Your Website of the Month: Video Guides to Starting Your Own Business

Your Website of the Month: Video Guides to Starting Your Own Business

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” (Laozi)

Many of us dream of starting up our own thriving businesses. But it’s an ambition that few actually attempt, let alone achieve, and no wonder – it’s scary going out on your own, and there are many challenges awaiting you on the long road ahead. And we all know how that first step on the road to success is often the very hardest to take.

So where to start? The Internet has a wealth of useful resources for entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs. The general principles of entrepreneurship apply universally, so the American website BusinessTown, with its extensive library of easily-digestible video content, is a great place to take that first all-important step. Customise a list of videos relevant to your particular needs under headings such as –

  • Start a business
  • Run a business
  • Increase sales and profits
  • Ramp up to the next level.

There are videos there covering everything from “5 myths about starting your own business” in the “Should You Start a Business?” section to “Finding new business ideas in the everyday” in the “Hundreds of Business Ideas – Which One Is Right for You?” section.

A final thought – before you actually launch, get proper legal advice. Ask questions like “what vehicle should I choose to house my new venture?” “What formalities must I comply with?” “What agreements should I have in place?” And so on…

Disclaimer: The information provided herein should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your professional adviser for specific and detailed advice.

© LawDotNews

Your Website of the Month: Business Email Dos and Don’ts

Your Website of the Month: Business Email Dos and Don’ts

“The email of the species is deadlier than the mail” (Stephen Fry)

Do your business emails enhance your brand or tarnish it? It’s a critical question, particularly for businesses with high email volumes (that’s most of us these days) and it’s entirely up to you what the answer is.  

On the one hand it’s all too easy to jeopardise an entire business relationship by hitting the “Send” button on a badly considered, written or configured email. On the other, it’s easy to turn every email you send into a powerful projection of all the good things you want everyone to know about your business and about you personally. 

Get started with “The dos and don’ts when sending a business email” on BusinessTech, a 13-point checklist of things to watch for, from “Subject Line” to “Conversation Closer”.

Disclaimer: The information provided herein should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your professional adviser for specific and detailed advice.

© LawDotNews

Expats and Employers: Plan Now For the New Expat Tax Changes

Expats and Employers: Plan Now For the New Expat Tax Changes

“An income tax form is like a laundry list – either way you lose your shirt” (Comedian Fred Allen)

This article is important to you if you are either a South African working abroad or an employer of one. If you don’t fall into either of those categories, but know someone who does, please think of passing this on.

As an employee earning foreign remuneration (salary, leave pay, bonuses, allowances, commission etc), you currently enjoy an uncapped tax exemption (on that remuneration only, not on other foreign income) provided that you work overseas –

  • For more than a total of 183 days during any 12 month period, and
  • More than 60 of those days are consecutive.

That however is set to change from 1 March 2020, when only the first R1m p.a. of your earnings will be exempt – you will pay tax on anything over that. With the Rand’s weakness showing little sign of abating, a lot of expats and their employers are going to be affected. 

Are you a “tax resident”? 

Only “tax residents” are affected, so the first thing you should establish is whether you are still a tax resident or not. That’s not always easy, so take professional advice in any doubt.

To illustrate some of the complexities involved, both physical emigration/relocation and “financial emigration” are different concepts to “tax emigration”. Moreover the Income Tax Act’s tests for tax residency are hardly a model of clarity – you are a “resident for tax purposes” if you are either an “ordinary resident” or a resident in terms of the “physical presence test” –

  1. You are, says SARS, an “ordinary resident” if South Africa is the country to which you “will naturally and as a matter of course return after [your] wanderings’, your “usual or principal residence”, or your “real home”.
  2. Even if you aren’t an “ordinary resident”, you will still be a resident under the “physical presence test” if you are physically present in South Africa for more than –
    1. “91 days in total during the year of assessment under consideration; and
    2. 91 days in total during each of the five years of assessment preceding the year of assessment under consideration; and
    3. 915 days in total during those five preceding years of assessment.”       

      Under the physical presence test however if you are outside the country for a continuous period of at least 330 days you are not regarded as a tax resident.

Should you “tax emigrate”?

If you are indeed a tax resident, don’t think of changing that status without taking full advice. “Tax emigration” and “financial emigration” are complicated processes and full of pitfalls. For example you could be entitled to foreign tax rebates or other relief on your taxable (i.e. +R1m) foreign earnings, or there may be other benefits to remaining a tax resident. So it is important to have an expert look at your specific situation and determine what is best for you overall.

The big thing is to be aware that change is coming. Some long-range planning is the only way to be certain that there are no unpleasant surprises waiting to spring out on you down the line.

Disclaimer: The information provided herein should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your professional adviser for specific and detailed advice.

© LawDotNews

Your Website of the Month: Music for Productive Work

Your Website of the Month: Music for Productive Work

“If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.” (Albert Einstein)

Music, science tells us, really can help us work, and learn, and be creative. 

Earphones mean you can listen to your favourite tunes all day with zero disruption to your fellow employees (and clients waiting in Reception!), and you’ll never be short of new music with a streaming service and a high-memory smartphone. But what should you listen to? 

“Create the perfect playlist for productive work” on Quartz discusses how music can enhance workplace performance (employers take note!), and what musical tempo (beats per minute) can help induce the alpha state in your brain so that your mind becomes calm and alert, with heightened concentration. 

Different types of music, it turns out, are ideal for particular tasks in four categories –

  • Simple tasks
  • Learning
  • Work you love
  • Creative work.

Happy (and productive) listening!

Disclaimer: The information provided herein should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your professional adviser for specific and detailed advice.

© LawDotNews

Your Website of the Month: 5 Steps to Business Success

Your Website of the Month: 5 Steps to Business Success

Perhaps you are an employee, dreaming of starting up your own business. Or an entrepreneur looking to leverage your practical experience into another successful start-up. Or perhaps you are the CEO of a multinational planning to launch a new venture. 

Small business or big, here’s a quick, practical read for you covering “what many spend fortunes hoping to learn in business schools” in a few bullet points. 

“Johann Rupert’s 5 steps to business success” on Moneyweb is a short and insightful summary of the multi-billionaire’s recipe for successfully launching your new business or venture. 

Disclaimer: The information provided herein should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your professional adviser for specific and detailed advice.

© LawDotNews

Paternity Leave and Minimum Wages – How Will The New Laws Affect You?

Paternity Leave and Minimum Wages – How Will The New Laws Affect You?

Employers and employees need to know about four new Acts which will usher in  important changes to our labour laws.

The summary below is a short one of only those changes likely to affect a significant number of people and businesses, so take advice on your specific circumstances. 

In a nutshell –

Parental leave extended

Until now, mothers have been entitled to unpaid leave when welcoming a new child into the world, in the form of 4 consecutive months’ “maternity leave”. Plus they can claim maternity benefits from the UIF if they are contributors. New fathers however have been limited to at most 3 days’ family responsibility leave.

That will now be extended to – 

  • “Parental leave”: “Parents” (i.e. including fathers and same-sex partners) – 10 consecutive days’ parental leave.
  • “Adoption leave”: Adoptive parents of a child under 2 years old – either 10 consecutive weeks’ adoption leave or 10 consecutive days’ parental leave (where there are two adoptive parents, they decide between them who gets 10 weeks and who gets 10 days).
  • Commissioning parent leave”: Commissioning parents in a surrogacy agreement – same provisions as for adoptive parents. 

Parents taking unpaid leave as above also become eligible for UIF benefits.

Employers with maternity leave policies, and those who offer paid as opposed to unpaid maternity leave, should take advice on reviewing these policies.

Minimum wages introduced

The new national minimum wage is set as follows – 

  • Farm workers – R18 per hour
  • Domestic workers – R15 per hour
  • Workers in an ‘expanded public works programme’ – R11 per hour
  • Other employees – R20 per hour.

Separate allowances apply to those in learnership agreements.

Employers who cannot pay the minimum wage will be able to apply for exemption for up to a year, but draft (at time of writing) regulations allow for only a 10% exemption.

Failure to pay the minimum wage will expose employers to fines of the greater of 2x the value of the underpayment, or 2x the employee’s monthly wage (going up to 3x for second or further non-compliances).

Strikes, lockouts and picketing

An “advisory arbitration panel” can be (and presumably will be) appointed to help resolve protracted or violent strikes or lockouts, and those causing or exacerbating an acute national or local crisis. 

New picketing regulations are also in the wind.

Disclaimer: The information provided herein should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your professional adviser for specific and detailed advice.

© LawDotNews

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