“All We Have To Do Is Answer a Few Simple Questions” – Dragon Law Makes It Easy for Founders To Create Legal Documents

May 3, 2016

“After years of exploring the world, we realised that all of our best experiences and discoveries had one thing in common: Someone took us there.”

– Maggie Lau and Anita Chan, Co-Founders, Sam the Local


Sam the Local helps users book customised outings with locals based on their interests. There’s something for everyone: history, local food, photography, and more.

       
Historical stories with Ricky L. Local food and stories with Nicole C. Photography with Michael K. Food exploration with Amanda L.
“With a community of more than 300 locals and users in our database and growing – and just two of us founders in the team – there was no way we could’ve found time to deal with legal.”

– Anita Chan, Co-Founder, Sam the Local

 

I remember before Dragon Law where my Co-Founder and I would spend hours searching online for legal templates; then changing, editing, and finalising them. Even after that we still weren’t reassured – did these templates reflect the latest law changes? How would they apply in Hong Kong, where our business was incorporated? We still ended up taking documents to the lawyers’ for a final review – this took away precious time as well as made a significant dent in the pocket.

All that changed with Dragon Law.

Neither Maggie nor I are legally-trained; but Dragon Law’s technology allows us to self-service legal document creation, in a manner that is easy yet reassuring.

The app interface couldn’t get any easier – all we have to do is answer a few simple questions, and the app works its magic. The result: Legally-sound contracts that are tailored to suit each of our business needs. The ability to customise gives us full knowledge and control of what goes into our business contracts, all while saving significant costs.

“Dragon Law’s technology allows us to self-service legal document creation, in a manner that is easy yet reassuring.”

At this stage of our business, growing our user base is key. Maggie and I are always on the road in separate meetings, and hardly have the time to sit down together to negotiate contracts, much less deal with the inefficiencies of going back and forth on email.

Dragon Law’s dual user access allows us to stay on top of the new contracts that are being created. We are also able to access, share and sign documents on-the-go, and have them stored securely in the cloud. This convenience gives us more time to focus on our business. It’s our one-stop shop for legal.

We are now on the route to raising funds for Sam the Local, thus making it even more important that we establish a solid legal foundation. We acknowledge that a traditional law firm will be able put us on the right track, but here’s the Dragon Law magic: For the simple, rudimentary tasks, you don’t often need to go to the extent of paying for one.

We live chat the Dragon Law service team who very clearly points us to the right contract we need, and recommends a lawyer in their network should we need any advice beyond what is provided in their app. The bottom-line is this: As business owners, you should be able to look at other alternatives and pay for a lawyer only when you need it.

Learn how Dragon Law’s technology enables you to create contracts that are legally-binding for Singapore and Hong Kong.

“Convenient, trustworthy and easy.”

– Anita Chan, Co-Founder of Sam the Local

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Looking For an Office Space in Hong Kong? Here Are Some Tips.

April 26, 2016

Photo credit: Compass Offices

Looking for office space in Hong Kong? Whether you’re a Hong Kong based startup looking to move-on-up from the Sheung Wan coffee shop, or an international success story hoping to try your luck in Hong Kong – a serviced office might be the solution to your needs. Spacious sat down with Happy Le, International Office Solution Consultant, to talk about what you need to know before jumping into the Hong Kong office market.

Size and Growth

You may just be getting started, but you’ll need to think about your future growth. The rule of thumb in the office market is if you have more than 6 employees in a given location, it starts making sense to consider conventional office space over a serviced office space. But if fast growth is likely, you may run the risk of outgrowing your conventional office space before your lease is up.

Capital and Costs

Conserving limited capital and keeping costs low are key tenets for many bootstrapping startups. Deposits (typically equivalent to 2 to 3 months of rent) and renovation/furniture costs (conservatively HKD $500 to $1000 per square foot) associated with conventional offices are often out of the question until some serious capital has been raised. On the other hand, serviced offices have no upfront investment or costs, which is great for most startups.

Keep in mind though that these costs are often built into the higher monthly rates you can expect to pay, so once your business looks like a going-concern, conventional office space might be the more economic long-term option.

Location, Location, Location

Recruiting talent is key for startups and expanding businesses. Your current and future staff will want to have good access to public transportation, a variety of dining options, and be near to customers and business partners. With office rental rates at record levels in centrally located office areas like Central, Admiralty, Wan Chai, Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui, a smaller and temporary serviced office might be the only way many startups and small businesses can afford to play in these areas that employees and customers are keen to do business in.

Image and Prestige

Lippo center in Admiralty, a famous office building

Depending on your industry, having a professional and trustworthy image can make or break you in your early days. On the contrary, looking too flashy too soon could also be risky – making you look all sizzle and no steak to potential customers or like you have no sense of value to potential investors.

Serviced offices can give you that professional image from day one, but having an obviously short-term space can also make it look like your business might not be viable for the long run. A conventional office space says that you’ve got some capital and a long-term view, but hopefully you had enough cash leftover to put a coat of paint on the walls and not have to pull your furniture off the street corner.

Serviced offices can offer a variety of “big time” perks – receptionists, high tech meeting rooms, coffee/pantries areas, and telephone answering services. Some serviced offices do their own building or lobby branding, clearly given away the fact that you are in a serviced office to potential customers. Others opt for no branding of their served office brand or allowing custom branding for your own business, so your customers can remain none the wiser that you are in a temporary space.  

Overseas Business

Let’s get a headstart right before you land by getting an office!

If overseas meeting and office space is required for your business, a serviced office can make international travel and expansion much easier. International serviced office providers like Compass Offices, Regus, The Executive Centre , and Servcorp will give you access to their overseas network of offices for international business travel as part of your serviced office lease agreement here in Hong Kong.

Big Corporate or Startup Community

Hong Kong has many serviced office providers, including the big international players above or smaller, local players. The local serviced office providers tend to be less centrally located in terms of the classic Hong Kong office market but might be closer to the Hong Kong startup community – physically and culturally. The local players offer networking, speaking and educational events unique to the Hong Kong startup scene where you can meet other entrepreneurs, investors, or recruit talent. Many also offer additional services such as business registration, consulting/advisory and business services outsourcing.

Cocoon in Tin Hau
The Hive in Wan Chai, Kennedy Town and Sai Kung
Paperclip in Sheung Wan
Uno in Central, Sheung Wan and Jordan
Jumpstart Offices in Central, CWB, TST, Kwun Tong
Garage Society in Central

Beyond that office

The Mood @ Soho

Once you have found the perfect office for your expansion in Hong Kong, you will need to start thinking about where to house your employees, and of course, yourself. Relocation is not easy, especially when you haven’t even figured out where your permanent base is going to be. Serviced apartments might be a good answer to all your questions.

Whether you are looking to rent serviced apartments or finding a new home – Spacious’ scientifically driven search engine and large property data base can help you with that.

This is a guest post brought to you by Spacious.hk.

About Spacious

Finding a great home has never been so easy – this has been Spacious’ motto from the start. Useful, scientific and beautiful, we strive to make it easier for people who are looking for a new home to choose a neighborhood and to find their dream house easily. With a map view, listing view and various filters such as haunted housing and price limits, there’s no shortage of information to help you with your decision. Start looking today!

When Should You Hold Your First Annual General Meeting?

The purpose of an Annual General Meeting (AGM) is to give company members the opportunity to ask questions, receive information and meet with the directors.

At the meeting, shareholders have the opportunity to raise questions about the financial positioning of the company and to pass resolutions; from appointing auditors to filling vacancies within the board.

First Annual General Meeting

Your company is required to hold the first AGM within 18 months from the date of incorporation. Thereafter, the length between one AGM and the next depends on:

  1. The timing of the financial year-end
    Private limited companies must hold an AGM within six months. A financial year is determined by the accounting reference period.
  2. The date of the last AGM
    The next AGM must occur within 15 months or the company can face monetary penalties.

Holding an Annual General Meeting

You must give a minimum of 21 days’ notice to all shareholders prior to holding an AGM. A shorter notice can be given if it is agreed by all the members who are entitled to attend and vote at the meeting.

Your company must send, in writing, the following to all shareholders at least 14 days before the AGM:

  • Details of the meeting (date, time, location)
  • The agenda (What issues will be voted on and discussed)
  • Each member’s right to appoint a proxy (someone appointed to attend and cite in the shareholders’ favour)

Details of the AGM may be sent to the shareholders electronically if your company’s Articles of Association allow.

Any amendments for the Articles of Association must be done carefully and lawfully.

 

The Companies Ordinance provides that companies with only one member are not required to hold an AGM at all.

If you have more than one shareholder, you may still avoid the need for an AGM if all shareholders sign a Resolution to Remove the Need for an Annual General Meeting – this can be a huge time-saver especially for companies with a small number of shareholders; or if shareholders are not in the same location.

Once the Shareholder’s Resolution to Remove the Need for an Annual General Meeting is passed, shareholders now have the convenience of resolving matters by written resolutions instead.

Such resolutions must be passed in writing, such as on paper or email. The format is agreed upon between you and your shareholders. If your company is incorporated in Hong Kong, you must deliver a copy of the resolution to the Registrar of Companies for registration within 15 days after its passing date.

Failure to hold an AGM or pass a Resolution to Remove the Need for an Annual General Meeting can result in penalties.

Save time by quickly creating, sharing and e-signing  a Resolution to Remove an Annual General Meeting.


Use Dragon Law to create a Resolution to Remove an Annual General Meeting:

 

The above applies only to private limited liability companies.

Singapore’s PDPC Takes Action Against 11 Firms For Data Privacy Breaches

April 22, 2016

This morning, Channel News Asia reported the imposition of a S$50,000 fine on popular Singapore karaoke chain, K Box Entertainment Group, for not having sufficient security measures to protect the personal data of 317,000 members.

Specifically, it was found that K Box failed to:

  1. Update security patches to ensure its IT system security was sufficiently robust,
  2. Assign a Data Protection Officer to develop or implement data protection policies, and
  3. Impose strong control over access to personal data.

A further financial penalty of S$10,000 was imposed on the IT vendor in charge of K Box’s content management system, Finantech Holdings, for failing to implement proper and adequate protective measures for the personal data in the system it had built and managed for K Box.

Other organisations that faced penalties or received warnings from the Personal Data Protection Commission of Singapore include: Institution of Engineers, Singapore and health supplements supplier, Fei Fah Medical Manufacturing. Challenger Technologies, Metro, Xirlynx Innovations, Full House Communications, Singapore Computer Society and Yes Tuition Agency.

Introduced in 2012, the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) of Singapore mandates that organisations must:

  1. Clearly inform the individual the purpose(s) for which personal data will be collected, used or disclosed and obtain his/her consent,
  2. Implement a formal process for the withdrawal of consent by individuals in respect of the collection, use or disclosure of their personal data,
  3. Limit the use of personal data collected to only purposes that you have obtained consent for,
  4. Make reasonable effort to verify that the personal data kept are accurate and complete (i) prior to any use to make a decision that affects the individual or (ii) prior to disclosure; and
  5. Designated one or more individuals (who may be referred to as Data Protection Officers) to be responsible for ensuring that the data protection policies and practices of your organisation are in compliance with the PDPA.

Source: Personal Data Protection Commission Singapore, 2015 (read more)

Personal data in this case includes but are not limited to the following:

  • Full name
  • NRIC or FIN number
  • Passport number
  • Photograph or video image of an individual
  • Mobile telephone number
  • Personal email address
  • Thumbprint
  • DNA profile
  • Name and residential address
  • Name and residential telephone number

PDPC Chairman Leong Keng Thai said the most common issue with the breaches has a lot to do with the adoption of inappropriate IT practices. The PDPC recognises that data plays a vital role in helping organisations innovate in today’s economy, and encourages the use of data in a responsible manner – just as you would handle commercially valuable information.

Singapore law requires that organisations must comply with the PDPA when collecting, using or disclosing personal data.

Does your organisation have a Data Protection Policy in place?

Find out how creating one can be easy, fast and affordable with Dragon Law’s web app:

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Read the original article on Channel News Asia

How Dragon Law Has Transformed The Way Delegate Manages Their Legal

April 20, 2016

About Delegate

Delegate is a free-to-use online marketplace that allows users to discover, compare and hire event vendors conveniently, from a mobile device or desktop. Whether planning a corporate function, wedding or a private party, Delegate is the easiest and most reliable way to connect to hundreds of the best event vendors, for any budget or occasion. Presently, Delegate is available in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Show your clients you value your relationships – outline terms of engagement right from the beginning

Founded in 2014, the Delegate platform has grown very quickly into becoming a home for more than 200 event service providers in Singapore alone. Our mission to broaden and innovate the way people organise events has led us to on-boarding niche service providers such as 3D-print studios, ‘bicycle baristas’ and vintage Vespa vendors.

We value the relationships we have with each vendor and understand the importance of outlining terms of engagement right from the beginning.

When we first started out, we were lucky to have the support of a few lawyer friends who would very kindly help us out with the legal agreements we needed. It was clear over time however that this wasn’t sustainable – the turnaround time was not quick enough. Besides, we couldn’t keep buying them dinners!

Of course, we had the option to engage a lawyer by the hour or by the document. This approach however will burn a huge hole in our pocket and as a growing startup who needed to continually reinvest in the development of our product, this just wasn’t feasible in the long run.

More than just templates: Ability to customise agreements to suit different use cases

We learnt that the documents we needed to generate were generally repetitive in nature, with the need to tweak some clauses for certain vendors. However, duplicating templates still wouldn’t cut it – we wouldn’t have known what to change!

Dragon Law’s technology emerged as a perfect solution for what we needed – their SMART Document Builder gives us the ability to tailor our legal contracts to suit different use cases, while not compromising on the legality of each.

It surely helped that we were able to claim 60% of the cost of Dragon Law from Singapore’s Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) scheme. This was key to keeping Delegate compliant without having to incur expensive legal fees.

The first go-to option for legal assistance

Dragon Law is now our first go-to option for whenever we need legal assistance. Our subscription to Dragon Law’s Annual Professional Package gives us access to a dedicated Account Manager as well as to the Client Services Team right within the Dragon Law app. I hit the ‘live chat’ option whenever I have questions while creating a document. The experience is seamless and fuss-free – no waiting time and I don’t even have to pick up the phone. It’s like having a legal FAQ right at my fingertips!

 

Dragon Law’s suite of documents are segmented in such a way that provides for every stage of running your business. To date, I have yet to stumble upon a document that I need but is not present within the Dragon Law app.

I remember once having faced a legal issue where I needed advice beyond what the app could provide. Dragon Law recommended that I speak with one of the lawyers in their network, who very kindly analysed my situation and walked me through my options. It is great to know that I can count on Dragon Law for some of the repetitive and rudimentary legal issues, and pay for additional legal services only when I need it.

More value than you would’ve paid for a law firm

Only three months into our subscription, we have now used Dragon Law to generate and send hundreds of documents to our vendors in Singapore and Hong Kong. We are assured to know that an annual subscription will allow us to continue generating the legal documents we need on an unlimited basis, and understand the significant dollar-savings as opposed to going to a traditional law firm.

Dragon Law has completely transformed the way we manage legal at Delegate. My Co-Founder, Melissa, and I share access to documents and collaborate within the cloud.

Now, all of Delegates’ partners can benefit from the ability to upload, sign and store their legal documents in the cloud – no more print, sign, scan, and visits to the post office!

Find out how managing legal can be easy, fast, and affordable.

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