Τετάρτη, 4 Μαΐου 2016

A campaign for kidney disease patients

Gabriele & Spiros are running an Indiegogo campaign for kidney disease patients. If you know kidney patients or their friends, family & loved ones, please share this campaign with them and support it anyway you can. They have worked tirelessly on pulling together the team and resources to create TROPHIN biscuits and to establish the TROPHIN brand. Watch & learn more details about their goals in the video below:

Trophin Biscuits Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaign from Gabriele Neumann on Vimeo.

Visit & support the campaign here:

Τρίτη, 29 Μαρτίου 2016

Register your business Trademark

Why should I get a trademark registration?
You can sell products or offer services in the EU without having a registered trademark. So you might ask, why should I register my trademark? There are several reasons why registering your trademark is a good idea.
Rights Throughout the EU.
By obtaining a EU registration of your trademark, you can have more confidence that you have rights to use your mark throughout the entire European Union, without worrying that your trademark rights will be limited because of someone else’s activities (because of that person’s legal rights in a trademark.). It is also wise to research whether someone else is already using a mark similar to yours by doing a comprehensive trademark availability search before applying to register your trademark.
Working with Your Distributors
If you plan to work with re-sellers or distributors to sell your products or services, having a trademark registration lets you control your own brand. Many times, a re-seller who sells products or services, especially for an international company or one based outside the country, might register the trademark of the company for whom they sell goods. They may do this either in a good faith effort to protect the brand that they are selling for you, or they may want to pressure you to continue working with them.
Either way, if your re-seller owns a registration for your trademark, you probably cannot force them to transfer it to you without a costly lawsuit. The better path is to register your trademark yourself before you begin working with re-sellers or distributors.
Help Securing Domain Names
Disputes about the ownership of internet domain names are common. For example, if you own the trademark SPORTSSHOES and the domain name sportsshoes.bg, someone else may have registered the domain name sportsshoes.com before you. Many of these domain name disputes, including all disputes for .com domain names, can be resolved using an alternative Dispute Resolution Procedure. In some cases, a lawsuit is also used to seek a transfer of a domain name that was acquired by someone else in bad faith.
If you have registered a trademark that appears within a disputed domain name, the trademark registration provides evidence of your rights to the mark. The court looks very favorably on the owners of registered trademarks.
Consistent Use of Trademark Symbols
If you have registered your trademark in other countries, your brochures, products, website, and other materials may include the circle-R symbol ® to indicate the registered status of the trademark. The ™ symbol can be used without having a registered trademark. By registering your trademark, you can use materials that have a ® symbol, without the need to change materials to use the ™ symbol.
Enforcement in BG Courts
No one wants to deal with a lawsuit, but if someone is using your trademark without your permission, a trademark registration gives you several advantages in court. For example, instead of you being required to prove that your trademark is valid, the court will start from the position that your mark is valid; the other side will have the burden of proving that your trademark isn’t valid.
To register & protect your business Trademark, contact me at skassios(at)gmail.com to introduce you to Innovires Legal & Business Consulting Firm

Παρασκευή, 26 Φεβρουαρίου 2016

New business partnership for Hellene in Scandinavia

Hellene.gr has announced a new strategic partnership: ”We are glad to announce our new business partner & distributor in Sweden and Scandinavia, MED.Style!” – Stathis Kassios (Hellene Co-founder)

Τρίτη, 19 Ιανουαρίου 2016

Why you should register a company in EU, Bulgaria?

According to Forbes among the top 10 cities around the world to launch your startup business is Sofia, Bulgaria. Behind the blare of Berlin, Beijing, Moscow and London, the Bulgarian start-up scene is set to become a center for seed investment and start-ups in South East Europe.

A Bulgarian limited liability company can be incorporated within one week, with a minimum of one shareholder and one director, who can be of any nationality and place of residence. Conveniently, the minimum paid up share capital is only €1 and there is an option for a Client not to travel to complete Bulgaria business setup.

Registering a business in Bulgaria enables Clients to minimize tax because:
1. Bulgaria’s corporate tax rate is a flat 10% on global profits, the second lowest in the EU. See the global corporate tax page for more details on corporate tax rates in Europe.
2. Withholding tax on interest payments is low at i) 5% within the European Economic Area and ii) 10% to all other countries unless reduced by a double-tax treaty.
3. Bulgaria boasts VAT refund agreements with 10 countries outside of EU.
4. Tax losses can be carried forward up to 5 years.
5. Licensed real estate investment trusts (REITs) are fully tax-exempt.
6. Companies incorporated in municipalities with higher level of unemployment can receive up to 100% tax retention.
7. VAT registration is not mandatory under €25,000 annual turnover of taxable goods.

Bulgaria is a prime setup location for Clients running a manufacturing business in Europe and the Middle East:

1. Because of its EU membership and free trade agreements, Bulgaria enables manufacturing businesses to reach to: 500 million duty-free EU market.
80 million duty free Turkey market
booming Middle Eastern markets.
2. Labor costs are the second lowest in Europe, according to Eurostat. Average monthly skilled labor salaries are recorded at €700 and unskilled labor at €400. The monthly minimum wage is only €220.
3. Skilled workers are also available, with a strong backgrounds in engineering, sciences and languages.
4. Almost every young person in Bulgaria speaks English.
5. Tax holidays of up to 5 years are available to qualifying manufacturing projects under the Corporate Income Tax Act.
6. Electricity costs in Bulgaria are estimated to be 30% lower than the standard EU rates. Standard KwH for corporates is just €0,165 per hour.
7. Bulgaria is a great place for companies selling products and services to the automobile industry. Large EU companies like i)Witte ii) Montupet and iii) others car parts suppliers have relocated their factories to Bulgaria. The only Chinese car manufacturer in the EU – Great Wall Motors – chose Bulgaria to setup their factory.

Contact me at skassios@gmail.com to introduce you to Innovires legal & business consulting firm

Σάββατο, 19 Δεκεμβρίου 2015

My predictions for 2016. Trends in a globally connected world.

Dear readers,

Time flies. It's this time of the year again that I would like to share with you my predictions & trends for 2016.

- The sharing economy platforms like Uber, Airbnb, Lyft, etc. are not only disrupting current business models, they are also creating jobs and generating income for unemployed or even low paid people. These platforms establish a new type of professional life away from the norms of current & old labor laws and traditional employment. See this research for referenece: http://mercatus.org/publication/evaluating-growth-1099-workforce

- Internet of Things: we hear & read more and more about the Internet of Things (IoT) and how our lifes will be transformed hopefully for the better. All electronic devices that we use daily will be connected to each other and with the world wide web, collecting and exchanging huge amounts of data that have to make sense and offer practical advantages. The IoT is predicted to have a $13 trillion impact on the global economy. Imagine vehicles, house devices, company offices, factories & work sites, all riding the connectivity wave and creating smarter and more efficient products & services. See this article by McKinsey: http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/high_tech_telecoms_internet/preparing_it_systems_and_organizations_for_the_internet_of_things

- Social media & education: these global online networks will play a pivotal role in how people present themselves online. The networks people will be creating matter for the information they share thus education will also be networked online. Maybe we get to see more social networks popping up as with over 3 billion users globally using laptops, smartphones, tablets, more networks will be created to serve these people's needs. Think poor countries for example where a smartphone connected to the internet, will be a great way to be educated, communicate personally & professionally, gain knowledge of the world outside of the local boundaries that sometimes corrupted governments impose. 

- Artificial Intelligence: Machines are getting smarter with all the big data we feed them. Will machines help us in the future or take over our lives and destroy millions of jobs in the various industries and sectors of the economy? http://www.wired.co.uk/magazine/archive/2015/11/features/wired-world-2016-alain-de-botton-artificial-emotional-intelligence

- Intelligence: due to the fast pace of digital connectivity, a vast amount of information and data becomes available to public organizations, research centers, private companies. As we are building the Everest of data, we carefully have to monitor the intelligence spurring from the top of the mountain which will benefit humanity, eliminate the ''noise'' (bad data that don't make sense) and reduce risks that would appear if sensitive data becomes available to the wrong hands. Organizations and companies will have to protect their data through strong cybersecurity measures and proactive implementation of advanced system security & architecture.

- 3D Printers: 3D printing will lead the very essence of technological & manufacturing disruption across all kinds of industries, using new materials to construct or replicate products in pharmaceuticals, bio-industry, industrial design, space exploration, house building, etc. 

- Global growth: according to IMF (International Monetary Fund) the global economy is expected to grow in 2016 by 3.6, expecting a calm growth for Europe, the same growth as last year's for USA and a bit slower for Canada. The riddle of growth will go to China as nobody can actually predict what is happening in this giant economy due to the lack of trust in their statistics. India will continue to grow strong while Japan returned to recession. Recurring global currency wars and the domestic currencies of Latin American countries will create problems in their development.

Greece's Debt continues to increase, probably in a non-sustainable way. Much has been discussed in global news & media for ways to make it more sustainable and decrease the burden of imposing more austerity measures. The co-founder of Hellene.gr, Sheridan Tatsuno, has published an article on ways for Greece to develop its economy beyond its debt through tourism, exports, technology outsourcing: http://hellene.gr/news/beyond-greeces-debt-trap/  

Balkan countries have started providing important business incentives by setting zero taxes for new companies as a way to invite entrepreneurs from other countries. This is what I call long term strategic thinking and planning. See the example of Albania: http://digjitale.com/2015/11/zero-taxes-for-startups-in-albania/

- Geopolitical risks: Independent of the exciting news coming from technology, the political problems in countries like Syria, the general turbulence in the Middle East, the involvement of different powers with different interests, will remain a threat for the global markets (refer to the EU stock market indexes when Turkey shot down a Russian jet). The world will also be watching the US presidential election campaign because of the different policies the elected leader will follow on terrorism, homeland security and foreign policy matters. 

Because of the interconnectedness of the global economy, national problems become international (see the Chinese stock market crash & repercussions), altering capital flows & investors sentiment. The monetary policy of FED & ECB on interest rates will also play an important role for global growth and development. 

My personal wishes to you for health, wealth and happiness in 2016!

Stathis Kassios
Hellene.gr Co-founder
Moovit Operations Consultant Greece
Web Consultant & Economist