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She serves as an outreach ambassador for the Network of Executive Women. They take time to learn the language, the culture, and pay that bit extra for the best legal advice. I'm sure it's a testament to your entire organization, which I have greatly enjoyed working with. She has served as interviewer for Harvard University for over 15 years, recruiting and assessing undergraduate applicants.
Gilmore supported the director of MBA Admissions on matriculant research and data analysis. Find out more about these and other services we provide on our services page. They all use the same simple-minded model. If you can't understand users, however, you should either learn how or find a co-founder who can. All I can say is, try hard to do it right. The reason is other VCs.
Nov 04, at 1: Nov 10, at 6: I need your suggestion please, I want to set up a small saloon in Bangkok in a rental shop, how can i start this small work in minimum cost? I also have a thai best friend who already running the same business, can she help me? Nov 02, at 3: Do you mean a salon? Please see the answer I gave to Martin below. You would need to start a company. Careful with hair salons: Nov 02, at 4: I am currently staying in Thailand on a 6 month tourist visa sharing a condo with my GF.
We have been a couple for close to 2 years and are talking about marriage. We are currently doing a lot of research, visiting different areas, talking to locals, drawing up interior design ideas and so forth.. Basically I want to register a business in her name, but at the same time I am wary about putting all my savings into something I do not own at least a part of myself. It seems like I must have a million Baht to register such a company..
I realize that without a work permit, I am not allowed to help out starting up this business doing painting, redecorating, etc.. Oct 06, at 3: Risk k, maybe, but only put in what you can afford to lose. The margins are slim in tea and coffee and the competition is fierce. You would need the statuary minimum number of Thai Employees 4 I think it is and the Social Security Payments for each and a Minimum of 2 million THB in money or assets to obtain a work permit.
Plus you would still have all the visa reporting requirements to do, and the dreaded tax returns with accountancy fees too. Frankly, my advice in this would be to let your GF open a tea shop as a sole trader.
Oct 06, at 4: This is the first time I come across your website. I have started searching for business information that I need. The information is appreciated and unfortunately you are so spot on with your assessment of how thai dealings at times can be a tricky and can end up not what you hoped for. At times it feels like everything is learnt mostly from chinese whispers. Also trying to find two lawyers that will give you the same explanation about laws in thailand is rare with my experience.
For an example, for 5 years I have been trying to find out what the law is for selling alcohol at my resort on buddha public holidays or royal family birthdays or events. Over 5 years and many different lawyers I still cannot get a definitive answer. A resort is not a hotel is not a bar. I am at a loss when with many laws here when it comes to running a business. I urge anyone wanting to do business here is learn the Thai language because if you have a Thai person translate a conversation that you are having with another thai person, you are more likely to be even more confused at the end of it.
How different my world would be here if I learnt to speak thai. I have to find time to learn because then, and only then, will I be able to really understand how things are done here. It would also gain some respect being a farang that can speak thai. Taking into account everything I have said here, I have a situation that is arising with my business here. I have a 12 year lease on a resort. I have no relationship with a thai person. I have a thai company for the lease of the resort.
This where it gets tricky. I sub-lease the resort off a thai person who leases the land off another thai person. Now those two are are in such turmoil because the the guy I lease the resort off of is owed millions of baht from the land owner. The land owner has no money to pay his debt and now the banks are about to repossess the land because the land owner has defaulted on the loan for the land the resort sits on.
This leaves me on very very shaky ground with my 12 year lease. I have 10 years left on it but have spent 5,, baht transforming what was a run down unoccupied property. I have transformed it into one of the highest ranking resorts on the bookings sites with a 9.
It is a little gem. Now I feel I could lose it all unless I come up with a solution with full knowledge of the law. There lies my dilemma. How can I trust what I am being told about the laws that I need to know to know what are good options for me. The land and the resort realistically is valued at about 17,, baht.
It is now a 15 room boutique resort. Before I took out a lease on the property they would have been lucky to get 12,, for it. I was offered 10,, baht to sell my lease 8 months ago. I paid , key money for the lease just under 2 years ago. That shows you how much it has been transformed by me and what I invested into it to make it what it is today. I am kicking myself now that I said no. I know the resort and land owners are desperate to sell but I asked the question six months ago to the land owner, how much would you be willing to sell it to me for, taking into account I have a 12 year lease on the property and I have spent 5,, making it a very good business that was no business 18 months ago when I took it over.
The land owner said no discount for you, I would still have to buy it for 25,, lol. Reality can be a rare thing here when it comes to what somethings true value is. You sometimes have to contend with this and it is not easy to use reality as a tool when negotiating the deal. I would like to know how possible it would be for me as a single person with a thai company to get a bank loan in thailand for about 10,, baht.
I could come up with the other 7,, or so. I currently pay monthly rent of , baht for my lease. That money could be redirected to loan repayments for the 10,, baht bank loan.
Do you have any knowledge on a foreigner owning a thai company having a company bank loan with no real capital except for the lease on the business they currently have. Sorry for the long winded message. It would solve my problem if this was possible for me. Sep 30, at Hi Terry, wow, this is quite something. But there is hope, if you get a good lawyer.
The bank will repossess the land from the owner, and then a court may rule that the bank has to honour your lease; at which point you negotiate with the bank on a monthly payment.
It may be a better situation. The guy you lease from is sub-leasing. So who is your contract with? Is the sub-leasing above board? What is the contractual set-up here? If everything is not above board, any contract you have with the sub-leaser may be disregarded, in which case the bank will take the land and sell it without having to honour your lease.
All you can hope for in that situation is that the new owner wants to lease the resort to you. But if that happened, no doubt the new owner would be looking for some key money, as it would be a new lease. Oct 01, at 3: Go with Siam Legal or a big firm like that.
It costs more but at least they will be on your side! I am planning to buy a hotel inThailand and would like tosponsor my parents old tocome and live with me in Thailand Will there be any problem getting visa for them?
Sep 20, at 7: Jun 29, at 3: Generally, that is the case. But it is a bit more complicated than that, as there are multiple ways to set up a business. Jun 29, at 4: Jun 27, at I am in Indian national working in UAE. Would like to know the different options of starting a Software product sales and Services company In Thailand. I have a local partner who has agreed to be part of the company. Jun 23, at 4: My Thai gf wants to buy back her beauty salon in Bangkok from a Thai friend at approx cost of , baht.
She sold it to her 2 years ago. I thi No it is a good proposition. She tells me that the company is still in her name even tho she sold it to her friend several years ago. If i am to provide the cash, i want something formalised to reflect that I have paid into the business and need to take a monthly salary out of the business. Jun 12, at 4: I have never known a Thai person to buy a business or piece of land without registering it in their name as a priority.
Thais are extremely cautious of this because of A. Moreover, your GF would have retained the tax liability if the business was in her name. So has she been paying tax? As a business, regardless of the location, salons are notoriously hard to profit from. There is one near me that has changed hands 5 times in 2 years. Sure, some do very well in high-foot traffic areas but competition is usually very high and it takes hard work to get established. The high competition drives down prices and the fact that you can only make as much money as you can cut or colour hair makes it hard to make a lot of money.
If your GF already owns the business and is registered as a business with the relevant paperwork then you would not receive any formal recognition for your payment or right to a salary. To achieve this the company would have to be dissolved and a new company formed. We used to show people how to build real, working stores. Which meant we got to watch as they used our software, and talk to them about what they needed. No matter what kind of startup you start, it will probably be a stretch for you, the founders, to understand what users want.
The only kind of software you can build without studying users is the sort for which you are the typical user. But this is just the kind that tends to be open source: So if you're developing technology for money, you're probably not going to be developing it for people like you. Indeed, you can use this as a way to generate ideas for startups: When most people think of startups, they think of companies like Apple or Google.
Everyone knows these, because they're big consumer brands. But for every startup like that, there are twenty more that operate in niche markets or live quietly down in the infrastructure. So if you start a successful startup, odds are you'll start one of those.
Another way to say that is, if you try to start the kind of startup that has to be a big consumer brand, the odds against succeeding are steeper. The best odds are in niche markets. Since startups make money by offering people something better than they had before, the best opportunities are where things suck most. And it would be hard to find a place where things suck more than in corporate IT departments. You would not believe the amount of money companies spend on software, and the crap they get in return.
This imbalance equals opportunity. If you want ideas for startups, one of the most valuable things you could do is find a middle-sized non-technology company and spend a couple weeks just watching what they do with computers. Most good hackers have no more idea of the horrors perpetrated in these places than rich Americans do of what goes on in Brazilian slums. Start by writing software for smaller companies, because it's easier to sell to them. It's worth so much to sell stuff to big companies that the people selling them the crap they currently use spend a lot of time and money to do it.
And while you can outhack Oracle with one frontal lobe tied behind your back, you can't outsell an Oracle salesman. So if you want to win through better technology, aim at smaller customers. In technology, the low end always eats the high end. It's easier to make an inexpensive product more powerful than to make a powerful product cheaper.
So the products that start as cheap, simple options tend to gradually grow more powerful till, like water rising in a room, they squash the "high-end" products against the ceiling. Sun did this to mainframes, and Intel is doing it to Sun. Microsoft Word did it to desktop publishing software like Interleaf and Framemaker. Mass-market digital cameras are doing it to the expensive models made for professionals. Avid did it to the manufacturers of specialized video editing systems, and now Apple is doing it to Avid.
Henry Ford did it to the car makers that preceded him. If you build the simple, inexpensive option, you'll not only find it easier to sell at first, but you'll also be in the best position to conquer the rest of the market. It's very dangerous to let anyone fly under you. If you have the cheapest, easiest product, you'll own the low end. And if you don't, you're in the crosshairs of whoever does. Raising Money To make all this happen, you're going to need money. Some startups have been self-funding-- Microsoft for example-- but most aren't.
I think it's wise to take money from investors. To be self-funding, you have to start as a consulting company, and it's hard to switch from that to a product company. The way to get rich from a startup is to maximize the company's chances of succeeding, not to maximize the amount of stock you retain.
So if you can trade stock for something that improves your odds, it's probably a smart move. To most hackers, getting investors seems like a terrifying and mysterious process. Actually it's merely tedious. I'll try to give an outline of how it works. The first thing you'll need is a few tens of thousands of dollars to pay your expenses while you develop a prototype.
This is called seed capital. Because so little money is involved, raising seed capital is comparatively easy-- at least in the sense of getting a quick yes or no. Usually you get seed money from individual rich people called "angels. At the seed stage, investors don't expect you to have an elaborate business plan.
Most know that they're supposed to decide quickly. It's not unusual to get a check within a week based on a half-page agreement. But he gave us a lot more than money. He's a former CEO and also a corporate lawyer, so he gave us a lot of valuable advice about business, and also did all the legal work of getting us set up as a company. Plus he introduced us to one of the two angel investors who supplied our next round of funding.
Some angels, especially those with technology backgrounds, may be satisfied with a demo and a verbal description of what you plan to do. But many will want a copy of your business plan, if only to remind themselves what they invested in.
Our angels asked for one, and looking back, I'm amazed how much worry it caused me. At this stage, all most investors expect is a brief description of what you plan to do and how you're going to make money from it, and the resumes of the founders. If you just sit down and write out what you've been saying to one another, that should be fine.
It shouldn't take more than a couple hours, and you'll probably find that writing it all down gives you more ideas about what to do. For the angel to have someone to make the check out to, you're going to have to have some kind of company.
Merely incorporating yourselves isn't hard. The problem is, for the company to exist, you have to decide who the founders are, and how much stock they each have. If there are two founders with the same qualifications who are both equally committed to the business, that's easy.
But if you have a number of people who are expected to contribute in varying degrees, arranging the proportions of stock can be hard. And once you've done it, it tends to be set in stone. I have no tricks for dealing with this problem. All I can say is, try hard to do it right. I do have a rule of thumb for recognizing when you have, though.
When everyone feels they're getting a slightly bad deal, that they're doing more than they should for the amount of stock they have, the stock is optimally apportioned. There is more to setting up a company than incorporating it, of course: I'm not even sure what the list is, because we, ah, skipped all that.
When we got real funding near the end of , we hired a great CFO, who fixed everything retroactively. It turns out that no one comes and arrests you if you don't do everything you're supposed to when starting a company. And a good thing too, or a lot of startups would never get started. So when you set up the company, as well as as apportioning the stock, you should get all the founders to sign something agreeing that everyone's ideas belong to this company, and that this company is going to be everyone's only job.
One of the worst things that can happen to a startup is to run into intellectual property problems. We did, and it came closer to killing us than any competitor ever did. As we were in the middle of getting bought, we discovered that one of our people had, early on, been bound by an agreement that said all his ideas belonged to the giant company that was paying for him to go to grad school. In theory, that could have meant someone else owned big chunks of our software.
So the acquisition came to a screeching halt while we tried to sort this out. The problem was, since we'd been about to be acquired, we'd allowed ourselves to run low on cash. Now we needed to raise more to keep going. But it's hard to raise money with an IP cloud over your head, because investors can't judge how serious it is. Our existing investors, knowing that we needed money and had nowhere else to get it, at this point attempted certain gambits which I will not describe in detail, except to remind readers that the word "angel" is a metaphor.
The founders thereupon proposed to walk away from the company, after giving the investors a brief tutorial on how to administer the servers themselves. And while this was happening, the acquirers used the delay as an excuse to welch on the deal. Miraculously it all turned out ok. The investors backed down; we did another round of funding at a reasonable valuation; the giant company finally gave us a piece of paper saying they didn't own our software; and six months later we were bought by Yahoo for much more than the earlier acquirer had agreed to pay.
So we were happy in the end, though the experience probably took several years off my life. Don't do what we did. Before you consummate a startup, ask everyone about their previous IP history. Once you've got a company set up, it may seem presumptuous to go knocking on the doors of rich people and asking them to invest tens of thousands of dollars in something that is really just a bunch of guys with some ideas.
But when you look at it from the rich people's point of view, the picture is more encouraging. Most rich people are looking for good investments.
If you really think you have a chance of succeeding, you're doing them a favor by letting them invest. Mixed with any annoyance they might feel about being approached will be the thought: Usually angels are financially equivalent to founders. They get the same kind of stock and get diluted the same amount in future rounds. How much stock should they get? That depends on how ambitious you feel.
When you offer x percent of your company for y dollars, you're implicitly claiming a certain value for the whole company.
Venture investments are usually described in terms of that number. How do you decide what the value of the company should be? There is no rational way. At this stage the company is just a bet. I didn't realize that when we were raising money. Julian thought we ought to value the company at several million dollars. I thought it was preposterous to claim that a couple thousand lines of code, which was all we had at the time, were worth several million dollars.
Eventually we settled on one millon, because Julian said no one would invest in a company with a valuation any lower. It was also the value of our ideas, which turned out to be right, and of all the future work we'd do, which turned out to be a lot.
The next round of funding is the one in which you might deal with actual venture capital firms. But don't wait till you've burned through your last round of funding to start approaching them. VCs are slow to make up their minds. They can take months. You don't want to be running out of money while you're trying to negotiate with them. Getting money from an actual VC firm is a bigger deal than getting money from angels. The amounts of money involved are larger, millions usually. So the deals take longer, dilute you more, and impose more onerous conditions.
Usually the claim is that you need someone mature and experienced, with a business background. Maybe in some cases this is true. And yet Bill Gates was young and inexperienced and had no business background, and he seems to have done ok. Steve Jobs got booted out of his own company by someone mature and experienced, with a business background, who then proceeded to ruin the company. So I think people who are mature and experienced, with a business background, may be overrated.
We used to call these guys "newscasters," because they had neat hair and spoke in deep, confident voices, and generally didn't know much more than they read on the teleprompter. We talked to a number of VCs, but eventually we ended up financing our startup entirely with angel money. The main reason was that we feared a brand-name VC firm would stick us with a newscaster as part of the deal. That might have been ok if he was content to limit himself to talking to the press, but what if he wanted to have a say in running the company?
That would have led to disaster, because our software was so complex. We were a company whose whole m. The strategic decisions were mostly decisions about technology, and we didn't need any help with those. This was also one reason we didn't go public. Back in our CFO tried to talk me into it. In those days you could go public as a dogfood portal, so as a company with a real product and real revenues, we might have done well. But I feared it would have meant taking on a newscaster-- someone who, as they say, "can talk Wall Street's language.
And now Wall Street is collectively kicking itself. They'll pay attention next time. Wall Street learns new languages fast when money is involved. You have more leverage negotiating with VCs than you realize. The reason is other VCs. I know a number of VCs now, and when you talk to them you realize that it's a seller's market.
Even now there is too much money chasing too few good deals. VCs form a pyramid. At the top are famous ones like Sequoia and Kleiner Perkins, but beneath those are a huge number you've never heard of. What they all have in common is that a dollar from them is worth one dollar. Most VCs will tell you that they don't just provide money, but connections and advice.
But such advice and connections can come very expensive. And as you go down the food chain the VCs get rapidly dumber. A few steps down from the top you're basically talking to bankers who've picked up a few new vocabulary words from reading Wired. Does your product use XML? So I'd advise you to be skeptical about claims of experience and connections. Basically, a VC is a source of money. I'd be inclined to go with whoever offered the most money the soonest with the least strings attached.
You may wonder how much to tell VCs. And you should, because some of them may one day be funding your competitors.
I think the best plan is not to be overtly secretive, but not to tell them everything either. After all, as most VCs say, they're more interested in the people than the ideas. The main reason they want to talk about your idea is to judge you, not the idea.
So as long as you seem like you know what you're doing, you can probably keep a few things back from them. The most efficient way to reach VCs, especially if you only want them to know about you and don't want their money, is at the conferences that are occasionally organized for startups to present to them.
Not Spending It When and if you get an infusion of real money from investors, what should you do with it? Not spend it, that's what.
In nearly every startup that fails, the proximate cause is running out of money. Usually there is something deeper wrong. But even a proximate cause of death is worth trying hard to avoid. During the Bubble many startups tried to "get big fast.
But it was easy for the meaning to slide over into hiring a lot of people fast. Of the two versions, the one where you get a lot of customers fast is of course preferable. But even that may be overrated. The idea is to get there first and get all the users, leaving none for competitors. But I think in most businesses the advantages of being first to market are not so overwhelmingly great. Google is again a case in point. When they appeared it seemed as if search was a mature market, dominated by big players who'd spent millions to build their brands: Surely was a little late to arrive at the party.
But as the founders of Google knew, brand is worth next to nothing in the search business. You can come along at any point and make something better, and users will gradually seep over to you. As if to emphasize the point, Google never did any advertising. They're like dealers; they sell the stuff, but they know better than to use it themselves.
The competitors Google buried would have done better to spend those millions improving their software. Future startups should learn from that mistake. Unless you're in a market where products are as undifferentiated as cigarettes or vodka or laundry detergent, spending a lot on brand advertising is a sign of breakage. IntrigU IntrigU is an online dating service oriented at connecting Russian and Ukrainian women with Western men, looking for a Slavic girlfriend or wife. It is a great platform with all features at a very good price.
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Iamges: starting a dating consulting business
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