The New Dragon Law Features You Asked For: Try Them Now!

March 23, 2016

Our team has been working tirelessly over the past few weeks to introduce some new improvements to the Dragon Law app. We are very excited to announce that you can now:

1. Make payment from within the app

Some of you are not on PayPal – we heard you. Our latest payment improvements bring you a seamless and secure payment experience within the app:

If you use this payment method, you will receive an email and in-app notification if your subscription is expiring in the next 60 days. The subscription will auto-renew three days before it expires – so you can go back to worrying about other important things for your business.

Only users with Administrator status are able to adjust payment details and purchase add-ons. Loyal PayPal fans need not sulk: Of course, PayPal is still available as an option if you like.

 

2. Better organisation and sharing

With bulk-select, moving all documents from one folder to another is a breeze:

Share documents, and add comments to recipients:

3. Upload & Sign, now in HD

The quality of your newly-uploaded documents are now in higher resolution:

 

4. Custom notifications

At the moment, all Dragon Law users receive a prompt when:

  • A document is complete and eligible for a “DoubleCheck” by a legally-trained Dragon,
  • A document is missing signatories; or
  • Signing is cancelled.

You may now decide if you would like to be alerted for these events using custom notifications in your Settings:

And if you decide to “Never show this again”, we promise we won’t!

 

5. Faster and safer electronic-signing

Your documents are kept secure when we limit access only to the email addresses you nominate as signees. All signees were prompted to register as a Dragon Law user to complete the process.

Now, we’ve made it even more efficient: Your invited signee no longer has to complete a long registration process – just create a password and he/she will be allowed to sign:

 

 

6. Trade Mark descriptions within the app

What could be easier than Googling? Not having to Google at all. In-app descriptions help you determine which class of goods and services you can to register your trade mark for, right within the app:

You’ve got to see it to believe it:

 

Which one of these updates was your favourite? Tell us in the comments!

Dragon Law’s had an exciting two years and we continue to be committed to delivering a better experience for our users. We want to make legal easy, affordable and fuss-free for you. Keep telling us how.

Amendments To the Employment Act: What It Means For Your Business

March 16, 2016
Post updated April 13th 2016.

Employers in Singapore have three new requirements under the Employment Act. Effective 1 April 2016, you are required to:

  1. Issue key employment terms (KETs) in writing to employees covered under the Employment Act.
  2. Issue itemised payslips to employees covered under the Employment Act.
  3. Maintain detailed employment records of employees covered under the Employment Act.

1. Key Employment Terms (KETs) in an employment contract

Why key employment terms?
KETs are aimed at helping employees to better understand their employment terms and benefits.

Who is it for?
Employers must issue KETs in writing to all employees who:

  • Enter into a contract of service on or after 1 April 2016,
  • Are covered by the Employment Act; or
  • Are employed for 14 days or more.

When should I issue key employment terms to employees?
You must issue KETs to employees within 14 days from the start of employment.

What should I include in the key employment terms?
KETs must include the items below:

  1. Full name of employer
  2. Full name of employee
  3. Job title, main duties and responsibilities
  4. Start date of employment
  5. Duration of employment (if employee is on fixed-term contract)
  6. Working arrangements, such as:
    1. Daily working hours (e.g. 8.30am – 6pm)
    2. Number of working days per week (e.g. six)
    3. Rest day (e.g. Saturday)
  7. Salary period
  8. Basic salary. For hourly, daily or piece-rated workers, employers should also indicate the basic rate of pay (e.g. $X per hour, day or piece)
  9. Fixed allowances
  10. Fixed deductions
  11. Overtime payment period (if different from item 7 salary period)
  12. Overtime rate of pay
  13. Other salary-related components, such as:
    1. Bonuses
    2. Incentives
  14. Type of leave, such as:
    1. Annual leave
    2. Outpatient sick leave
    3. Hospitalisation leave
    4. Maternity leave
    5. Childcare leave
  15. Other medical benefits, such as:
    1. Insurance
    2. Medical benefits
    3. Dental benefits
  16. Probation period
  17. Notice period

Exceptions:
You may leave out any terms that are inapplicable. For example, if the employee is a PME and overtime pay does not apply, the KETs issued do not need to include items 11 to 12.

Source: Ministry of Manpower

How can I issue key employment terms to employees?
You can issue key employment terms in either soft or hard copy. Handwritten copies are also accepted. Common KETs (e.g. leave policy and medical benefits) can be provided in employee handbook or via the company intranet.

All required key employment terms are present in Dragon Law’s employment contracts.

2. Itemised payslips

Why itemised payslips?
Itemised payslips will help employees better understand how their salary is calculated.

Who is it for?
You must issue itemised payslips to all employees covered under the Employment Act.

When should I issue payslips?
You should issue payslips to employees at least once a month, together with salary payment. Should this be impossible for whatsoever reason, you must issue the payslip within three working days of salary payment.

In the case of termination or dismissal, you must provide the payslip together with any outstanding salary payment.

What should an itemised payslip include?
An itemised payslip must include the items below:

  1. Full name of employer
  2. Full name of employee
  3. Date of payment (or dates, if the payslips consolidates multiple payments)
  4. Basic salary. For hourly, daily or piece-rated workers, indicate all of the following:
    1. Basic rate of pay, e.g. $X per hour
    2. Total number of hours or days worked or pieces produced.
  5. Start and end date of salary period
  6. Allowances paid for salary period, such as:
    1. All fixed allowances, e.g. transport
    2. All ad-hoc allowances, e.g. one-off uniform allowance
  7. Any other additional payment for each salary period, such as:
    1. Bonuses
    2. Rest day pay
    3. Public holiday pay
  8. Deductions made for each salary period, such as:
    1. All fixed deductions (e.g. employee’s CPF contribution)
    2. All ad-hoc deductions (e.g. deductions for no-pay leave, absence from work)
  9. Overtime hours worked
  10. Overtime pay
  11. Start and end date of overtime payment period (if different from item 5 start and end date of salary period)
  12. Net salary paid in total

Exceptions:
You may leave out any terms that are inapplicable. For example, if overtime pay does not apply to an employee, his/her payslip need not include items 9 to 11.

You may consolidate payslips if you make payments more than once a month. The consolidated payslip must contain details of all payments made since the last payslip.

Source: Ministry of Manpower

How should the itemised payslips be delivered?
You may deliver itemised payslips in soft or hard copy. Handwritten copies are also accepted.

Remain compliant without all the administrative hassle:

3. Keeping records

What is it?
You must maintain records for all employees covered by the Employment Act.

For whom should I keep records for, and for how long?

  • For the last two years for current employees
  • Records should continue to be kept for one year after the employee leaves employment

How should the employee records be kept?
Employee records can be kept in soft or hard copy. Handwritten copies are also excepted.

What should I record?
The records are in two categories:

  • Employee records
  • Salary records

Employment records

  1. Address
  2. NRIC number (for non-citizens, work pass number and expiry date)
  3. Date of birth
  4. Gender
  5. Date of starting employment
  6. Date of leaving employment
  7. Working hours, including duration of meals and tea breaks
  8. Dates and other details of public holidays and leave taken

Source: Ministry of Manpower Singapore

Salary records
See table above.

With Dragon Law, all your documents are stored and synced in one place. Try it for free:

 

Failure to comply

Failure to comply with the requirements on written KETs, itemised payslips and employment records will be penalised a “civil breach” and attract administrative penalties.

Penalties for civil breaches can result in MOM issuing an order to the employer to rectify the breach or in financial penalties of $100 to $200 per employee or occurrence, depending on the type of breach. A failure to comply with MOM’s order will constitute a criminal offence, which attracts more severe penalties of fines up to S$5,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 6 months.

 

Dragon Law’s technology helps companies in Singapore and Hong Kong build legal documents they need at every stage of the business. Its intuitive platform allows users to create, customise and store legal documents in the cloud for sharing and signing online.

 

Find out how Dragon Law can help you:

Starting up in Asia? You Don’t Want To Make These 5 Mistakes

March 2, 2016

In the case of legal, most businesses don’t realise what they need until it’s too late. In an era where a search for “free contract templates” delivers 28,100,000 results on Google, it is inevitable then that fledging founders and entrepreneurs choose to go for the easier way out.

The Client Relationship team at Dragon Law works with countless numbers of early-stage founders and entrepreneurs everyday. We asked them about the most common legal issues they encounter with startups in Asia. These ones topped the list:

1. Not incorporating their business

In a free market, it is easy for any individual to start supplying goods or services as an
independent. As a result, and in order to avoid the additional administrative hassle and tax burden, Founders often choose to start their “business” without taking the steps to incorporate a company or other legal entity. While this may seem viable at the beginning, it will undoubtedly expose you and your business to future mismanaged legal liability.

The key purpose of setting up any business entity is to avoid personal liability when conducting business. Providing services in a personal capacity puts personal assets at risk – yes, your own house, car and other assets may be at serious risk in the event of a dispute or lawsuit!

It is also worth noting that incorporation procedures in pro-business hubs like Singapore and Hong Kong have been made relatively straightforward in the governments’ attempt to encourage more entrepreneurship and economic development. For example, qualifying startups in Singapore enjoy tax exemptions in their first three years of operation. Hong Kong’s Budget 2016 further announced the waiver of business registration fees for the next two years, an initiative believed to benefit 1.3 million business operators.

Get started now:

2. Founders not having a Shareholders’ Agreement at the very outset

A Shareholders’ Agreement outlines the rights and responsibilities of each Founder and dictates what decisions have to made by consensus and discussion. Failure to set out a Shareholders’ Agreement at the start of the business can make for a host of very complicated situations – some of the more obvious being in the event that a Founder decides to leave the business, an exit, or a company liquidation.

A well-prescripted Shareholders’ Agreement addresses what will happen in these events:

  1. What roles will each Founder play?
  2. What are some of the key metrics or goals that must be achieved by each Founder at each phase of the startup?
  3. How much decision-making power does each Founder possess?
  4. Is the percentage ownership subject to vesting based on continued participation in the business?
  5. Under what circumstances can a Founder be removed as an employee of the business? (usually, this would be a Board decision)
  6. What happens if a Founder decides to exit the business?
  7. How will a sale of the business be decided?
  8. How will Founders go about splitting ownership of the business?

Learn what clauses to look out for in your Shareholders’ Agreement:

3. Not owning their Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property protection is what prevents the commercial exploitation of your hard labour. As the author, you want to claim the exclusive rights to any reproduction, publishing, performance communication and adaptation of your work.

Just earlier this year, Global Yellow Pages lost a suit against Promedia Directories despite a claim that Promedia had copied from four of its directories over a period of an entire decade. Global Yellow Pages did not own the copyright, and the court ruled there was no infringement.

Learn more about the different types of IP:

4. Not creating a Privacy Policy

Never in history has personal data been collected, analysed and used at the magnitude it is today, thanks to technology. With such a trend comes growing concerns from individuals about how their personal data is used.

In order to maintain individual trust in organisations that manage data, government bodies have begun to take a protective stance to govern the collection, use and disclosure of personal data.

Singapore, for example, is protected under the Personal Data Protection Act that came into effect in 2012. Simply put, your organisation now has to seek the consent of individuals (with some exceptions) before you collect, use or disclose personal data – all of which are provided for in a Privacy Policy. Tech in Asia recommends using clickwraps, just as Redmart has done:

Build your Website Privacy Policy for FREE:

5. Not having the right legal documents in place for fundraising

There are various legal considerations and documents involved when raising capital through a private investor. If an Angel or VC wishes to invest in your company, depending on the type of investment structure, you will need one or more of the following documents:

  1. Term Sheet
  2. Seed Investment Agreement
  3. Convertible Note Purchase Agreement
  4. Simple Agreement for Future Equity
  5. Shareholders’ Agreement
  6. Board Resolution
  7. Share Certificate for the new Investor

Learn all you need to know about early stage funding:

Has your organisation given serious thought toward the above?

Many entrepreneurs try to shortcut legal processes by printing documents they find on the Internet, and then attempt to make contract edits by themselves. This puts the legality of such documents into question. By the time they decide to seek legal assistance, it may cost even more to have to go back to undo the damage done.

Get serious about legal without having to incur exorbitant legal fees. For an inexpensive annual fee, Dragon Law’s technology makes it easy for organisations in Singapore and Hong Kong to identify, create and customise the legal documents required at every stage of the business.

Find out how Dragon Law can help you:

 

Dragon Law’s technology helps companies in Singapore and Hong Kong build legal documents they need at every stage of the business. Its intuitive platform allows users to create, customise and store legal documents in the cloud for sharing and signing online.

Hong Kong Budget 2016: What’s In It For Small Businesses?

March 1, 2016

Hong Kong announced last week in its 2016-17 Budget a series of support measures ranging from tax cuts to promotional campaigns aimed at helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

In light of the new announcements by the Financial Secretary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) government John Tsang Chun-wah, small businesses in Hong Kong can now expect:

  • Business registration fee waiver for registrations from 1 April; and
  • A Pilot Technology Voucher Program under the Innovation and Technology Fund that will provide subsidies for use of technological services and solutions to improve productivity and upgrade business processes.

To boost Hong Kong’s position as a leading financial hub, additional measures included:

  • Extension of the application period for Special Concessionary Measures under the SME Financing Guarantee Scheme, reducing in the annual guarantee fee rate for the measures by 10 percent; and removing the minimum guarantee fee;
  • Injecting HKD 5 billion into the Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF) and various additional measures to encourage private enterprises to invest in R&D and applied technology; and
  • Setting up of a HKD 2 billion ITF that will co-invest with private venture capital funds on a matching basis in local technology start-ups (view all Budget 2016 highlights by PwC here).

The attention toward SMEs is part of an effort to elevate the long-term competitiveness of the sector, which accounts for nearly half the nation’s total employment (Support and Consultation Centre for SMEs, 2015).

Currently, business registration fees costs SMEs in Hong Kong HKD 2,000 for a year’s certificate and HKD 5,200 for a three-year certificate plus a HKD 250 levy fee (see the Inland Revenue Department’s Business Registration Fee and Levy Table here).

Starting up? Incorporate your business, get a company secretary and start building business contracts all in one place.

 

* Until such initiatives in the Hong Kong Budget 2016-17  are enacted, they can be subject to modification. 

 

Coming Soon in Singapore: Legal Startup Academy by Dragon Law

February 15, 2016

So, you want to start a company. You have a great idea. You can’t wait to bring together a bunch of brains that will help take your product to the next level. You need a marketing budget. You look for investors. You are a techie, you are a strategist and you are a relationship builder.

Yet, you are everything but a lawyer. And the last thing you want to have to worry about is whether your startup could be treading on the wrong side of the law – when you’re not even clear what the laws may be.

From ideation to raising funds, every entrepreneur goes through six phases when starting up. Which of these six stages is your business currently at and have you got the basic legal fundamentals covered?

From now till mid-2016, Dragon Law will be working with a wide array of partners in the startup ecosystem to deliver a modular Legal Startup Academy to address your legal needs at every stage of the business.

Sign up for any or all modules to get expert advice from industry professionals, learn from mistakes and obtain insider secrets to quickly getting started:

  • Hear the success stories from entrepreneurs themselves
  • Learn from startups who overcame obstacles to raise funding
  • Gain insights from angel investors and venture capitalists – what makes them part with the money?

Upcoming modules


Thursday, 25 February, 8:30 – 10:30am

Stephenson Harwood (Singapore) Alliance – 1 Raffles Place, #18-61 Tower 2, 048616

Friday, 26 February, 4:00 – 5:30pm
The Hub Singapore* – 128 Prinsep Street, Singapore 188655


Thursday, 17 March, 7:00 – 8:30pm

ACE – 79 Ayer Rajah Crescent, #01-13 JTC LaunchPad @one-north, Singapore 139955

View the full Academy listing here.

Alternatively, subscribe to our Events section on Facebook or sign up for our newsletter here.

*Dragon Law email subscribers get to attend The Hub Singapore events for FREE! Sign up for our newsletter to receive a coupon code.

Dragon Law’s solution helps companies in Singapore and Hong Kong build legal documents they need at every stage of the business. Our interactive platform allows users to create, customise and store legal documents in the cloud for sharing and signing online. Our free trial allows you to create up to two legal documents tailored to your business – try it here.

Questions about the event, or would like to participate as a media partner? Email events@dragonlaw.com.sg.