LEX Caribbean held its first breakfast summit for start-up entrepreneurs at the Courtyard by Marriott in March this year. A packed room of both young and mature business persons eagerly awaited the featured speakers who brought expertise and experience to the morning’s proceedings. They were; Andrea King, Director of the Cultural Services Authority, Erica Smith, CEO of COSCAP and Melanie Jones, Tara Frater and Lalita Vaswani of LEX Caribbean.
The event was conceptualised by the well-known law firm because it felt that in order for the Barbados economy to be sustainable, entrepreneurial business must become a vibrant pillar of the economy. Melanie Jones, Partner at LEX Caribbean conceived and set up the firm’s Entrepreneurial Business Unit (the “EBU”), which is dedicated to providing expert responsive legal advice to start-ups at significantly discounted rates. As part of the work they do, they engage in activities designed to grow and support the ecosystem, including attending and speaking at entrepreneurship-related events and putting on seminars like this one. In addition, they work with other organizations such as the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation (“BEF”), of which she has been a director for 5 years.
‘He who has a why can endure any how.’ – Frederick Nietzsche
There are days when being an entrepreneur is the best thing in the world. The freedom to do what you want – charting the path to success on your own terms – is one of the main reasons why you laugh in the face of a cubicle-dwelling, 9-5 job. The day-to-day grind is enthralling. The wins are fulfilling. Seeing your hard work pay off must be the best high there is that doesn’t involve ingesting an illegal substance. Your business is your baby, and you want to see it grow to become healthy, successful, and fully capable of taking care of you in your retirement.
But then there are those days when you question your sanity; dwelling heavily on your decision to take this dicey path during your bi-weekly existential crisis. “I should probably take my family’s advice and get a ‘real job’,” you ponder. “At least I would get some insurance.” Failures sap your energy and motivation like a soul-crushing mosquito. The bills are mounting, and your income streams are trickling. You don’t want to get out of bed. You don’t want to answer your phone. What is it that I really do? Am I serving any purpose at all?
It is today announced that two young people from Barbados are among 60 young people from across the Commonwealth who are being recognised as exceptional leaders in their community. These 60 young people will receive a prestigious Queen’s Young Leaders Award.
The Award, which will be presented in London by Her Majesty The Queen in 2016, and is part of The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme, celebrates the achievements of young people who are taking the lead to transform the lives of others and make a lasting difference in their communities.
This year’s Award winners, aged between 18 and 29 and who come from all over the Commonwealth, are working to support others, raise awareness and inspire change on a variety of different issues including; education, climate change, gender equality, mental health and disability equality.
After doing Limerz Cruise for 7 years which hands down had the most boats (9) on the water, the crew decided it was time to venture on land. They realised that their second cruise at Christmas which took place on the Jolly Roger was limiting and did not allow them to be as creative as they wanted to be. Additionally, they wanted to reach a larger demographic and deliver a quality event at a very affordable price. So Seventh Heaven and First Light was born.
Christopher John, Tricia Yearwood and Henry Yearwood are the team behind it all bringing over a decade of experience in the entertainment industry. They all add their own unique touch to the group with Chris who is a Director in a construction company and possesses a Masters Degree in Project management. Tricia, the creative one in the bunch, and Henry who is currently a Commercial Manager at one of the top regional companies in Barbados. Continue reading
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year
With the kids jingle belling
And everyone telling you be of good cheer
It’s the most wonderful time of the year”
Christmas means a lot of different things to different people. It means connecting with loved ones. It means food, fun and frolic. To others it means the thrill of shopping. Continue reading
When I think about New Year’s Resolutions I think about the kids who don’t believe in Santa. When you talk about making your list of New Year’s Resolutions a little snickering takes place like, “you don’t really believe in that do you?” I’m here to tell you that New Year’s Resolutions do exist but in order for them to work, 100% of you is required. Here are 5 steps to making New Year’s Resolutions that actually stick. Continue reading
By Sonia Hunte
Medium, small and micro enterprises (MSME) make a significant contribution to the economy of Barbados. According to a SALISES report (2009)they contribute 32,000 jobs or 24.8 percent of the workforce. They earned a total of Bds $139 million in wholesale, retail and professional services. To continue the strong performance or to improve performance compared to 2014 here are some tips: Continue reading
By Dawn A. Franklin
You did it! Your baby is born. Months, even years in the making, your business has entered the world; you are officially an ENTREPRENEUR. Business plan…check! Financing…Check! Location…Check! Staff…Check! Self Analysis…Check? Have you stopped to consider whether you are actually cut out to run a business and if your character and personality are actually suited for this journey? Continue reading
By Richard Barrow
Stephen Covey in his seminal work, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People(R), promotes the principles of Balanced Self Renewal in his Seventh Habit: Sharpen the Saw.
Long before I knew of Covey, and his work and the principles that continue to shape the thought of generations that follow, I was guided by the wisdom of my mother and my grandmother who like many, probably for generations long past, repeated the age old wisdom expressed in the simple proverb “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. Continue reading
By Leslie Roberts
“I want to own my own company.”
So you want to be an entrepreneur; chances are that owning your own company is one of your biggest motivations. There is admittedly a sense of status and power attached to being the head honcho of your own INC, LTD or CORP.
However, owning a company isn’t the same as running a business. In reality, you could have no business at all and start your own company by next week for the base price of $780.00, the cost of a name reservation and incorporation at Corporate Affairs.
A company is just a legal structure to facilitate a particular way of doing business, one of the many legal structures out there. Whether you’re now starting out or you’ve been in the game for years, it pays to know the different structures available and to think about which one is best for your business right now.
Here’s a short list of the most common types of businesses (for the purposes of this article, we’re focusing on for-profit entities only):
A sole proprietorship isn’t as lonely as it sounds, although it may start out that way. Let’s say you have an idea for a product or a service. You’re passionate about it (who isn’t!), so you come up with a business name, drum up some cash to fund your business and start calling your friends and family straight away, hoping to turn them into customers. Congratulations: you’re a sole trader.
This is how most get started and it is the most legally demanding structure. You are personally responsible for the business’ finances, including raising capital, paying debts, expenses and taxes and God forbid you catch a lawsuit. If the business runs out of money and there are still people to be paid, your personal assets are on the line.
That’s a lot of responsibility. The advantages? You can get started right away, as there are no formal requirements (however, if you want to protect your business from fraudsters and copycats, it’s a good idea to register it with Corporate Affairs; it only costs $104.00).
As a sole trader, you have complete control over how your business is run. The only taxes you pay are VAT on your sales and Income Tax on your profits (we all hate taxes, but this is as good as it gets)…and speaking of profits? They’re all yours and no one else’s. However, there’s only so much you can do on your own…
Forming a partnership often constitutes the next step for sole traders who want to grow their business, but are already at their limit in terms of the money, time and skills they have to offer. Many businesses also start out as partnerships, with friends simply sharing ideas and deciding to work on them cooperatively.
The minimum number of persons required to start a partnership is 2, but there’s no upper limit (although you will rarely find any partnership with more than 10 partners).
The structure of a partnership depends entirely on what the partners agree and can be as complex or as simple as desired. As a general rule, though your partnership may start out informally, you’ll want to take the time to put certain things down in writing. Some of the more important aspects are:
Why choose a partnership? You don’t have to foot the bill by yourself and you can call on someone with a different skill set and way of thinking. You don’t get to pocket all the profits, but ideally the business can increase productivity through division of work, so that there’s more for everyone.
In a partnership, however, you are still personally responsible for the business liabilities, although that responsibility is in direct proportion to your share in the business. The best (and only) way to draw the line between your personal assets and your business’ assets is to create a limited company.
In business, a company can do pretty much anything a person can do. It can sue and be sued, it can own assets, take out loans and enter into agreements. Of course, a company doesn’t literally do any of these things – its directors do. But while directors may be responsible to the company for the decisions they make, directors have no responsibility to satisfy any liabilities that the company may incur.
Because of this distinction, there is also greater room for scalability when running a company. While directors may act on the company’s behalf, the company’s brand and operations are separate and distinct; if any or all of the directors pass away, the company can still continue to exist and grow indefinitely.
However, because companies are their own distinct entities, they also pay their own taxes, separate and apart from any taxes you may have to pay as a paid director of the company.
Additionally, as a director of a company, unless you are the sole shareholder and sole employee – in which case you might as well be a sole trader – you can’t run a company as you would a sole proprietorship; you owe a duty to act honestly and in the best interests of the company, not yourself.
The above considerations represent just a fraction of the factors you’ll have to consider when choosing the most appropriate legal structure for your business. But if you’re not too sure at this point which to choose, don’t worry too much. The most important thing is to know your options, learn as much as you can on your own and seek advice from those who know more, as with any other aspect of business.
Leslie is a lawyer and entrepreneur with a passion for entertainment and marketing. Email- firstname.lastname@example.org