Archiv - February 2009

Bank choise

Thursday, 26 February 2009

In order to start a company in Czech Republic you need to deposit the starting capital to a bank account. This needs to be a special account, with the access restriction till the company is founded. Basically you hand over the starting capital and it remains locked until the business court starts your company. After the company is created the company executive is responsible for this money. He then is able to withdraw the money and put it in common bank account.

It doesn’t really matter where you deposit your starting capital – the first account is only temporary and you can change the bank after the company was founded. We decided to go with GE Money bank and the temporary account was created in matter of minutes, with single visit to the bank. However the money trustee has to create this account and deposit the money in cash – it’s the quickest way. The bank gives you a deposit confirmation you’ll need for the business court in order to fill the company start up requirements.

The decision of the bank was based on our past experience with the Raiffeisen bank and Komercni banka. The Raiffeisen bank which acquired E-banka has quite good electronic banking system with data export possibilities and minute based transactions between bank accounts of this bank. We were however not satisfied with the support the bank provides to their company customers. In our point of view there is a little personal approach to every customer. Also the credit options for a startup are limited – you are able to get a small operation credit after months of huge turnovers. Another disadvantage is the payment for incoming/outgoing transactions. It is not negotiable, and fixed no matter how much transactions you make. The manual service of the account though web based application is very painful – it lacks of templates and aggregated transfers.
Komercni banka employees in the Pilsen branch are not well trained in our opinion. Even small problems like the sign on money withdraw form took forever to be solved. Komercni banka feels like a old rusty company to us. We heard that in a small town the branches are smaller and the employees act accordingly.
If choosing a bank also drop an eye on Prague based company FIO, which offers bank account with no fees at all. FIO offers savings, broker services etc. Please consider the fact that it’s a regional company with limited financial background. In our opinion FIO doesn’t provide all services at those levels we would like in the long run.

GE Money bank account Genius Business Active was awarded with the Zlata Koruna 2007 award in the category Business account. The account was created again in matter of minutes. You are able to select a fee with free transactions according to the size of your business. The employee was very helpful with the decision which account to choose – Genius Business Active 10 for 139 CZK. This type of account provides 10 free transactions which is enough for a starting company for a few months.
The parent company General Electric is a global company providing not only financial services but also healthcare, energy services etc. This diversification of services ensures financial stability of the company and also its financial branch, which we intend to use. GE Money bank provides credit opportunities of up to 1M CZK for startups, which is the main reason we choose this bank.

Our experience with the GE Money bank up to day is very good. The web based bank application provides all the services we need and it is very intuitive. The security is today’s standard with mobile confirmation SMS. One thing negative about this account is the inability to get the statistics in an electronic form. Sure you can get it but for an extra fee or as a part of higher level account (Active 200). So if you think about using the electronic data for you accounting, consider this a possible problem.

The CIWire web server

Thursday, 12 February 2009

CIWire needs a web server to provide basic internet services. For setup we have three options: to get a hosting, to buy our own server and finally to rent a dedicated server. Every of these options has its pros and cons. After an evalutions of these we decided for the dedicated server solution.

A common hosting would be the cheapest solution, also the hardware problems wouldn’t matter to the server admin. Since we are hosting about 5 projects and rising, the price advantage would become smaller by the time and one day it would be more expensive than other solutions. One of the major disadvantages is the lack of full server access. The installation of custom packages, sharing files between project would be hardly possible.

An idea of own server was on our mind long before the company started. We would have complete access and monthly fees only for server connection. Custom built server is not an option, because you have to do the hardware repairs on your own. In case you are running business critical applications, every minute counts. We have a good experience with various Dell servers (Poweredge 850, 1950) and Fujitsu-Siemens (Primergy). Dell offers 3-year guarantee with various response times and FS offers life-time service on some models. Brand servers are quite expensive, and in a time of two, three years, they are considered old. Sure, you can use them for development, low-priority project, but still you have to pay large amount of money on purchase and their price is descending by time.

Considering these informations the solution of a dedicated/virtual server seems the best. You get full server access and other advantages that come with own server. And you save money on company start-up (you can lease own server, but at a high rate). We checked many offers using google, and decided for the Web4u company. At that time they offered a nice deal – SUN Fire X2100 M2 machine for the price of 2.500 CZK per month. If we remove the 1.000 for the server connection (its the lower offer price) and multiply the remaining money with three years, we get a server for 54.000 CZK with full on-site service. Another advantage is that we can change the provider any time.

After that order was made, the server was provided in two hours fully installed with Debian 4 x64 as ordered. The server was equiped with PHP 5, mySQL, postgreSQL and Qmail. That is a remarkable service and we also had the same experience in the past with a german provider Strato AG. By the time we send the first payment, we were online and working. If we don’t have the staff or time to manage the server, we can always use the service of Web4U crew in the future.

The virtual server is not much cheaper, and hold perils of computing power for the future, so this solution was also dumped.