Legal Structure & Licenses and Taxes

Legal Structure & Licenses and Taxes

Legalizing the Business and Launching the Website | BYU-I B 250 – Lesson 06

What an exciting week this was. At least the part where we should launch the website.

I say that, because I felt the first part was very tiresome, almost boring. I understand how vital that is though. Every business must be well structure and in order with our government’s laws and requirements. I felt a little out of place again, because my reality is really very different than the reality in the USA, and thus the discussion on the classe’s discussion boards were very far from my reality too.

About deciding on a Legal Structure: I will not be able of formalizing a company for my online store. The taxes, fees and bureaucracy for opening a company (with CNPJ – a company social security number in Brazil) are outrageous. I would need to have at least R$ 1500,00 if I wanted to have a company formalized. It would take longer than the course, for the process to be completed. And I would need to hire an accountant to do the job for. I can’t afford to do it, not for the sake of the course’s purpose.

I will use my own CPF (social security number) for selling in my website then. It’s something very common in Brazil. I will still need to register at the mayor hall for producing invoices for my clients. There are some limitations in this structure. The most relevant is that I will not be allowed to sell more than RS 60.000,00 within a period of 365 days (a year). But I don’t think I would be able to sell that much anyway.

About the taxes I will need to pay, they are very simple and straightforward. I will need to pay 8% of the price of the products to the government. I will also need to pay a fixed fee of R$ 0,40 plus 3.99% of the price of the every product I sell. This will be paid to the Credit Card company service. I chose to use PagSeguro, by the way.

Launching the Website

I loved the philosophy that this course proposed right in the beginning: “ready, shoot, aim”. We are already launching our website, we are shooting before finishing to aim.

I am sure my website is not quite ready yet. For once, I only have 3 products there yet (I will only have about 5 of them anyway). I also want to improve the design and setup some plugins yet. But the website is already functional. A person could literally already go there and purchase a product already.

I was able to setup PagSeguro so my clients can use their credit cards to pay for their purchases.

I am very happy and excited, but I am also a little apprehensive. Although I am not spending too much money, I am spending some money. I really hope I can sell enough to at least pay for the initial investment.

Let’s keep working in order for the website to receive enough interested clients to buy some products.

Choosing a Design and Payment Options

Choosing a Design and Payment Options

Time to find a good Design for my Website| BYU-I B 250 – Lesson 05

We are advancing well in our Online Business Project. This week we already looked at some design ideas and options. We were supposed to find at least two websites that we would use as reference to create our website. I’ve chosen Guriveio (https://www.guriveio.com.br/) a website that sells electronics in general, but started selling basically only cellphones. And I’ve also chosen Cissa Magazine (https://www.cissamagazine.com.br/) which is a very similar website to Guriveio. I even found out that both websites are from the same city, a very small city in the country site, here in my state. This was a very interesting coincidence to me.

I will have a small challenge though. The business I’ve decided to pursue is a website that sells Children Cellphone, simple and cheap cellphones for parents to have a good communication with their small kids, when they are away. The idea of having a cheap cellphone is for parents not to worry about them being robbed. I honestly couldn’t find a website that works exclusively with that, so I might be the first one doing so. But the challenge I am going to have is the small number of options, I will probably not have more than 4 or 5 different models of these simple and cheap cellphones. I will need to find a design solution for that. It might look weird an online store with only 4 or 5 products. The store needs to have something different, attractive so people can trust at buying there.

I thought of creating a landing page where people good read about good reasons and ideas why to buy such a cellphone for their kids. This landing page must be attractive and the text needs to be very well developed for that.

Payment Options at the Website

The second task we needed to research upon was credit card payment options for the website. We were challenged to learn a little about PayPal, the most famous payment tool in the USA. But since my business is going to focus on selling and delivering for clients in Brazil, I will need to choose a better option for our reality here.

There are some good options available. Here are some of the option I think are good:

  • Mercado Pago
  • PagSeguro
  • Bcash
  • Moip

All of these options accept credit card and boleto bancário (a very popular form of payment in Brazil). More important, they also allow the clients to purchase the product and pay in up to 12 installments. This is a very important option when selling any kind of product or service in Brazil, and that is an option that PayPal isn’t doing yet.

These 4 services are very similar to each other, but I am torn between Mercado Pago and PagSeguro, I think they are the more popular of them. I still haven’t decided with a 100% of surety, but I guess I am going to use PagSeguro. PagSeguro’s plugin for WordPress has many more users and a better evaluation, so I believe there are more people using PagSeguro than Mercado Pago, at least with WordPress.

I will make some test though, before I decide completely. Let’s hope I decide on the better option.

Choosing a Host and a Site Builder

Choosing a Host and a Site Builder

Host, Site Builder and Which Online Business to Open? | BYU-I B 250 – Lesson 04

This week was the most challenging week to me so far, not because of the content, but because I became very ill. I spent most of the past 3 days in bed with a fever going up and down. I am taking medication and I believe I am starting to get better, but I am far from being fully recovered. It was an extra challenge, and I am glad I am able to finish the week with my tasks properly completed.

I am still a little said that I am not confident with my choice of business. I completed the Project 1 Spreadsheet and, based on that, my best alternative is a drop shipping website. On my top 5 alternatives, 4 of them were drop shipping ideas, the best of them is a website for Children’s Cellphones. The idea is to sell very cheap cellphones to parents, so they can easily communicate with their youngsters. The idea sounds very good indeed. All the data supports it: the demand is good, the competition is perfect, the suppliers have many options, etc. My only problem and doubt is whether this model of business really works in Brazil. We have a huge problem with the customs in Brazil, and because of that, products can take up to 60 days to get from China to my clients here. That might be a problem.

Maybe some of the clients can be comprehensive with that and purchase the product anyway, but I would have to test to make sure that it works. I need to make it very clear how long it might take for the product to be delivered though.

About the rest of the tasks, the decisions were basically already made.

I already own a Hostgator reseller account, which is a hosting account that I use to sell hosting to other people. I can have as many individual cPanels/accounst as I need. So, it wouldn’t make any sense to me to spend extra money in another host.

WordPress

And about the site builder, I am already familiar and very used to WordPress.org. I own a subscription for a Premium Theme company called Elegant Themes, they have a very functional theme called Divi, which works buildings websites with modules, almost a drag and drop platform. I will use this theme to build my site.

My only concern is about integrating PayPal, or other kind of charging service, with the platform. But I already research and they have support for PayPal and many other Brazilians Services too.

I am confident and excited with going forward with the business. I hope I succeed.

Narrowing Down Business Models

Narrowing Down Business Models

Online Store, Drop Shipping or Affiliate Marketing | BYU-I B 250 – Lesson 03

As I advance in my Online Business Course at BYU-Idaho Online, I get more impressed with the strength of the course. The course is loaded with information. We have a lot of reading related to a lot of different subjects, and that is of course very demanding. Honestly I worry about what I am being able to absorb. I worry that I need to retain more content than I am currently doing.

But I am very excited with the course. I am especially excited with the idea of ending up with a real business at the end of the course. The model of the business is a matter of great concern too. I have selected some important criteria already. Due to my physical businesses – I own a small private English School, an Aerial Video Company, and I also offer publicity-related service to my father-in-law’s company – I need to choose a business model that doesn’t demand much time of my life, I wouldn’t be able to spare much time to it, since I plan on continue studying the semesters to come. And yes, I do intend to start a business that I can continue managing after this course is done.

A second important criteria is that I want the business to make enough profit, that it’s worth keeping it. I really don’t want to “waste” 3 months planning and putting a business together, only to give it up after the course is over. But for that to become real, the business needs to provide some profit, it needs to be worth the amount of time that I am going to invest with it. I know this criteria is tough, it depends a lot on my creativity and inspiration, but I will strive to achieve it.

The least criteria is optional. I would rather have a business related to something I already do business with (English, Video/Photography and/or Publicity/Advertisement). If it becomes to hard to achieve this criteria, I hope I can at least find something related to things I am passionate about, things like the nerd/geek culture, music or films in general.

Because of the subject we were studying this week, I believe I already eliminated some options. I don’t want to work with Affiliate Marketing, I don’t think there is going to be enough profit for me there, and I don’t want to create a website that requires me to create a lot of content.

I also don’t think an online store is the right move. I like online stores, I know they can give a lot of profit, and also good business experience. But I can not afford the amount of time that an online store would require. Just thinking about the shipping part of the process scared the heck out of me.

Drop shipping sounds as a very interesting idea. You don’t need to have a stock, and I wouldn’t need to worry about shipping the profits. The only concern I have here is whether I would be able to work with Drop shipping living in Brazil. I don’t think I could do that for Americans, since I wouldn’t be able to open a business bank account and etc. And I am not sure it works properly in Brazil, so I need to do more research on that.

Anyway, I believe there is a lot work and research to be done yet. I am worried that I don’t have my online business idea yet, but I am hoping that is only normal. I hope the next week helps my mind to make a proper decision.

Until then, let me keep on working.