Key Points in Starting an Online Business in the Philippines

With every passing hour spent on the internet, it didn’t take long for Filipinos to discover the advantageous profitability of being online. Whereas, businesses have perceived the enormous impact of being online and engaging with communities because of the continued popularity of social networking sites.

As cool and easy as it sounds, setting up an online business is actually a tough journey to pursue considering the several competitions at bay—all vying for the same goal you’re targeting.

In a battle of creativity and stepping ahead, your best weapon will be your determination and skills. So, are you all fired up for your first online business? Hold your horses and check out these key points first to ensure a productive year ahead for your business endeavors:

Your very own expertise will be the frontrunner and lifeblood of your online business, and aside from your skillset, a business plan is also necessary.

Begin creating your business plan with your objectives and budget. What kind of product or service do you intend to introduce in the market? How much will you spend on the website’s design and maintenance? What will you name your business?

All of these must be of interest and can benefit the majority or your prospective customers. Research a lot and weigh the competition of the market. Observe the involved corporations to explore options on how you can make your business entry stand out.

Your business plan may also include possible ways to resolve issues, especially when it includes online transactions where money and confidential personal data should be secured.

  • Generating a Searchable Domain

The domain will be the sturdy home of your business on the World Wide Web. It must complement your business’ name and be searchable so that people would stumble upon your website with just a simple keyword search.

Countries and institutions have their own specified domain suffix. In the Philippines, .ph is the standard, and there are several domain registrars in the Philippines that accepts payment in peso such as GoDaddy and dotPH.

If you’re opting for a .com or .net, some may require payment through credit card as the majority of their registrars are based overseas.

  • Hunting for the Best Hosting Provider

Because first impressions last, so should your web site’s impact on the visitors. After thinking of the domain name and registration, comes the legwork of finding a hosting provider.

The website host will provide your business the space it needs on the internet. It acts as the processor for your site’s file and server maintenance, lodgment, and more importantly, a speedy connection to the internet.

Website hosting is a costly expenditure, as the host must be paid monthly. Don’t believe free hosting sites that you see on some web page ads, as most of these will cause lots of downtimes that can be a tremendous loss for your online business’ schedule.

It’s better to invest with a reputable web hosting service to secure your business’ continuity and warrant on the internet.

  • Coordinating with Web Developers

Taking care of a website is not an easy job. It needs frequent maintenance, especially with numerous updates with Google and other search engines.

Your site must keep up with these trends and get rid of spam and harmful elements that might cause your site’s downfall.

If you have a trusty friend who’s a web developer or a freelancer specializing in web development, you may ask them for help as they may have extensive web offerings that you can avail of.

  • Tending Your Web Site’s Content

After growing and taking care of your website comes the fun part—introducing your online content and features to the public!

Proceed with the first step in your business plan. Engage with online communities and groups of interest that can relate and (if you’re lucky) refer your online business with future customers.

Relying on search engines is not enough, as there are millions of sites on the internet. What are the odds that you’ll catch a handful of visitors in a month’s time?

Use your social networks and tell the forums and discussion boards of your business. After promotions, continue to produce quality content in the form of videos, images, or articles that people can be interested with and be engaged to subscribe to your website for more.

As more and more Filipinos hang out online, so does businesses who have chosen the internet as their next resource for financial purposes.

The competition may be heavy, but opportunities await business owners who are still starting in the field.

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Getting a Personal Loan for the Holidays

Personal Loan

Image courtesy of Infinit Accounting

 

December has come, and we all know what that means—the holidays are really upon us. With all the festivities happening this season, also comes a lot of gift shopping not just for our loved ones, but for ourselves as well.

Besides that, there are a lot of other things to spend on during the holidays such as food, parties, and vacations. So, it’s important to keep your money in check, since it’s easy to fall short during this hectic period of the year.

For this reason, you may take advantage of holiday loans offered by financial institutions (i.e. banks and credit unions), so that you won’t have to worry about your finances. A holiday or personal loan in the Philippines can be used for all your Christmas-related expenses, and it carries a low-interest rate, unlike short-term loans.

To walk you through the concept of acquiring personal loans for the holidays, we’ve provided relevant information that you should know to get the most out of this season.

Types of Holiday Loans
There are two options when it comes to holiday loans, namely personal loan and personal line of credit.

A personal loan typically has a fixed interest rate and payments, so that it is made in equal amounts over a specified period. It doesn’t also require any form of collateral such as your home or car.

On the other hand, a personal credit line involves tapping into funds only when deemed necessary. After the funds have been repaid, more funds can be borrowed again without having to re-apply for a new loan.

Interest is paid only on the amount of money loaned, which is very convenient, as it is a bit flexible and you’ll only have to borrow when necessary. The downside to this, however, is that it may lead to overspending.

Holiday Tips
To alleviate the problem of excessive spending during the holidays, and so as to not be buried in loan payments, it’s best to set a budget for holiday spending.

We all know how easy it is to get caught up on buying things during this time, since we like to reward ourselves for getting through the year and, well, because it’s Christmas. But, setting a budget is a wise move in ensuring that you don’t get too much into it and go overboard on your spending.

Another thing to note regarding holiday loans is to avoid borrowing more than you can repay. While these loans are convenient for the meantime, it’s important not to forget that payments have to be made sooner, rather than later. So, always keep this in mind.

Also, make sure you’ll be able to say no to impulse purchases if you can. If it is still within your allowable holiday budget, then go ahead. Then again, if you’re already on the ropes on your loan, then it’s best to say no for now because you can always buy that item later on.

The holidays are probably one of the happiest times of the year, and it’s the period when we like to give gifts to our family and friends. Also, a lot of people take this opportunity to travel.

Personal loans are a great option if you’re in need of extra cash to buy those gifts, especially when you’re feeling extra generous or going on that year-end trip that you’ve been planning for a while now.

While there are no issues with doing these, just make sure to use your loan wisely so that you can enjoy the holidays without worrying about post-holiday debts.

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12 Tax Filing Facts Every Business Should Know for January 2016

January 2016 will roll out in less than a month and we all know what that means—it’s time to map out your goals and business strategies! This, of course, will likely begin with taking care of a crucial aspect of your business: renewing your business permits and license. With the deadline set on or before January 20, 2016, the renewal of business permit must be done ahead of time should you wish to avoid the hassle of falling in line with other tax payers. Not only will you get penalties if you fail to renew, your business will also be prohibited from operating in your local government unit.

Don’t risk paying surcharges. Here are tax facts to emphasize how inherently important tax filing is in every business transaction:

1. Take note that application for SSS, PAG-IBIG and PhilHealth clearances is necessary if your business has 5 or more employees.

2. It is a must for freelancers to register and renew their business permits since they are considered sole proprietors. Freelancers like small business owners must file an Income Tax Return (ITR) declaring mixed income. To kick off the process, a freelancer must first declare that he or she is a Mixed Income Earner (MIE), which is how to tell the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) that he or she has several sources of income aside from the compensation obtained from an employer as salaried worker.

3. Requirements and procedures are different for each local government unit (LGU). The steps you are required to accomplish when renewing a business permit in Makati City may be different from the steps in Quezon City. It is thus a must to research and educate yourself with the steps in the LGU your business will operate in prior to renewing your permit.

4. A business has to register and renew its head office and other branches. If you still haven’t started operating yet, you are still required to pay an annual registration fee of P500—regardless of being a head office or a branch. Failing to pay the annual registration fee has a corresponding penalty of P5,000 to P20,000.

5. Every business in the Philippines is required to pay a community tax certificate or cedula including businesses owned by non-Philippine residents. The community tax will be paid in the business owner’s place of residence or the jurisdiction of the business.

6. It doesn’t matter when during the previous year you registered your business. For instance, paying in December 2015 means you’re still required to renew your business permit on or before January 20, 2016.

7. It is unfortunate that government transactions in the Philippines are slow and inconvenient. Apart from preparing your requirements ahead of time, it is best to clear out your schedule for the day to accomplish renewing your business permit.

8. See to it that your business permit is up-to-date and current. Make sure to keep track of the administration work which is mainly duties related to paying taxes. Ensure that receipts are issued properly because without receipts, you can’t support claims on your income which can lead to issues during filing.

9. Entrepreneurs cannot offset their taxable income with their business loss. This is due to the fact that business tax must be differentiated from income taxes. Business taxes are composed of a percentage of tax on sales, receipts, and Value Added Tax (VAT) while income tax is derived from your annual income as an employee or your personal income.

10. It is important for business owners to itemize all income sources and include all the income received from different sources when filing taxes. Every single detail must be included and accounted for as much as possible.

11. Take note if you’re qualified for exemptions which means your total taxable income can be reduced. When filling out Form 1701, you need to include all of the gross income you received from various sources. You must note down the income you received from your business/freelancing work, as well as income from compensation as an employee. The total income can be qualified for exemptions, which are composed of Personal Exemptions and Business Expenses. Your taxable income will be the basis of your income tax. This is to avoid double taxation in your case when your employer has already paid and filed taxes on your behalf as a salaried employee.

12. Make sure to attach all requirements to the ITR. These may include a summary of taxes, duties, and licenses. For instance, BIR Form 2316 (Certificate of Compensation Payment or Income Tax Withheld) must be attached to the Annual Income Tax Return or BIR Form 1701, which is used for individuals with mixed income. Form 2316 is accomplished and issued yearly by the employer and given to employees whose income is subjected to final tax declaration. The form must indicate the total amount that was paid to the employee, as well as the corresponding taxes withheld during the calendar year.

Keeping track and filing your taxes can be a tedious, time-consuming task but it is your basic obligation as a citizen. Of course, you can opt to hire an accountant to help you properly fill out your paperwork and make sure you get the task done flawlessly. You can also opt to outsource these administrative tasks and have experts handle business related concerns like the renewal of business permits. This way, you can focus on being an excellent employee in your day job while making a great business for your freelance work as well.

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