Run a Business Partnership

June 20, 2017

A business partnership allows two or more people to share ownership of a single business.

Partnerships enable a sharing of responsibility and increase the ability to raise funds compared to a business that operates as a sole trader. However, partners are jointly and individually liable for the actions of the other partners, which means their personal assets are at risk. There should therefore always be a strong element of trust between partners.

It is important to consider the advantages and disadvantages when deciding what type of business structure is right for you.

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Operate as a Sole Trader

A sole trader is the simplest form of business structure and is relatively easy and inexpensive to set up. As a sole trader (sometimes called a sole proprietor), you will be legally responsible for all aspects of the business. You’ll generally make all the decisions about starting and running your business, and you are permitted to employ staff. Business registration can be done quickly, as documentation and formalities are minimal. However, the main disadvantages are that you will be personally liable for business debts and that you may be perceived as less professional than if you operated under another business structure. It is important to consider the advantages and disadvantages when deciding what type of business structure is right for you.

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  • Legal Documents you may Need as a Sole Trader

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Start a Business

Starting a new business is an exciting prospect. Working for yourself, turning your ideas into reality, and making your own money has motivated many to take the entrepreneurial route and set out on their own. In the heat of launching a business, obvious legal issues can often be overlooked that can derail an otherwise well-thought-out business plan.

Deciding on the right business structure, registering your trade mark and putting in place basic legal documents are just a few of the steps you should take. Not sure how to start? Just read on.

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Introducing the new dragonlaw.io

June 1, 2017

We at Dragon Law are very excited to announce that we have hit yet another milestone in our mission to make legal tools and support more accessible for businesses. When Dragon Law first started a couple of years back, Dragon Law 1.0 was far from perfect. With feedback from our customers, we have iterated our product, our website, and our approach over the years to better serve you.

Here is a quick rundown of the improvements that we’ve made through the years:

  • With the aim of helping businesses to self-service their legal needs, we came out of beta in Hong Kong two years ago with Dragon Law 1.0, a document builder that takes you through the process of generating customised legal documents from start to finish through a simple Q&A interface that gathers insights about your business in order to address your specific needs;
  • Last June, we developed Dragon Law 2.0, where we seamlessly integrated our website and document builder into the all-in-one domain dragonlaw.io so that you can find the legal documents that you need in one integrated menu, assess your needs, and start drafting right away;
  • From starting out in Hong Kong, we now offer legal documents tailored for businesses in Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore;
  • We reached out to law firms to get them on board as partners and recently launched the Dragon Law Premium Plan, which allows Dragon Law subscribers to benefit from the legal cloud software that helps them with their legal needs, plus the added support of a dedicated law firm;
  • We’ve analysed the needs of the various industries that our customers operate in and have put together targeted solutions that meet the needs of specialised industries, from Fintech to design.
  • And now we have implemented a revamp of our website to integrate all these improvements and serve you better.

    Dragonlaw.io is for businesses and law firms

    Dragon Law started with a simple goal: make it easier to deal with legal needs so businesses can grow. We achieved this by unbundling legal work and developing a document builder that would empower business owners to create their own legal documents. This has enabled our customers to save both time and money in the process. Using our platform is 10 times faster and 5-10 times cheaper than buying traditional bundled legal services. Our customers have one platform to learn, one legal help desk, and one bill to pay.

    Over time, we also realised that, as our client’s businesses grew, it was only natural that they would require legal advice from time to time. From referring our customers to our partner law firms to assist with our client’s more complex legal needs, we decided to take the relationship further and enable our trusted law firms to work with our customers directly. With the Dragon Law Premium Plan, businesses get bespoke legal support when drafting essential legal agreements, legal advice for specialised industries or in specific areas of expertise, and direct access to qualified lawyers via live chat or telephone.

    Today, more than 10,000 businesses rely on Dragon Law daily to manage all of their legal needs seamlessly and efficiently. Likewise, law firms now use Dragon law to get connected to this ecosystem of businesses to provide timely legal advice to help them scale.

    Here, we take you through the various features of our revamped, enhanced website.

    Introducing Dragon Law solutions: a tailored solution for every kind of business

    As part of our mission to provide accessible, seamless, and targeted legal support to businesses, we have developed Dragon Law solutions. We have identified the legal needs of various specialised industries and you will now find on our website dedicated pages for the different industries. Each Industry page explains how the Dragon Law web app can help your business scale up while staying legally compliant, and outlines the features of our Dragon Law web app that you’ll love. We also share a client’s success story, about how they use the Dragon Law app to meet their legal needs.

    The industries covered include the following:

    • Tech: Use Dragon Law to help you manage your legal needs so you can focus on scaling up your business – incorporating your company, creating solid agreements between you and your founders, and even helping you raise your next round of funding;
    • Media & Publishing: Use Dragon Law to create advertising contracts to increase revenue and partner agreements for greater brand exposure;
    • Marketing & Production: Use Dragon Law to create Sales Agreements and to e-sign Supply of Services Agreements with new customers, so that you can stay focused on your customers’ needs while complying with consumer regulations;
    • Fashion: Whether you run a boutique brick-and-mortar store or a large-scale e-commerce platform, the Dragon Law app can help you through every stage of the sales cycle, from putting in place the right legal agreements to protecting your business online to establishing concrete terms with your suppliers, manufacturers, and distributors;
    • Design: Use Dragon Law to support you through the entire project lifecycle, from creating and sending NDAs to prospective customers for e-signing to automating supplier agreements;
    • IoT: For companies at the forefront of innovation, Dragon Law helps you protect the intellectual property that is core to your business’s commercialisation and success and builds the right legal foundation to work towards a scalable business;
    • Recruitment: Use Dragon Law to automate the interviewing process by creating NDAs and Personal Information Collection Statements and send them to potential candidates;
    • Leisure & Fitness: If you are selling food or wellness products, Dragon Law helps you keep up to date with the relevant consumer protection regulations so that you can focus on assisting your customers with their lifestyle goals;
    • Fintech: Navigate the Fintech regulatory landscape with greater confidence with lawyers advising you through the Dragon Law Premium Plan and our document builder to self-service essential legal documents, such as Privacy Policies and End-User License Agreements.

     

    With a substantial library of legal documents that you can customise for your specific needs, and partner law firms that can provide legal advice for a range of specialised industries, Dragon Law truly is a solution for all businesses.

    Find a legal document: use our search function to find the specific document that you need

    In Dragon Law 2.0, we reorganised our legal documents so that you can identify the legal documents you need based on your business objectives, added document guides so that you can assess whether the documents are right for you, and provided suggestions to related documents so you don’t miss out on key legal documents you didn’t know you needed.

    Now we have taken this a step further by introducing a search function that allows you to find the document you need. Our easy-to-use search function allows you to enter keywords and filter by industry and country.

    Pricing and plan pages: clear and transparent pricing to help you budget for your legal needs

    Since starting Dragon Law, we have expanded the range of Dragon Law plans that we offer to cater to a greater range of businesses at various stages of maturity and with different levels of legal needs. From the Startup Plan for startups with limited financial resources that nevertheless want to get their legal fundamentals right and hit the ground running, to the Premium Plan for companies that want legal advice from a dedicated law firm in addition to our full suite of legal documents, we have something for every business.

    We know that nothing is more frustrating than clicking around a website trying to figure out the pricing of a solution you want to purchase for your business, so we have laid it all out for you on our Pricing page. Our subscription payment model means that you can easily budget for your legal needs.

    Start managing your legal needs with Dragon Law today.

    Check out our Pricing page for a succinct overview of what each plan offers and decide what best suits your business.

    Calling all law firms: learn how you can partner with us

    We believe that partnering with forward-thinking and trustworthy law firms is the way to go in order to provide more holistic and seamless legal support to our customers. Of course, the benefits are not all one-sided. As a Dragon Law partner law firm, you get the opportunity to work with established businesses on their legal needs right within the Dragon Law web app in order to build close relationships with clients. Plus, secure new revenue streams for your firm with monthly recurring revenue streams for your firm.

    Check out our page for law firms for an overview of why you should partner with us.

    Resources: stay on top of regulatory updates

    We keep on top of the latest developments in various industries in various countries, for both the startup scene and more established businesses – not just for our benefit but for our customers’ too. On the Dragon Law blog, we regularly publish pieces on the latest developments in business, regulatory changes, and how subscribing to Dragon Law can help tackle your pain points.

    Some of our top picks include these pieces on navigating the regulatory challenges of #FinTech and 5 New Zealand government grants for startups and small businesses.

    Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to stay on top of the latest Dragon happenings, tips, and insights!

    A more efficient, accessible, and seamless way to self-service your legal needs

    Here at Dragon Law, we pride ourselves on combining innovation with customised service to deliver efficiency and reliability. We have sought to expand our range of customers and partners while developing targeted solutions for specialised industries to better support your legal needs. As always, we look forward to your feedback and your support as we continue to make improvements to what we have to offer.

Changes to the re-employment legislation in Singapore take effect on 1 July 2017

May 16, 2017

While employers have traditionally shunned hiring older workers as they are perceived to be less efficient and less capable, there are many benefits that an older worker can bring to a company. Keeping older workers in your company can benefit your younger employees as they serve as role models and can provide cross-generational mentoring and coaching. According to a Harvard Business Review study, there are several key areas in which the young can learn two key things from the old: how to exercise control over your work, and financial proficiency. In turn, the old can learn from the young how to build diverse networks and how to build a reputation.

Key ways of facilitating the integration of older workers into the workforce is to prioritise older-worker skills in hiring and promotions, for instance by placing emphasis on employees’ loyalty, track records and competence, as well as adapting roles to better suit aging skill sets.

It is timely then that Singapore has recently put in place changes to the Re-Employment legislation. From the second half of 2017, employers will be legally obliged to offer re-employment to eligible Singaporean workers up to the age of 67, under amendments to the Retirement and Re-employment Act. This is a two-year increase from the current age ceiling and will be applicable to those who turn 65 on or after 1 July 2017.

Related reading: How to select the right freelancer for the job

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New changes

Should the employer be unable to offer re-employment to an eligible worker, he or she needs to offer an Employment Assistance Payment (EAP). Alternatively, the employer may transfer the re-employment obligation to another employer.

The table below summarises the key changes that you should look out for as an employer.


Change to re-employment legislation What are the new requirements?
Re-employoment age raised from 65 to 67 Employers will be required to offer re-employment to eligible employees from age 62 up to age 67.
Option to allow eligible employers to be re-employed by another employer An employer that is unable to offer a suitable position in its organisation may transfer its re-employment obligations, provided that:-

  • The transfer is done with the employee’s consent, and
  • The receiving employer agrees to take over all applicable re-employment obligations.

Should either condition not be met, and the original employer canot find a vacancy in its organisation for the employee, the employee must offer a one-off Employment Assistance Payment (EAP).

Removal of Option for Employers to Cut Employees’ Wages at Age 60 Employers are not allowed to reduce the salary of employees who turn 60 years of age.

FAQ

Who qualifies for re-employment under the new re-employment scheme?

The for eligibility for re-employment are as follows:

  • The worker is a Singapore citizen or Singapore permanent resident.
  • The worker has served his/her current employer for at least 3 years before turning 62.
  • The worker has satisfactory work performance, as assessed by his/her employer.
  • The worker is medically fit to continue working.
  • The worker is born on or after 1 July 1952.
  • What is the Employment Assistance Payment (EAP)?

    The EAP is a one-off payment equivalent to 3 months’ salary, subject to a minimum of $4,500 and maximum of $10,000. According to Section 7C(3) of the Retirement and Re-employment Act, this single lump-sum payment must be paid by the employer by the last day of employment of the eligible employee. This sum is meant to help the employee tide over the period of time that they spend looking for another job.

    Can I simply offer my employee the EAP instead of offering him or her re-employment?

    As an employer, you have a strong obligation to offer your employee re-employment or seek alternative re-employment. The EAP should be offered only after a thorough review as a last resort. In the case that you offer your employee the EAP, you are also encouraged to provide outplacement assistance and help your employee find alternative employment.

    Where can I find guidelines on the re-employment of older employees?

    The current Tripartite Guidelines on Re-employment of Older Employees, dated 11 January, will continue to apply until 1 July 2017. From 1 July 2017, refer to the new Tripartite Guidelines on Re-employment of Older Employees.

    These new re-employment legislation promise to facilitate the employment of older workers, with all its accompanying benefits, by companies in Singapore. As an employer, make sure you update the relevant HR policies in your company to stay aligned with these changes to the law!

    Not sure your Employment Contract for your workers is up to date with the new regulations? Join us as a Dragon Law subscriber to get access to our suite of business documents, including Employment Contracts, which you can customise according to your organisation’s needs!

    Claim your free trial. Start drafting legal documents with Dragon Law today.

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