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Advice For Small Business Owners: How to Avoid Closure

Unfortunately, there are a lot of small businesses out there which are currently struggling more than ever. It has been a busy year for business and now there are plenty of new companies cropping up each day. The competition is getting fiercer and is it becoming more difficult to stay afloat.

Most small businesses fail due to financial issues. Today, we will be discussing what small business owners can do to avoid closure whilst increasing that all-important profitability.

Assess Your Finances

To determine the success of your business and whether you can afford to keep operations running, it is important that you regularly assess your finances. Start by tracking how much money goes out of the business compared to what is going in. Ask yourself – is the cash flow steady enough?

If it is not, then you will need to start looking into areas where you can cut costs. Investigate all areas of operations and you will be sure to find areas that can afford a cut back. If you need to find ways to cut costs in your small business, then you can also turn to the internet for help. It is packed full of helpful blogs and articles which can steer you in the right direction.

Pay Off Your Debts

Any debt that your business owns will need to be paid. You can try ignoring them, but they won’t go away, and they will only make your financial situation a lot worse. When it comes to paying off your debts you should prioritise them. Some will be more important to pay off than others. Taxes are one of the most critical debts for small businesses. It is important to remember, tax money belongs to the government and not your business. So, you should always place this as a number one priority.

Failure to pay off your debts could result in the closure of your business. Future Strategy know all too well about that as they have helped hundreds of small business owners in the closing down of their businesses over the years. It is a complex process and one you want to try and avoid.

Don’t Hesitate to Talk to Lenders

Clear lines of communication are crucial in business. If you are in times of financial hardship it can help to have a good relationship with your lenders at it can help to ease the situation of a late payment. For example, if you are unable to make scheduled payments on your business loans then speak to the lender at your nearest convenience. If you default a loan, it can have serious consequences. You may be subject to a late fee or lower your credit score. You may be able to avoid this if you can promptly explain your situation to your lender.

Being confident with communication doesn’t come naturally to all business owners. This is why it is advised that you look into ways that you can brush up on these skills. You can learn more about how to get confident with communication through various online resources.

How To Decide On A Good Investment To Diversify Your Portfolio

It’s a myth that only the rich and wealthy can afford to invest in securities. Given the right information, anyone can make an informed decision about what investments are best for their own personal situation. There is no such thing as a “safe” investment but there are certainly safer ones than others. The long-term goal of investing is not to get rich quickly, it’s to build wealth over time while managing risk and bolstering your financial security.

Here are some tips for choosing the best investment mix: 

1) Invest In NFTs

A non-fungible token (NFT) is a one-of-a-kind, non-transferable data unit kept on a blockchain, which is a type of digital ledger. NFTs can be linked to digital assets that can be reproduced, such as images, movies, and audio. Blockchain technology allows these digital assets to be authenticated and cryptographically signed, verifying the authenticity of a transaction. It also records a timestamp for any transactions involving that asset or property, which can then be linked to previous titles or deeds. You should consider investing in NFTs because they are a new and exciting asset class, as well as an effective way to diversify your portfolio. However, while they have a great deal of potential, it’s important to be careful and do your research.

2) Invest In Cryptocurrencies

When Bitcoin was released in 2009, it proved to be the first reliable cryptocurrency. Since then, many other cryptocurrencies have been introduced because of their decentralised nature and global appeal. Cryptocurrencies are not controlled by banks or governments, thus they are highly secure against inflation. They are also anonymous because transactions are linked only with a series of complicated alphanumeric addresses, making them very difficult to trace. Consider investing in cryptocurrencies because they are a volatile asset class but also present huge potential upside. However, it’s important to remember that cryptocurrencies are high-risk investments that can fluctuate wildly in value. That’s why you should always monitor the news and other market factors that might affect the value of your investment.

3) Invest In Real Estate

Real estate is often considered a safe investment because you are investing in something very tangible. However, many people find it difficult to invest in real estate because it typically requires a large amount of money upfront. If you’re considering investing in real estate, you should keep an eye on market trends to make sure it’s a good time for you to buy. You should also be wary of scams that falsely claim to guarantee returns or fix problems with your property. Investing in real estate is a great idea because it guarantees consistent cash flow, but it’s very tricky because there are a lot of expenses involved from maintenance to management. You should do your homework before investing in real estate.

4) Invest In Stocks

Investing in stocks is a great way to earn money while diversifying your portfolio. The stock market can be volatile but there are plenty of resources to help you monitor trends and make smart investments. When investing in the stock market, you should avoid pump-and-dump scams by only buying stock in companies that have been around for a while and are well-established. Investing in stocks is a good idea because it’s relatively low risk but yields very high returns if your investment is successful.

5) Invest In Mutual Funds

Mutual funds are increasingly popular because they allow people with little money to invest in the stock market in a diversified way. There are three main types of mutual funds: index funds, managed funds, and money-market or stable value funds. Investing in them is smart because they don’t require a large amount of money to get started and allow you the opportunity to diversify your portfolio without going too far out on a limb. For example, investing in index funds can give you exposure to thousands of different companies. If your portfolio is very stable with little risk, you should consider investing in mutual funds.

How To Choose The Best Investment For Yourself?

There are several factors to consider when deciding on a good investment. The main things you should look at are how much money you have to invest, the amount of risk involved, and how much time you want to put into your investments. If you strictly want to make money with little effort, you should stick with low-risk investments such as mutual funds or index funds. Keep in mind that the best thing would be to consult a professional regarding the best investment mix for you. They should be able to find a good balance that will yield high returns and keep your money safe.

Investing in any of these types of investments is a good idea because it diversifies your portfolio, but you should do your research before investing to make sure that the investment will be right for you. Always remember to weigh out all the pros and cons when deciding what type of investment would work best with your current situation!

Procedure for Obtaining Mobile Money Operator License in Nigeria

On 3rd August 2021, the recent Central Bank of Nigeria (“CBN”) released the Guidelines for the Establishment and Regulation of Payments Service Holding Companies (“PSHC”) in Nigeria. The Guidelines requires companies that intend to offer both switching and processing and mobile money services to set up a PSHC structure.

The Guidelines defines PSHC as a company whose principal object clause is to be a holding company set up for the purpose of making and managing equity investment in 2 (two) or more companies, being its subsidiaries, which are payment service providers across the following categories:

  1. Mobile Money Operations (“MMO”)
  2. Switching and Processing
  3. Payment Solution Services.

(A) Share capital

The minimum issued share capital of a company seeking to apply for an MMO license is N2,000,000,000.00 (Two Billion Naira) (approximately US $ 3, 703, 704 (Three Million, Seven Hundred and Three, Seven Hundred and Four United States dollars) at 540 naira per dollar.

The PSHC and MMO are in the same category with the switching and processing and payment solution services subsidiary companies in terms of the minimum share capital requirement of N 2, 000,000,000.00 (Two Billion Naira) share capital which must be deposited with CBN before the completion of the license application process.

(B) Procedure for Obtaining a Mobile Money Operator License

The licensing requirement as provided in the CBN guideline requires the promoters of the companies to submit a formal application for the grant of a License addressed to the Director, Payments System Management Department of the CBN.

The licensing process shall be in two phases: Approval-in-Principle (AIP) and Final License stage.

(C) Requirements for Grant of Approval-In-Principle (AIP)

The application shall be accompanied with the following:

  • A non-refundable application fee of N1, 000,000.00 (One Million Naira) (approximately US $ 1, 852 (One Thousand, Eight Hundred and Fifty Two United States dollars) or such other amount that the CBN may specify from time to time; payable to the CBN, through electronic transfer.
  • Evidence of meeting the prescribed minimum paid-up capital subject to the satisfaction of the CBN.

Detailed business plan or feasibility report which shall, at a minimum, include:

  • Objectives of the PSHC and those of the subsidiaries it intends to establish/acquire.
  • Justification for applying for the payments service holding company.
  • Ownership structure in a tabular form indicating the name of proposed investor(s), profession/business and their percentage shareholdings.
  • Bio-data, resume/curriculum vitae of proposed investors.
  • Indication of sources of funding of the proposed equity contribution for each investor.
  • Where the source of funding the equity contribution is a loan, it shall be a long term facility of, at least, a 7-year tenor, and shall not be obtained from the Nigerian banking system or foreign subsidiaries of Nigerian banks.
  • Corporate Governance Charter of the PSHC stating the roles and responsibilities of the board and its sub-committees, among other things.
  • Criteria for selecting board membership.
  • Bio-data and detailed resumes of directors and board composition.
  • List of identified top/senior management staff, bio-data and detailed resumes stating qualifications, experiences, records of accomplishment, etc.
  • National or Government issued identity documents (International Passport, etc.) bio-data and Bank Verification Numbers (BVNs) of proposed Board and management staff of the company.
  • The Tax Identification Number (TIN) of the company and its Tax Clearance Certificate where applicable.
  • A schedule of services that will be shared in the group.
  • Five-year financial projection on the operations of the PSHC indicating expected growth and profitability, and details of the assumptions that form the basis of the financial projection.
  • Details of Information Technology (IT) infrastructure proposed to be deployed.
  • Information on and pictorial representation of the corporate group structure with shareholding percentage by the PSHC in each of the subsidiaries and their principal businesses and registered Head offices.
  • A written and duly executed undertaking by the promoters that the PSHC shall be adequately capitalised for the volume and character of its business at all times, and that the PSHC shall be under the supervisory authority of the CBN, as an Other Financial Institution (OFI).
  • For regulated foreign institutional investors, the CBN shall require a no objection letter from the regulatory body in the home country.
  • Shareholders’ agreement providing for disposal/transfer of shares as well as authorisation, amendments, waivers, reimbursement of expenses, etc.
  • Statement of intent to invest in the PSHC to be made by each investor in the PSHC.
  • Technical Services Agreement, where applicable.

Draft copy of the company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association (MEMART). At a minimum, the MEMART shall contain the following information:

  • Proposed name of the PSHC.
  • Object clause which shall be limited to the permitted activities of its license.
  • Subscribers to the MEMART.
  • Procedure for amendment.
  • Procedure for share transfer or disposal.
  • Appointment of directors.
  • Where the promoters of the PSHC are corporate investors, the CBN shall require them to forward the following additional documents.
  • Certificate of Incorporation.
  • Board resolution supporting the company’s decision to invest in the equity shares of the proposed PSHC.
  • Names, biometrics, BVNs and addresses (business and residential) of owners, directors and their related companies, if any.
  • Audited financial statements and reports of the company, including Tax Clearance Certificate for the immediate past 3 years.
  • Certified True Copies of the company’s CAC forms showing the details of allotment and particulars of directors.
  • Any other document/information that the CBN may require from time to time.
  • If satisfied with the application of the promoter(s), the CBN may grant an Approval in Principle (AIP).

Duration

The AIP stage usually takes a period of between 2-3 months to process.

(D) Requirements to Incorporate an MMO company

Companies in Nigeria are incorporated at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). The requirements for incorporating a company are as follows:

  1. 2 (two) unique names of the proposed company to be reserved at the CAC;
  2. Name, address, phone number, email and means of identification of at least 2 Directors, one of which must be a Nigerian or a foreigner with business permit to carrying on business in Nigeria;
  3. Name, address, phone number, email, means of identification of at least one Share holder and in the case of corporate shareholder its incorporation Certificate and Board Resolution to acquire shares in the proposed company;
  4. Objects of the proposed company;
  5. Nigerian address, phone number and email of the proposed company;
  6. Special Articles of Association of the proposed company ;
  7. Name, address, phone number, email, means of identification of Company Secretary;
  8. Approval in Principle from CBN;
  9. Payment of statutory filing fees and stamp duty.

Duration

The incorporation stage will take a period of 7-10 business days.

(E) The Requirements for Granting a Final License

Within six (6) months after obtaining the AIP and incorporation of the company, the promoters of a proposed PSHC shall submit an application to the CBN for the grant of a final license.

The application shall be accompanied with the following:

  • Non-refundable licensing fee of N5,000,000.00 (Five Million Naira) (approximately US $ 9, 259), or such other amount that the CBN may specify from time to time, payable to the Central Bank of Nigeria by electronic transfer.
  • Evidence of promotion or investment of a payment service company.
  • Evidence of payment of capital contribution by each shareholder.
  • Evidence of location of Head Office (rented or owned) for the take-off of the PSHC.
  • Schedule of changes, if any, in the Board, Management, IT infrastructure and significant shareholding since the grant of AIP.
  • Evidence of ability to meet technical requirements and modern infrastructural facilities such as office equipment, computers, telecommunications, etc. to perform PSHC operations and meet CBN and other regulatory requirements.
  • Organisational structure, showing functional units, responsibilities, reporting relationships and grade (status) of heads of departments/units.
  • Board and staff training program.

Duration

The Final Licence stage usually takes a period of between 2-3 months to process.

(F) Requirements for Commencement of Operations

Upon obtaining the Final Licence, the PSHC shall inform the CBN of its readiness to commence activities and such information shall be accompanied with one copy of each of the following:

  1. Shareholders’ Register.
  2. Share certificate issued to each investor.
  3. Enterprise Risk Management Framework (ERMF).
  4. Internal Control Policy.
  5. Minutes of pre-commencement board meeting.
  6. Opening statement of affairs signed by directors and auditors.
  7. Date of Commencement of Activities.

(G) Conclusion

In order to manage financial risks and for efficiency of the business, the CBN expect promoters of a Mobile Money Operator company to form at least 3 (three) companies; first, the PSHC which is the holding company; second, a mobile money operator subsidiary and third, the switching and processing subsidiary. Each of the 3 (three) companies shall have a minimum share capital of N 2, 000, 000, 000 (Two Billion naira).

Fred-young & Evans LP

Fred-young & Evans LP

Saving Vs. Investing: Understanding The Difference

When it comes to money, the decision to save or invest is generally based on a person’s personality type.

Some people are risk-averse and don’t want to take a chance on any potential loss in capital, while others are more aggressive and would rather have a better opportunity for growth.

While there is no right answer for everyone, it is important to understand the differences between saving and investing so you can choose which option best suits your needs.

This article will discuss the difference between these two types of financial management and how to use them effectively!

The Difference Between Saving & Investing

Saving is the act of making sure money doesn’t run out in your life. Saving is an act of protecting your money while investing involves exposing yourself to risk.

Investing is different because it’s about making more money to live a better lifestyle or retire earlier.

Why is it Important to Understand the Difference to Make Smart Decisions with Your Money?

By understanding the difference between saving and investing, you can make better decisions about what you do with your money.

Understanding what each one means could help you prepare for retirement and give you a good idea of how much to save to reach those financial goals.

Most people who want wealth over time would need both savings and investment strategies that work together synergistically.

Typically these two strategies should balance themselves out because if someone isn’t taking any chances by being aggressive with their investments, they won’t grow the money in time to use it once they have retired.

Saving is crucial because you need a cash cushion for emergencies but investing helps provide that extra income after retirement. Your savings will last longer than just relying on your social security benefits or pension plans.

When choosing between saving and investing, most experts recommend using both strategies together instead of one over the other.

Suppose someone doesn’t take chances with investment opportunities available to them. In that case, there’s no chance they’ll be able to retire early if all their money is stuck in bank accounts without any growth potential whatsoever.

One clear difference between these two financial tools is that some people prefer risk while others do not want to have to worry about any possible loss of capital.

Benefits of Saving

Saving is a great way to set aside money for the future.

You can save your hard-earned cash and build up a savings account, so you have something to fall back on if anything happens in your life that requires extra funds, such as when someone loses their job or there’s an unexpected medical bill that needs paying.

When saving, it doesn’t take much effort from anyone because all they need to do is make sure not too much money slips through their fingers each month by making regular deposits into their bank accounts.

It’ll usually take years before people can accumulate a good amount of savings, but once they reach this point, it means less stress and more peace of mind as long as they don’t touch the money because it’s there for a rainy day.

People who save typically have nothing to worry about when something happens unexpectedly as funds are already set aside now instead of waiting until later down the road where it might be too late due to financial mismanagement.

How to Save Your Money?

People can save by putting money into their savings account every time they receive a pay check.

One good way to save your money is by opening an everyday or high yield checking account that allows you access to the funds anytime needed and has low fees for withdrawing and depositing cash whenever necessary.

This way, people won’t be tempted to spend all of it at once because other withdrawal limitations depend on what type of checking account someone opts for.

Since saving involves doing whatever possible not to go over budget each month, some banks like Ally Bank even offer online tools where anyone can quickly see how much extra money they can put aside without affecting lifestyle whatsoever.

Benefits of Investing

Investing is an excellent way to make your money work harder than you do.

Once people learn how this process works, it can change their lives forever if done correctly over time or even sooner, depending on how much capital someone decides to put at risk not to lose everything but still grow some wealth from investments made that way.

Nowadays, kids are also practicing the art of investing. Parents are setting investment accounts for kids to invest in. You can start with a very small investment until you master this art.

One needs patience and the ability to look at long-term trends to see how their investment choices are faring over time, so they don’t lose all of what they put into an investment where there’s no chance for recovery or growth.

It takes more than just putting money away blindly without any thought as to whether this might turn out well or not because that’s gambling, not investing.

If you want your savings account to grow faster than inflation, then invest them instead of just putting them in a regular savings account.

It’s important to note that investing involves risks, resulting in capital loss, especially in the short term.

This is why it’s important to invest money that you can afford to lose since there are no guarantees when investing.

Conclusion:

While saving may require less work, investing takes more time but also has growth potential.

If one invests successfully over the years, there’s no telling how much money could be made with compounding interest or other investment opportunities that might present themselves along the way.

It is important to note that while some individuals prefer investing because of its unlimited earning potential.

Others are hesitant about this route since their capital could be lost altogether due to market conditions or poor timing on decisions surrounding investment strategies.