Every business should always ensure that all its legal aspects are up to form, and for IT businesses, this is no exception. Many struggle with aspects such as what kind of company to register and what tax obligations their companies will face.
Last week Friday, associates fromMboya & Wangongu & Waiyaki Advocates
law firm gave a legal and tax advice talk
to members of the iHub.
Among the important issues discussed were:
Firms could take the form of different legal structures - from sole proprietorship, trade names to joint ventures and partnerships.Ultimately, forming a limited company
offered the most advantages for fund raising, creditor protection, and flexibility to grow.
These could include management, service agreements and intellectual property agreements which should be simple as possible even as they captured elements like the objectives, duration, and confidentially of business arrangements.
They said that an increasingly preferred method of solving business disputed was through arbitration.
Ownership of Software
The team alsoanswered various questions posed including on ownership of software developed (copyrights usually belong to the person/company that commissions the work)and about escrow agents who store software codes for companies that enter into agreements.
They noted that as a business grows, its obligations in terms of taxation also grows and it’s important to understand and pay taxes such as corporate tax, payroll tax, valued added tax (VAT) and withholding tax on time and in the right amounts.
This it to avoid stiff penalties for late payment or non-payment of taxes which can range from 20% on outstanding corporate tax, to 3 years imprisonment for falsifying ETR data
Dealing with K.R.A
Finally, they advised that if an officer from Kenya Revenue Authority
(KRA) visits you or wants to do an audit, you should engage a tax professional, be ‘economical’ with documentation, co-operate and negotiate.