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Singapore’s PIC Cash Payout to Reduce from 60% to 40% Effective 1 August

June 7, 2016

Singapore announced in Budget 2016 some changes to the nation’s popular Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) scheme.

What’s changed and what should you, as a business owner, do NOW in order to take full advantage of the full benefits as it is currently?

The PIC scheme

Qualifying activities under the PIC scheme Source: Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore 

The PIC scheme was first introduced in 2011 to boost productivity and innovation among businesses in Singapore.

Under the PIC scheme, qualifying businesses are rewarded with cash payouts and tax deductions for their investments in these six qualifying activities that help boost productivity >>

 

What’s about to change?

This cash payout rate will be reduced from 60% to 40% for qualifying expenditure incurred on or after 1 August 2016. The PIC scheme will lapse after YA 2018.

Am I eligible for the PIC?

All businesses, including sole proprietorships, partnerships, companies, registered branches and subsidiaries of a foreign parent or holding company, are eligible for PIC.

You may enjoy PIC benefits on the cost incurred to acquire or lease equipment that are in this PIC IT and Automation Equipment List. The IRAS approves expenditure on a case-by-case basis if they help to automate or mechanise business processes and enhance productivity but are not in the list.

In addition, your business must meet the following qualifying conditions for the respective benefit:

Source: Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore

So, what must I do now?

To enjoy the 60% cash payout while it lasts, you must make your purchases before 31 July this year and submit the PIC Cash Payout Application Form directly to IRAS online.

Is my purchase of Dragon Law PIC claimable?

Of course! Dragon Law helps your business become more productive by automating the process of legal document creation. In other words, your Dragon Law subscription is claimable as a qualifying activity under PIC’s Acquisition and Leasing of PIC IT and Automation Equipment.

 

Incorporated in Singapore?

(Cash payout rate will be reduced to 40% from 1 August 2016)

Dragon Law 2.0: Enhanced User Experience and Availability for Malaysia, All-in-One Domain

June 1, 2016

Hello Dragon Law lovers – we have good news for you!

We are very excited to announce that we have hit another big milestone in our mission to make legal more accessible to businesses.

Dragon Law is now DRAGON LAW 2.0

We’ll admit it. Dragon Law 1.0 was not at all perfect.

Dragon Law 1.0

When we first started Dragon Law, we set ourselves on a mission to create a brand new, revolutionary way for businesses to self-service legal.

While Dragon Law 1.0 helped our users achieve this, we learnt there was much more to empowering businesses: What more can we do to instil in business owners the confidence they need in order to make informed and smart legal decisions?

Here’s the thing: You don’t know what you don’t know.

Dragon Law aims to bring accessibility to legal to everyone. But sometimes, you don’t know what you don’t know. As a business owner, you know you need to have a website. You know you need to hire staff. You know you need to raise funds. But you don’t necessarily know what you need to get there. That’s why in Dragon Law 2.0 we have:

A complete facelift: Dragon Law 2.0

The new dragonlaw.io features a seamless integration between our website and document builder. Find what you need from one integrated menu, assess your needs, and start drafting right away.

See it LIVE: Dragon Law 2.0
One platform to learn, one legal help desk, and one bill to pay.

In the past year of our product going live we have paid attention to our customers’ needs. You asked, we listened. We are very proud to announce we now have close to 400 documents for use across not two, but three different jurisdictions!

Beta launch for Malaysia

Another one of Version 2.0’s highlights is our beta launch for Malaysia, where, for a limited time only, users in Malaysia will get access to Dragon Law’s full suite of legal documents for free.

What this means for you

For a limited time only:

  • Existing Dragon Law clients in Singapore and Hong Kong will have the ability to also access Malaysia-localised documents at no additional cost.
  • New users can sign up to get access to the entire Malaysian suite of documents for free.
  • Free trial users in Singapore and Hong Kong can continue to use the Dragon Law app for creating a Website Privacy Policy and Confidentiality Agreement, and Upload & Sign over the cloud.

A year in review

Following strong growth in Hong Kong and Singapore, in 2016 alone, we:

  • Set up our swanky Singapore office in
     Ann Siang Hill,
  • Grew our Singapore team from 2 to now 5 Dragons on the ground running,
  • Launched our Legal Startup Academy, a legal crash course series that aims to empower startup founders and entrepreneurs with the essential legal knowledge for every stage of the business, and
  • Increasingly, receive more and more love from our clients!

What to do next

Get your free Website Privacy Policy and Confidentiality Agreement localised for the Singapore, Hong Kong, and Malaysia jurisdictions.

Upload and Sign your legal documents over the cloud when you sign up for a free account.

Check out our full document list and safeguard your business with the right legal documents.

Combining innovation with customised service to deliver productivity and reliability

It has only been a year since Dragon Law came out of beta in Hong Kong. We are now assured that our product does address a need in the market, and are better placed to keep making improvements based on feedback we hear from our clients.

Coming up this year, you can expect that Dragon Law will serve you in additional jurisdictions, pioneer more initiatives to value-add to the small business community, and generally have in store greater enhancements to our app to make your experience managing legal even more seamless.

WE ARE VERY GRATEFUL to the more than 3,000 businesses who rely on Dragon Law daily, to the partners who support us, and to our thousands of legaltech fans who support our mission to make legal more accessible.

Your trust has helped us through this journey.

Experience the new face of legal
Start a free trial. No commitment, no credit card required.

Bid4Ad: 78% Cost Savings as We Raised our First Million with Dragon Law

May 24, 2016

Bid4Ad is an online marketplace for space providers, advertisers and agencies to buy and sell print, outdoor and online media advertising spaces in real-time.

The company closed its angel fundraising round recently. We sat down with Bid4Ad’s Co-Founder, Celine de Rosière, who walked us through the fundraising process, and how she discovered an easy, fast, and affordable way to manage legal:

Tell us a little more about how Bid4Ad got to where it is today.

 

One discovery by Gregory Marchand led to the creation of Bid4Ad: Despite the growth of digital media, demand for traditional media spaces has not gone away. Yet, there was no central marketplace available for small and medium sized enterprises to buy and sell advertising.

This belief in an innovative and efficient world of outdoor and print media propelled Greg to flee the banking world to embark on an entrepreneurial journey as Co-Founder of Bid4Ad.

Bid4Ad is more than just an online marketplace. Bid4Ad provides a platform that creates valuable relationships between advertisers and space owners. Bid4Ad is in the business of trust; and we take this very seriously.

Bid4Ad’s Privacy Policy (Create your own, for free)

When Bid4Ad first went live in Switzerland, we engaged a Swiss lawyer to help us draft a Website Privacy Policy. In the same year, we incorporated in Singapore and very soon saw the need for legal documents localised for the Singapore jurisdiction.

We went back and forth with our lawyer in Switzerland and spoke to a few other law firms in Singapore. Numerous discussions pointed us to a single conclusion: It would’ve cost us an awful lot of money to create the legal documents we needed.

What options did it come down to, and how did you decide Dragon Law was right for you?

You can say that I was lucky to have come from an M&A background from when I worked for the London Stock Exchange – I had a clear idea of what (legal documents) Bid4Ad needed.

I also knew well enough that I couldn’t do this on my own – I had neither the specialist legal training nor local knowledge to piece the pieces together, much less be certain that I was putting them together right.

But we have come so far bootstrapped – could we have afforded specialist legal services before securing our first investment round?

Drafting legal documents with the Dragon Law app feels just like sitting down with a lawyer:

  1. The service team on live chat helps me identify the right legal document I need,
  2. The app poses some initial questions to ascertain my objectives,
  3. The multiple-choice question types suggests possibilities I may have overlooked,
  4. Free text form fills let me input additional clauses I need customised, and
  5. The Dragon Law team then helps me double check my final document.

Through this process I am able to, reliably, self-service 80 per cent of Bid4Ad’s legal work and make informed decisions should I still require additional legal advice.

The best part? Greg and I were able to collaborate seamlessly in the app, despite being miles away physically and working across two distinctly different timezones.

Having evaluated multiple service providers, Dragon Law is by far the most affordable, efficient, and most importantly, trustworthy solution that is perfect for our needs as a growing business.

Less than six months into our Dragon Law subscription, we successfully closed our Angel round of financing. We are so thankful to have discovered Dragon Law and now only wish we did sooner!

Congratulations on the fundraising success! How do you foresee your continued usage of the Dragon Law app?

We are very certain we will continue to use Dragon Law as Bid4Ad enters into our new phase of business. I foresee I will be making use of the Consultancy Agreements as we engage additional service providers, Reseller Agreements as we build up our reseller network, and Employment Contracts as we grow our team in Singapore (apply here).

I also noticed along the way that Dragon Law continues to add new documents into its database. The beauty is that we will have unlimited access to this suite of documents and client service desk for as long as we are subscribed. It’s as good as paying for an ‘all-you-can-eat’ buffet for the entire year!

 

Your ‘all-you-can-eat’ legal buffet starts here:

Start a free trial

No minimum commitment, no credit card required.

 

5 Reasons to Set Up Your Business In Singapore

May 20, 2016

 

Have a business idea and looking for a place to start up?

Recognised globally as one of the most competitive economies and boasting a world-class infrastructure, Singapore is a popular port of call for both aspiring entrepreneurs and experienced business owners. If you are thinking about becoming your own boss, here are some reasons why Singapore might just be the place for you:

1) It’s just so easy to get started

Singapore is recognised globally for her strong business potential and dominates several rankings, including coming in second for competitiveness in the Global Report 2015 – 2016 by the World Economic Forum. Aside from a host of attractive tax schemes and incentives, businesses in Singapore also enjoy a corporate tax rate of as low as 17 per cent.

For first-time business owners, the administrative ease of setting up a business here minimises the barrier to entry. Business registration can be completed fully-online with the Bizfile portal. If you are a foreigner looking to start up in Singapore, you may refer to the Ministry of Manpower’s website for your eligibility to apply for work passes, such as the EntrePass. The SME Portal is your all-in-one guide for the essentials of running your business.

Another key advantage for setting up in Singapore is the availability of an educated, diverse, and multi-cultural talent pool. Singapore is home to a largely bilingual workforce and has been ranked the second most talent-competitive country by the Global Talent Competitive Index for three years in a row.  

2) You will belong to a brilliant community

If you are a tech startup, you’ll be pleased to hear that Singapore has been likened to being the Silicon Valley of Asia. The startup community here is active, vibrant, and close-knit.

Co-working spaces such as The Working Capitol and The Hub and provide flexible and affordable space options for startups and small teams. A hot desk seat in one of these spaces will place you in a community right away and let you network with and learn from fellow entrepreneurs. Still can’t afford it? Look up Technopreneur Circlecompletely, 100 per cent, free!

 

The Singapore government plays a key role in adding to this vibrance, with programmes such as the SG-Innovate that make it easier for entrepreneurs to access mentors and venture capitalists.

Related: How do I know if a VC is right for me?

3) Take your pick with government assistance schemes

This March, Singapore announced the launch of several key initiatives as part of Budget 2016. This included the Industry Transformation Programme and SME Working Capital Loan scheme that helps SMEs ease their cash flow concerns.

The SkillsFuture scheme was also a result of the government’s commitment to continuous education and lifelong learning:

Source: SkillsFuture

Also at announced at Singapore’s Budget 2016 was the extension of the popular Production and Innovation Credit (PIC) scheme. First introduced in 2011, the PIC scheme aims to drive innovation within SMEs to help boost productivity:

Incorporated in Singapore?

(Cash payout rate will be reduced to 40% from 1 August 2016)

4) The legal system protects you

With a reliable and non-corrupt legal system, as well as strong dispute resolution mechanisms in place, Singapore is a safe bet for business looking for a solid Asian base to pave the way for regional expansion.

Aside from political stability, business owners in Singapore also enjoy enhanced protection in her business-friendly environment. For example, Singapore was ranked top in Asia and second in the world for protection of intellectual property (IP) rights according to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report 2014 – 2015.

Courts in Singapore offer maximum judicial support of arbitration with minimum intervention, granting parties full and consistent support in the conduct of international arbitration. There is no restriction on foreign law firms engaging in and advising on arbitration in Singapore, which claims lower costs than in almost any other major centre of arbitration.

5) Singapore can be expensive, but you can live reasonably cheaply too

It comes without doubt that you must consider the standard of living in your host country. Singapore, in contrast with her Southeast Asian neighbours, has experienced rapid economic growth in the fifty years since her independence. Singapore is most known for her quality healthcare and education system, and excellent infrastructure and public transport network. Widely loved is the extensive Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) train network that is planned for continuous development up to 2030, despite being the second-oldest metro system in Southeast Asia reaches.

While many have expressed concern about the high cost of living in Singapore, this can be easily overcome if you are willing to make little sacrifices in your lifestyle choices. A reliable public transport system in a small city like Singapore means daily commute will never be too inconvenient even if you choose to live outside of the city. There are also plenty of third-party service providers that can provide you with a professional serviced office address for incorporation, while you work from home and save on rental costs. Hawker centres and coffee shops serve delicious and affordable local fare, and are usually just a stone’s throw away. “Bluntly speaking, if you expect a high salary, perhaps a startup isn’t the right place for you.”

Ready to get started? 

Start a free trial. No minimum commitment, no credit card requited.

These Technology Tools Will Help You Do More with Less in Your Small Business

May 9, 2016

Do you remember the ‘office mom’ you cherished? The one who single-handedly manages everyone’s calendar, files all your papers, AND restocks the fridge so no one goes hungry?

Every small business needs a superhero.

Whether you are a one-man-shop or a manage a small team, today’s businesses tend to favour talent that is willing to step outside of what is required of their individual roles, in order to achieve greater goals for the company.

To be fair, you can’t expect your Marketing Executive to also know the ins-and-outs of calculating payroll, and at the same time be equipped with the legal knowledge for drafting and reviewing contracts (if you know someone like that, let us know).

But here’s the good news for businesses today: If you can find someone who is technologically-savvy enough and is willing to learn, there are a lot of tools out there who can support a generalist in getting the job done, without the need for domain expertise.

Below we list some technology tools that you can use to perform the usually time-consuming yet essential tasks, so you can channel all your focus into growing your business:

Marketing

Sorry to burst your bubble, but there is no such thing as organic growth. You will eventually get to a point where all of your best friends and family members have purchased your product (for the tenth time) that you will realise you need to reach a larger audience and start acquiring some real customers. So you begin to put a strategy in place.

Now, who’s going to execute it?

1) Hootsuite

Social media is becoming increasingly important as a channel for finding and engaging new customers. Your customers are on social 24/7 – but can you afford to be?

Thanks to social media management tool Hootsuite, you can now upkeep an active social presence without having your eyes glued to the screen all the time.

Hootsuite brings all of your social media accounts into one unified dashboard so you can schedule, post, and monitor multiple accounts at any one time. This means that you can choose to set aside one day in a month to pre-schedule posts for publishing for the entire month – now, no one will know if you spent the month working by the beach!

Post to multiple social networks, and schedule posts in advance with Hootsuite

The best part? Hootsuite is free for managing up to three social profiles, and Pro costs only US$8.99 a month!


How about offline, you ask?

2) Bid4Ad

Who knew you could buy traditional advertising and media space…online? Bid4Ad, who recently closed their S$1 million Angel round, has unlocked new possibilities by allowing space providers, advertisers and agencies to buy and sell print, outdoor and online media advertising spaces in real-time.

Think: No more time wasted seeking out ad agencies! Simply:

  1. Define your target audience
  2. Browse all available spaces within your budget
  3. Pick one that best fits your criteria
  4. Submit your artwork
  5. Pay online to complete your purchase

 

It’s as simple as shopping for your Christmas sweater!

In the same way, media owners can list their spaces on Bid4Ad to attract the right advertisers, effortlessly:

 

Human Resources

3) HReasily

Having an efficient Human Resources department is one of the cornerstones of every successful business venture. For “HR Solutions that work”, business owners must prioritise optimising their HR workflow.

HReasily’s platform enables small businesses to improve productivity by streamlining HR work processes such as payroll processing, as well as leave and staff management. Features include the automatic calculation of Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions for each employee for submission to the CPF board.

HReasily’s real-time dashboard lets you stay up-to-date with employee progress

Now that there is a tool to automate these time-consuming administrative procedures, shouldn’t you think twice before bringing on board that full-time Human Resources Officer?

 

Legal

4) Dragon Law

Is going to a law firm too expensive? While online templates may seem like an inexpensive alternative (well, at least when nothing goes wrong), do you really want to put your business at risk?

What if I told you there is a tool out there that can help you stay compliant, without making a huge dent in the pocket?

Ask any business owner and the last thing they want is to be bogged down with a series of lawsuits. But we all know this: Not everyone can afford a lawyer.

As a result, many small businesses undertake the risk of Googling and attempting to draft their own contracts, only to incur irreparable damages in the long-term.

So, how is Dragon Law different?

Instead of hurling a 10-page document at you, Dragon Law’s technology breaks down complex legal contracts into a simple Q&A interface, so all you have to do is answer a few questions. Based on your answers, the SMART Document Builder then interprets your position in the business relationship and pulls out the right clauses for wording in a legal contract.

The perks:

  • Quickly create legally-binding documents, without having to have legal knowledge
  • Eliminate unnecessary meetings at fancy law firms who bill you by the hour
  • One-time subscription fee means you can create additional documents when your business needs evolve, at no additional cost
  • Pay for a lawyer only when you really need one
  • Waste no time in sourcing and evaluating law firms – we recommend you to a trusted one in our network

Yes, your office mom, too, can draft a legally-binding contract.

 

Everything else

As a technology company, we practise what we preach. For a company who provides documents, we have no filing cabinets. Dragon Law’s Upload & Sign feature lets us share, e-sign and store all our legal documents in the cloud. Receipts? What receipts? We take a snapshot and upload them via our Receipt Bank mobile app, and they are sorted automatically into ledgers. Our employees are happy because all expenses get reimbursed in a timely manner.

Other automation tools like Zapier and IFTTT integrate multiple tools so they can work with one another. Automate as much as you can because no one wants to (nor should be) working like a bot – not even your newest intern. Interns at Dragon Law can look forward to doing the REAL stuff that puts their critical thinking skills into good use (apply).

The beauty of Software-as-a-Service

Gartner defines SaaS as “software that is owned, delivered and managed remotely by one or more providers.” Gone are the days where you pick a CD-rom from your local IT store to run a software installation…what CD-rom? Leave upgrading, downtime and security in the hands of your SaaS vendor, and enjoy the perks of working from anywhere in the cloud.

In fact, for all of the services listed above, all it takes is for you to sign up for an account, make payment online, and voila – you’re good to go!

Most SaaS providers allow for a free trial of their platform so you have some time to evaluate the its suitability prior to making a purchase decision. Don’t like it? Don’t subscribe!

Believe me, it’s really risk-free:

Get your Confidentiality Agreement and Website Privacy Policy for free.
No commitment, no credit card required.

So, are your jobs in danger?

Consider Xero, the cloud accounting software that over 600,000 subscribers love.

Is Xero looking to replace Accountants? Not at all. In fact, Xero’s platform makes an Accountant’s job SO much easier, increasing their productivity so they can spend more time on work that is actually rewarding. Clearly, data-entry is not the best use of a CPA’s time.

 

Do you use any of these tools too? What other cloud tools do you use to become more productive in your small business? We’d love to learn about them – let us know in the comments below!