You see opportunities, we see risks!
On October 29 various members of the Rotterdam Maritime Services Community (RMSC) and the start- and scale-ups of the PortXL 2021 program held an inspiring meeting. Interesting questions were raised and insightful connections were made.
On tax issues, for example, how companies can give shares out to employees, to get them attracted to the company. Alicia Zwanikken of Van Traa could answer this one, of course in general, and added “Be careful to value shares, because if there is a difference, then might be taxed differently”. Gulsev Yildizturan of C&B More joined the discussion by elaborating about the difference between corporate and income tax, including the possible impact for employees.
When looking for capital – traditional banks are usually not the first ones to go to, if you are start-up,, stated Ed van Aalst of ABN AMRO, as venture capital has a different revenue perspective and are more open to look at start- and scale-ups. Although the banks also have a “green portofolio” – which might allow a bit less interest for the bank, so if there is a specific company there, always worth to get in contact with the financial service providers as well.
With insurance, Rogier van der Sluijs of Anchor asked the attendees if it is worth to insure something – be also frank about it, maybe sometimes it is not economically viable. So insure only what can not be easily replaced. Free advice from Rogier: Choose an insurer that is in the co-insurance market – preferably via maritime brokers. Of course, as he is a broker himself, this was an obvious call.
Steven Verhaar did warn the start- and scale-ups for difference between EU and outside EU specifics.
Overall; Value / Location / Contract structure – are the risk factors for insurance providers.
It was really nice to hear from the start-up i4sea: “Rotterdam is the most fancy place in the world when talking about maritime and ports. It’s reputation and the human capital knowledge is of upmost importance”.
As lawyers, we see the risks, Alicia mentioned, which might not seem to be attractive. Stay in front of trouble, look at the contract structure. It will give you less taxes, more safely, from the beginning, which saves time and money. Advantages to include someone from legal from the beginning. Make sure to incorporate general terms and conditions – these have to be made applicable under jurisdiction of the country you are operating or where you are based. And don’t forget to protect your intellectual rights – apply for patent.
Contracts as ‘general’ formats was an idea, which directly was opposed to, as every company is different, so get legal advise up front, to not having to regret it afterwards. As RMSC states multiple times, it is important to have the maritime services providers on board at the start of a new project.
After these general statements, the groups split into smaller advise groups, where distinct questions were asked and answered. Overall a very productive morning.
For more info – check all the RMSC services providers who are definitely up for an exiting project with start and scale ups!
Photo credit: Chris Gorzeman