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Opening a Business in Puerto Rico

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Many companies from around the globe already call Puerto Rico home. These companies came to boost their opportunities for advancement and growth through the variety of industries thriving in Puerto Rico. Not to mention having a skilled labor pool and low costs.

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Puerto Rico as a Business Destination

For companies expanding from the United States, Puerto Rico offers a familiarity while still providing the uniqueness and excitement of a different culture you might find further from home.

While Puerto Rico is part of the US, it is not technically a state, and there are some slight differences between starting a business in the US and starting one in the unincorporated US territory. Some people might say that Puerto Rico has a slow permitting process, and it might seem so if you compare the process to the fastest methods like those in New Zealand, which World Bank data has given the title of the #1 country on their ease of doing business list. Although it may not have the same fastest permitting process, the territory has a more straightforward process than places such as India and China.

An Excellent Location for Entrepreneurs

After being hit by both Hurricane Maria and Hurricane Irma in 2017, Puerto Rico has been struggling to get back on its feet. That may not sound like the ideal place to start your business, but the Puerto Rican government has created several incentives for entrepreneurs to open their stores. They hope that providing entrepreneurs with these incentives will bring revenue back to the country and this will help them to get back on their feet. It is a similar approach to what Singapore has done over the last ten years, while achieving outstanding results.

The Advantages of Opening a Business in Puerto Rico

1. Personal Taxes

The two biggest reasons to start a business in Puerto Rico are the taxes. Puerto Rico is exempt from US federal taxes because they are a commonwealth nation. However, they are technically part of the US which means that they retain US citizenship. For entrepreneurs wanting to be free of the US tax, all they need to do is live in Puerto Rico 183 days out of the year. Puerto Rico is the only place that US citizens can move to and not have to renounce their US citizenship to be exempt from federal taxes. Entrepreneurs in the US can have more than half of their income taxed in individual states, while Puerto Rico has a fixed income tax rate of 4%. Capital gains are also taxed in the US anywhere from 15-20% while in Puerto Rico the rate is 0.

2. Corporate Taxes

Companies in either the manufacturing services or export divisions can qualify for a 4% fixed income tax rate as well as a full tax exemption on total earnings, including profits. In a few cases, some businesses can qualify for a property tax exemption as well. And most startups get a full property tax exemption for the first five years they are in business. The savings in Puerto Rico compared to the US are nearly unbelievable.

3. Skilled Workforce

Puerto Rico suffers from a “brain drain” of sorts. While the island graduates thousands of STEM students every year, a majority of the grads decide to leave the country. In spite of those numbers, Puerto Rico believes that the opening of new businesses will help to keep these graduates in the country and even offers a 50% tax credit for companies who are working towards research and development.

4. US Perks

Businesses in Puerto Rico still get to enjoy many perks of other businesses in America despite not having to pay the tax rates. All products that a business creates in Puerto Rico get stamped with “Made in the USA.” There won’t be any shady business with your intellectual property either because it will be protected by US law. Puerto Rico is due to receive $17 billion in funds from the US, which is expected to create an increase in budget.

Opening a business in Puerto Rico does come with its fair share of obstacles, but if it is done correctly, the savings will be staggering.

Opening a Business in the UAE

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The United Arab Emirates ranks as #21 on the Ease of Doing Business in the World Bank data report for 2017, which went up ten ranks from its position at #31 in 2016. The growth of this thriving country, whose economy is dominated by the petroleum industry, has made the UAE a very tempting place for many businesses to open up shop.

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Background on the UAE

The UAE is based adjacent to the Arabian Peninsula on the eastern coast. It is a federation of seven emirates, the largest of which is Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi also accounts for a majority of the oil industry and the wealth of the nation. The next largest emirate is Dubai, which is a famous port city that has grown into a booming commercial center for multinational corporations. The smaller emirates include Sharjah, Ajmān, Umm al-Qaywayn, Raʾs al-Khaymah, and Al-Fujayrah. Although the official language for the UAE is Arabic, many people speak English as well, especially in the business world.

Doing Business in the UAE

The UAE has become extremely attractive to business owners for a plethora of reasons. If you are interested in starting your own business in the UAE, now is the time to do it. Read on to find out how easy it is to open up your own business and make considerable profits in the UAE.

An Open Economy

Yes, the UAE has an open economy. It is one of the most accessible countries to trade within the Gulf and it has a very high per capita income. Many countries have already made their way to the UAE, and in so doing have helped to increase the economy even more with their foreign capital. The previously established nation has become even more wealthy with the influx of offshore companies and money. The UAE is already a cozy home to several multi-million dollar corporations and small start-up companies.

The UAE Makes it Easy For Foreign Investors

The government of the United Arab Emirates caught on quickly that foreign investment would lead to a skyrocketing economy and therefore made it easier than ever for foreign companies to bring their businesses overseas. Foreign nationals get their own set of rules and regulations to follow, which includes fast-tracked legal procedures.

They want you in the UAE and the government won’t make you wait as they only require a minimal amount of paperwork. They have also set up registration and licensing to be fast and easy to understand.

Free Zone

Foreign companies can apply to be tax exempt under the free zone economy. This means that international businesses do not need to pay a corporate tax nor an income tax. All of your profits are just that, profits. There are free zones in Ajman, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi. When researching where you should take your company, those three areas should top your list.

Access To An Elite Labor Pool

The UAE attracts a strong workforce to its largest cities. There is an abundance of skilled and unskilled workers that flock to the UAE from places such as India. It is such an attractive place for employees and employers alike because of their low tax structure and very high wages. UAE residents are also very well-taken care of. 92% of people are literate, and health insurance is mandatory. They have an established education structure, and international universities have been set up in the UAE including NYU and MIT.

Solid Foundations to Build Upon

Whatever your business needs, the UAE has made sure that they already have it set up for you. When you bring your business to the UAE, you will have easy access to transportation, business parks, warehousing, and office spaces. There is no need to start from scratch.

It’s a Great Location

The UAE offers easy access to it’s fast-growing and well-established neighbors, including its major trade partner, the European Union. It is also close to China and India and has excellent trade relations with both countries. Plus, it is a safe place to work with a relatively low crime rate.

UAE: One of the Best Locations for International Expansion

The UAE caters to its foreign investors, and because of its location, safety, workforce, and infrastructure, it easily attracts many foreign companies looking for an excellent location for expansion. If you’re looking to start your own business, then the UAE is a great country to start in because it has all the tools necessary to set you up for success.

Enhance Profitability with US Phone Numbers

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Expanding your business to the United States marketplace has become very simple thanks to the rise of the digital age, international trade rules, and globalization. Getting a USA virtual phone number can assist businesses by giving businesses outside the US the opportunity to establish their organization. There is no need to pick up and move your entire business to a foreign land when you can create a virtual presence by simply using a virtual phone number.

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Open Up Greater Communication with US Phone Numbers

Virtual phone numbers will give you an advantage over your competition in the US by allowing your business to establish communication with your American clients. Investing in a toll free number will allow your business to be accessible to customers across the world at any moment.

United World Telecom offers toll free phone numbers and local US virtual numbers packed with easy-to-use features that will put you ahead of your competition and increase your ability to make sales. Set up your virtual phone number to start building your company’s reputation in America.

If you are not sure whether getting a US phone number is the right decision for your company, check out these benefits and features of a virtual phone number and see how a virtual number can positively impact your business.

  • Virtual phone systems allow you to stay in contact with customers overseas without taking on international costs. If your company already has customers in the US and you or they are spending huge amounts of money on calling fees, then the choice to switch to a virtual phone number is easy. Stay within your budget by getting a cost-effective virtual number.
  • Since you’re not overspending your budget on international phone calls, you can use your virtual phone number to grow your relationship with your customers overseas. They will have better access to your customer service lines, and you can address their issues and questions right away.
  • You can establish a presence in any geographical location of your choosing without constructing a new building.
  • Your team will be able to stay in touch and collaborate easier.

Virtual Phone System Features

Now that you know all about the benefits, put them into action with the range of features offered in a virtual phone system:

  • Call Recording: You can keep a record of all calls that are being made, then you can use that data to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your team. Your team will grow stronger, and your customers will take notice when their needs are being properly met.
  • Voicemail: Customize a professional voicemail for holidays and hours outside of regular business operation.
  • Call Forwarding: Whether you choose to use sequential forwarding or simultaneous ringing, you enhance your chances of answering the phone. With sequential forwarding, you can customize your settings to be sent to one phone first before being sent down a list of offices. For example, you can set your phone calls to go to your desk phone before they are sent to your mobile device. With simultaneous calling, multiple phones will ring at one time, and the first person to answer will be connected with the caller. This tool is great if you utilize a call center.
  • SMS Messaging: A majority of Americans use cellular phones and prefer text messaging as their way of communicating. It also raises the chance that your message will be received since many Americans screen phone calls. This additional feature is great if your target audience is millennial Americans because you are much more likely to get a response from a millennial through text.

Getting a U.S. Phone Number

You can obtain your virtual US phone number by contacting United World Telecom. Either call their toll free number at 1 (888) 908 6171 or visit their website to find a new virtual phone number.

On the website, simply choose the virtual phone number that you want, either toll-free or mobile, and enter your destination number (the number you would like the calls forwarded to). From there, you can choose the plan that best suits your business’ needs and add any additional features. If you are not sure if the service is right for you, start with the free seven-day trial. Then enter your contact and account information to begin making and receiving calls right away.

How To Turn A Disgruntled Customer into a Loyal One

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A customer’s happiness is the most important component of a business’ success. Without customers, there is no business. Therefore, making customer service an integral part of your business model is extremely important. Since it all starts with customer service, make sure that your staff is fully trained in how to deal with an angry customer should a problem occur. One bad customer experience is the quickest way to turn your customers over to your competitors, so being able to diffuse bad situations is the key to success. Having a great relationship with your customers will bring up the value of your brand and increase your sales. If your customer is angry, there are ways to please them, and even turn them into a customer for life. Here are several tips to keep in mind:

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Actively Listen To Your Customer

Take into account what your customers are saying about your products. There are times when a customer is angry about something outside of the service. Perhaps they are just having a bad day, so remember it is only your business to be sure that you solve their anger surrounding the issue with your product. Listen to what their issue is with intent, let them completely explain everything. Be completely silent while they explain, you may nod or acknowledge that you are listening, but be sure that they are finished talking before you begin.

Apologize Immediately

No matter what the issue is, be sure to apologize right away for the mistake or miscommunication. It might be an immediate reaction to want to be defensive of your products, but you have to remember that this person is allowed to air their grievances since they purchased the product and supported your business.

Go Out Of Your Way To Make Them Happy

This is what could turn your angry customer into a loyal one. If you do it right, your customer will be excited to return to your store. Going out of your way also makes your customer feel special. Perhaps you work at a restaurant and a customer was unsatisfied with their meal; you could comp the food and include a gift card to get them to return. When they return, you can go out of your way to make the next experience much better. By going above and beyond, you’ve created a customer for life.

Create an Opportunity for Improvement

Every angry customer brings up a solid point about issues with your company or your product. Take every opportunity to learn about what you need to improve on in order to give yourself a leg up from the competition. Treat complaints as if they are a problem that you need to figure out with your brand. If one customer is unhappy and lets you know there is a problem, surely there have been customers with the same issue but never mentioned it; they respond by simply not buying your product again. With that in mind, customer complaints are invaluable resources for improvement. Your business will never stop growing as long as your customers’ needs are being met and your product continues to improve. If you feel that your business does have room to grow and you don’t want to sit around waiting for complaints to roll in, consider sending out a survey that your customers can opt-in or out of to gauge their satisfaction.

Build Up Your Reputation

By consistently meeting consumer needs and providing excellent customer service, you will quickly gain a reputation for being delightful to shop with. Brands like Nordstrom have built up their reputation with customers and they have thousands of reviews from customers gushing about their dependability. People are more likely to go with a dependable option than something that has a wishy-washy reputation. Just remember, every angry customer is a chance to win customers over and invite them back.

By using these four simple tips and responding to angry customers in a positive and approachable manner, your business will be flourishing in no time. Since your company is now focusing on customer relationships, you have the tools to thrive in any market.

How To Boost Morale At Work

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Are your employees excited to come into work? Or do they shuffle in begrudgingly five minutes late every day? Are your employees’ friends with each other and you often find them sharing a laugh at the water cooler? Or do they keep themselves? If you find that your employees display poor moods while working, low employee morale could be damaging to your business. Productivity slows down, people seek alternative employment at high rates, and cooperation between employees worsens when your employees aren’t happy to come into work. This has the potential to put your business’ success at risk. When you are in a leadership position, it is your responsibility to strengthen morale among your employees. Read on to learn some simple yet creative ways to boost employee morale at work.

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Plan a Company Outing

Company outings are a great way for employees to get to know each other. You may have been to an outing or two for your company. It could have gone well or ended up a flop. Instead of having the head of HR plan the outing, ask your team what they would like to do. If people are hesitant to come up with ideas, make it an anonymous nomination. Once you have a few ideas your team can vote for what they would like to. It shows your employees you are interested in them and your rewarding activity will be more appreciated.

Show Your Employees That Their Jobs Matter

A 9-6 can get monotonous when employees are working on the same thing every day. Monotony gives time for pondering with what’s going on in places where the grass may (possibly) be greener. Show your employees that their work does have value in the real world. For example, restaurants will often read aloud 5-star Yelp reviews and congratulate their team when they’ve done a good job. Positive reinforcement can come in the most simple of ways.

Have Fun In The Office

Take a day each month where your employees can just have fun together for an hour, or even the whole day! Set up a Wii tennis match, play board games, or split your employees into teams and have them solve a mystery. The winning person or team can win awesome rewards like tickets to a sporting event or concert.

Get Rid of The Bullies

Sometimes we work with jerks. As the saying goes, “one bad apple could spoil the whole bunch.” If you find that a member of your team is often intimidating, rude, negative, or belittling it might be time to let that person go. They’re probably making everyone around them as miserable as they are. This is especially important in upper management, where one foul boss can have a seriously negative impact on their employees. A good way to weed these people out is to encourage constant feedback between employees and HR.

Take Time To Inspire Your Employees

Depression and anxiety rates are at an all-time high so giving your team the tools they need to combat anxiousness and depression at work is crucial. Schedule a monthly meditation and offer to reimburse gym memberships since exercise is shown to decrease anxiety and depression. Set up a time to watch inspirational videos, or have an inspirational speaker come in to speak to your team, then have an open discussion afterward so the ideas really stick.

Give Your Employees Real Lunch Breaks

Many white-collar employees opt to eat at their desks. However, taking a walk outside or trying a new restaurant would actually boost their moods and creative thinking. Taking a short break from work is a great way to recharge your batteries and encouraging your employees to take advantage of that is great for boosting employee morale.

Celebrate Your Employees

If your team surpassed their quarterly goals, reward them! Throw a pizza party in honor of their hard work or present your hardworking employees with a much-deserved bonus. Don’t forget work anniversaries either! Show your employees you appreciate the job that they’re doing by sending a little note or giving a bonus when they’ve reached a great milestone.

When your employees are in the presence of capable leadership, are recognized for their hard work, and feel that they are a part of something bigger than themselves, they exhibit higher morale, which in turn results in a higher level of performance. Keep encouraging and rewarding great work, and you will soon be reaping the rewards of a successful business that is powered by hard-working, happy employees.