Tuesday, February 20, 2007

What's happen to Blogger?

Don't know what's happening to Blogger nowadays? My latest post wasn't updated, template loaded wrongly, now even cannot comment on others' blogs! Things are getting worse ever since I switched over to the new Blogger account....Let's see whether this post get published correctly.

P/S: Seems ok now. Perhaps there were too many blogs queueing for updates during the Chinsese New Year period such that the Blogger server lagged severely. Anyway, it is a free service so I don't really have any complaints.

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Singapore Budget 2007: From an entrepreneur’s point of view

There are a few areas in the Singapore Budget 2007 that have direct effects on me and my company. I shall address them in this post. And when I have time, I shall write about other aspects of the Budget which I am interested in but not directly affecting me.

For information of the full Singapore Budget 2007, please visit this

  • Reduction of Corporate Tax from 20% to 18%

    That’s certainly good news for me and all business owners that are liable for corporate tax, though it should have greater effects on large companies. For small companies like mine, where the chargeable income is not that high, the effect isn’t that obvious. Nevertheless, still a welcome move from the government.

  • Removal of YA2009 expiry date for full tax exemption

    Now, that’s the one that has a greater impact on future startups. Start-ups currently enjoy full tax exemption on the first $100,000 of their chargeable income for each of their first three years of assessment between YA2005 and YA2009. Removal of the expiry date indicates that all future startups that meet the criteria shall enjoy full tax exemptions for their first three years.

    However, there’s still a little suggestion that I wish to make. Very often, startups do not have much profits or are making losses in their first few years. Considering a startup that is making losses for its first 3 years and only manage to obtain some profits on the forth year, the current tax exemption scheme will not serve any help to them.

    Also, for startups that do not make much profits in the first 3 years, they will not be able to take full advantage of the tax exemptions. So, instead of rigidly stick to exactly S$100,000 for each of the first three YAs, maybe we can have something like this:

    Total combined tax exemption of up to S$300,000 for the first 5 years of assessments. Startups can choose when to utilize the tax exemption within the first 5 years, and how much to utilize for each of the year of assessment. Let say, the chargeable income of company A is S$40,000 for the first YA, the director can choose to utilize S$40,000 of the tax exemption his company is entitled to, and leave S$260,000 for the next 4 years. If a company is making losses for the first two YAs, he still have the full S$300,000 tax exemptions to utilize for his next 3 years.

    I do not know how difficult it would be to implement the above suggestion, but at least I feel that it is more flexible and caters more to the needs of startups, without exceeding the limits of the original tax exemption scheme.

  • GST increase from 5% to 7%

    Currently, my company does not register for GST. But, my suppliers do. As such, the operation cost of my company will inevitably increase since I will have to absorb more GST. Hopefully, the corporate tax reduction is enough to cover for the loss.

Alright, that’s about those that have direct impacts on me. The SME rebates on CPF contributions do not affect my company at the moment, but may have some implications in future. However, it is rather insignificant compared to the above three areas.


Sunday, February 11, 2007

Random Thoughts

About a year ago, I had a chat with a business associate NC. That was during the time when everything in the world seemed to be against me. I had a lot of uncertainties then, and was quite undecided on whether to continue the business or not. I remembered NC commented that in business, one had to be ruthless. Apparently, he made that comment because his competitors (some big GLC companies) used some underhanded means to snatch win a deal from his company.

I was very naïve then. I replied that I still wasn’t sure whether I am suitable to be an entrepreneur, and whether I am really equipped to survive the coldness of the business world. I thought to myself, maybe I would just take a step at a time, and if I eventually had to go against my principle, then I would probably go back to the lab to do academic researches.

One year pass-by. I am still very naïve. I still believe one need not play politics in order to survive as an entrepreneur. I believe, in creating a better world through innovation. I believe, in passions and dreams, not money, as the motivating factor. All these, despite I had experienced betrayal, lies and setbacks. And despite the fact that I had almost drowned myself in the swamp of depression.

All because, I still see the goodness in people. For every bad thing you encountered, there probably lies a sincere smile in some other corner. Life is a test of character. No matter which path you choose, it probably would not be a smooth sail. But every time you tamed a storm, you become stronger. And only by becoming stronger, you can continue to stand by your principle, to make changes and to help the rest in braving the storms in their lifes.

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