From freelancing to incorporating

From freelancing to incorporating

.debug – 12.12.2019.
https://www.debug.hr/

7874898d532b989d3a1108cade372cd2?s=128

Dražen Lučanin

December 12, 2019
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Transcript

  1. 2.

    About me • Freelance software developer & data scientist •

    Cofounder / partner in: • Punk Rock Dev • CloudFleet • eSquirrel • CraftStrom
  2. 3.

    Freelancing • Gaining popularity • EU • 11 million freelancers

    in the EU • 5% of the total workforce • Forecast: more freelancers than employees by 2035 • Croatia • 30% more active sole proprietorships for intellectual services last year https://analyticshelp.io/blog/global-internet-freelance-market-overview-2018/
  3. 4.

    Why go beyond
 basic freelancing? • The challenges of freelancing:

    • Finding clients • Volatile income • No sick leave • Work–life balance and possible burnout • So what can you do?
  4. 5.

    A short story • Captain Ernest Tijan (1880. – 1950.)

    • Kostrena sv. Barbara – small town on the Adriatic Sea where a lot of sailors lived • From 1854. until 1902. sailors in Kostrena acquired stake (owned or co-owned) in 68 sailing ships • ~1000 residents, ~150 homes • On average every 2nd home co-owned a ship – unique in Austria-Hungary • These sailors essentially went from workers to business owners
  5. 7.

    Ways to decouple your revenue from your personal time •

    1. Classical investment • 2. Create a new product • 3. Negotiate an equity stake with a company • 4. Start a new company • 5. Scale your team
  6. 8.

    1. Classical investment • Buying an Apple product vs. buying

    a piece of Apple’s business • The only way to outrun inflation is to expose a part of your assets to the stock market, ideally by investing in diversified low-cost index funds & cutting out the middle-man (financial advisors, asset managers) • Resources: • https://www.bogleheads.org/ – Jack Bogle’s advice (& Warren Buffett’s) • Understand what you’re investing in – https://www.investopedia.com/ • The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need by Andrew Tobias • Facebook group: http://bit.ly/financije-hr
  7. 9.

    How to set money aside? • Low capital gains tax

    in Croatia • Lower your life expenses • Can’t? • Know anyone down your street with a lower income? • Raise your rates! • http://meetup.com/zagreb-freelancers/ • If your client can’t afford the raise, go to “3. Negotiate an equity stake with a company”
  8. 10.

    2. Create a new product • Organise a training workshop


    i.e. productise some of your expertise • Write a book • Create an online course • Course on making courses – http://bit.ly/teach-earn • If it seems like a lot of work, find a publisher to pay you upfront to minimise your risk
  9. 11.

    Learn marketing! • Empathy and contextual awareness • Write good

    content • Educate instead of buying ads • Marketing for developers course:
 http://bit.ly/marketing-devs
  10. 12.

    3. Negotiate an equity stake with a company • Risky,

    but potentially lucrative • Super undiversified • You have a lot of information • In the company’s interest • They’ll save money (although also dilute themselves) • You’ll be a more motivated worker
  11. 13.

    Learn how to negotiate! • Information asymmetry – company better

    informed • Do your research – Glassdoor, other companies on the market, past / present employees etc. • Anchoring – HR expert on the other side of the table • Prepare a strategy upfront • Take your time to consider the next step • Option to walk away • https://www.freecodecamp.org/news/ten-rules-for-negotiating-a-job- offer-ee17cccbdab6/
  12. 14.

    “But I don’t care about money that much” • Defence

    mechanism • The company isn’t a family • https://m.signalvnoise.com/the-company-isnt-a-family/ • It is your duty to negotiate well • You owe it both to yourself and to your (future) real family
  13. 15.

    4. Start a new company • Build your own product

    – e.g. a SaaS • Led Zeppelin – started as session musicians, eventually formed a super-group that became one of the greatest rock bands in history • Excellent free course – https://www.startupschool.org/ • Launch as soon as you can! Inspiration – https://levels.io/
  14. 16.

    How to incorporate? • Do it as late as you

    can • When you do, get a good accountant
  15. 17.

    In Croatia • A fairly good option as far as

    Ltds in Europe go • especially if your main interest is taking all of your profits out of the company right away • Hope you like stamps, Fina, “doprinos za općekorisne funkcije šuma”… • https://start.gov.hr/
  16. 18.

    Estonian e-Residency • Everything online • A great option if

    you’re planning on investing your profits into your business • 0% corporate tax as long as profits stay inside the company • 20% corporate income tax if & when you pay out shareholder dividends • Referral link (by end of year) for a chance to win a free trip to Tallinn • http://bit.ly/estonian-e-residency • Join our Facebook group for lots more info – http://bit.ly/e-residents-hr
  17. 19.

    Other options • US company https://stripe.com/atlas • Probably better for

    VC investment (if you need it) • Watch out for US Witholding Tax • Lots of startup incubators all over Europe • Whatever you choose • Get the bureaucracy out of the way • Focus on your business
  18. 20.

    Invest in your business • Education – don’t be stingy

    on books & courses • Networking • Coworking spaces • Meetups • Conferences • Use your corporate credit card bravely!
  19. 21.

    5. Scale your team • Hire professionals for specialised tasks

    • Marketing • Graphic design • Software development • Learn management skills! • https://basecamp.com/books
  20. 22.

    Hope for the best, prepare for the worst • Keep

    a savings buffer • Consider corporate insurance, legal counsel etc. • Don’t put all your eggs in the same basket – try several things until you find what works • Launch quickly! https://levels.io/12-startups-12-months/
  21. 23.

    Be optimistic & set sail on your own! Dražen Lučanin

    @metakermit https://punkrockdev.com/ Images from http://bratovstina-svnikola-svbarbara.hr/