € 1 million for strategic investments and/or training courses. With a success rate of over 90%, the Titeca label on a subsidy dossier guarantees high quality and an excellent chance of success.
“That’s why we apply the ‘no cure, no pay’ principle to major subsidy dossiers, requesting remuneration only if the subsidy is actually granted. This compensation is a percentage of the amount of aid obtained. This way, we share the risk of rejection with the client, a commitment that we obviously can make only because we have sufficient confidence in a good outcome.”
But the story does not end with the approval of a subsidy application. Interim and final reports usually need to be submitted with the required proof before the payment is made. But don’t worry, Jos continues to follow up on the subsidy dossier until the granted sum has been paid in its entirety.
All entrepreneurs are welcome
Just like his colleagues from the SPE department, Jos does not just work for existing Titeca clients. You can rely on him even if your accounts are not managed by the experts of Titeca Accountancy. So don’t hesitate to contact Titeca Accountancy free of obligation, especially if you can answer one or several of the following questions affirmatively:
(t) +32 51 62 28 45