The king is dead long live the king

Tuesday, May 25th, 02021 at 13:31 UTC

Le roi est mort, vive le roi!, King Charles the VII of France was the first King who had this line proclaimed at him on the death of his father King Charles the VI in 01422. The phrase came over to English because at the time, all the aristocracy spoke French.

Now it is time for us to take the next steps to improve the company. That requires us to shutdown the company to continue the company. This article is mostly for future us to remember what happened to past us.


Back on April 1st 02009, we registered and published our first article Phase Transition. The intent was to publish articles and transition to a company to handle freelance projects. 12 years later it has grown to something so much more!

In 02011, we finally filled all the paperwork to create it as a coöperative style company. Optional Slf. was born on Feb 7th 02011. At that time, the SLF structure made the most sense. It was a way to get the money out of the company via dividends with the highest value (lowest taxes). Since we still had a day job and had recently also started another company Vísar ehf. this certainly wouldn’t be our main focus or source of revenue.

Time passed, so did start-ups, projects, more start-ups, back working for Vísar and more. All that time Optional Slf. worked away in the background. It acted very much like a reservoir. When freelance projects came in, we could invoice via the company and it could build-up funds. Then when start-ups came and went, we could easily jump back to Optional to keep getting a paycheck and keep our Green Card VISA status in Iceland. We also used that reservoir to buy new hardware, conference expenses and more. 

Over the last few years, we’ve been more and more employed by Optional Slf. and doing more and more projects, like Material Conference and bigger top secrete projects for bigger US companies.

We re-evaluated the risks and rewards of an SLF structure: It wasn’t great. As an SLF, you have personal liability (or at least one member of the owners does). That meant, if we got sued, they could take everything in the company and then any personal assets. In 02011, that wasn’t much, but 10 years later things have certainly changed. 

At the start of May 02021 we began the process of registering a new EHF company. Since you can’t “upgrade” an SLF to EHF, we had to start from scratch with the new company. It is also not possible for two companies to be registered with too similar a name. That meant, we had to rename Optional Slf. to a temporary name to free up “optional” to be used for the EHF. It is possible todo as a single transaction, but it meant doing it the old fashion way on paper rather than via the online forms. 

After a few false starts, we managed to complete the process on 12th of May 02021. As part of this we got a new ID number for the company. The IDs are the company’s date of birth encoded in them with a check sum, so you can always tell the age.

Technically, this is week #3 of the new company, but we still consider this the same entity, so we’ll keep on with our original birthday in Feb from 02011 – or maybe we’ll have two birthdays like the Queen. 

The SLF still exists as we wind it all down. The new EHF has its VAT number, new bank accounts and everything for business. For you dear read, nothing has changed, but our customers, it is pretty much identical, just a new bank account to pay the invoices into. Same domain, same team, same experience, same name, new corporate structure.

Over the next few months, we will find all those random utilities that are connected to the credit card on the old SLF company and migrate them over to the new EHF. We hope to have everything completed by the end of 02021 and turn off the SLF and hand in its last annual report to the tax man.

The best type of transition is one that no one notices. Here’s to another exciting 10 years! 🎉