Corporate governance is a process by which a corporation is directed, managed and run. Organized properly, it serves as the foundation for business decisions supporting enterprise growth and stakeholder value.

Healthy engagement between stakeholders, the board of directors and company management is paramount for the profitability, productivity and market positioning of a business. These functions are a particularly important element for attracting long term investors and capital.

Organizational documents are key to the legitimacy of a business and its growth. Primary here are corporate formation and operational documents which provide a clear articulation of business activities.

The business structure utilized depends on the type of entity a founder chooses to run and the jurisdiction they’re in. A corporation is codified by way of a Certificate of Incorporation (also known as an Articles of Incorporation), along with associated bylaws that outline operating procedures.

These documents form a corporation’s basic charter governing management, operations, and equity holders’ rights.

Today it’s not uncommon to see founders ignore proper corporate governance practices in their haste for a quick business launch and market presence. And as is often the case in a rapidly growing industry sector, this oversight can run afoul of stringent and rapidly evolving regulatory requirements and requests for transparency.

Moreover, early investors and stakeholders often overlook these governance shortfalls in their quest for a quick investment return.

One example of this involves cases where a founder may offer a verbal or handshake promise of equity or stock options to employees or advisors without any sort of documentation. The same with corporate restructuring or even a vendor arrangement that occurs without an agreement to reference back to.

All of this underscores the importance of facilitating and adopting proper documentation practices. As a business owner, you can avoid headaches by implementing strong corporate governance practices right out of the gate. This involves bringing order to your bylaws, operational documents, and agreements, ensuring that your business is consistently operating within established parameters and approval protocol.

Shawn Owen is the CEO of Equa an enterprise on the cutting edge of document simplification where from creation to execution, agreements are smartened into living adaptable core components of an organization. He had this to offer about the launch of the business:

“I think there were a lot of different elements that probably led up to this idea culminating. It involved some big ideas that I’ve had for a long time along with a lot of different experiences which led me to my own theories around how businesses should operate and function.”

Owen says that the ultimate spark for deciding that this was an idea that needed to happen on the heels of the pain he had experienced running a previous business.

“I had many moments of deep reflection where I began asking myself, ‘why is this so complicated, why is this so hard?’”

He found that the document process to be rather arduous, often involving the review of something that occurred in the past in order to identify the best, most accurate outcome for people to agree on. But at the end of the day, he says, it was all basically about the efficient execution of agreements and recordkeeping.

Asked about the value proposition of Equa as a solution to this, Owen added:

“Broadly speaking, we’re using technology that’s specifically focused on delivering a quality business user experience around documents and agreements, all with the aim of providing a single source of truth for the records.”

Owen’s concludes:

“With all of the technology that we have in the world that we live in, I kept thinking, ‘shouldn’t there be a better way of keeping records without all of this unneeded overhead and complexity?’ When things start to become too complex, you start wondering ‘why is this, this way?’ I’ve always been a big fan of simplifying things if there is an easier way”

To learn more about Equa and sign up for a free trial, please visit us at www.equa.global

Acommon narrative among the world’s most prized companies is their early development as startups. In the past, creating a large and successful enterprise was seen as a major undertaking.

Today new businesses launch in small industrial spaces, spare bedrooms, even in garages. Globally, small businesses make up a significant portion of the global economy. In the U.S. alone, businesses of 500 employees or less comprise nearly half of the economy.

Despite these small beginnings, many startup owners are seeking exponential growth of their business, often with a single-minded vision of being acquired by a larger company.

In his number one Wall Street Journal bestselling book, Gary Keller extolls a concept called The ONE Thing. In it, he poses the question:

“What’s the ONE Thing you can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”

At Equa, our laser-focused intent and “one thing” is to help mitigate the friction associated with new business formation, management, and ownership. We seek to help businesses begin on a solid foundation, one that allows them to accelerate their market entry while eliminating costs.

Large, well-funded companies often have a wealth of resources to fuel their strategic growth, thereby gaining a decided advantage in the marketplace. Equa hopes to bring balance to this startup playing field by delivering a cost-effective, streamlined destination for business management activities such as documents, banking, and compliance.

The Equa platform allows members to form a new business entity, obtain a bank account, and secure a tax ID within minutes. All of this significantly reduces the amount of time and money associated with forming and managing a business.

The Building Blocks

Equa founder and CEO Shawn Owen, says the company’s primary focus is to deliver a quality user experience to those starting a business or entrepreneurial venture. In other words, how to bring efficiency to the end user whether it’s an owner, business manager, investor — anyone who is the part of an organization.

Comments Owen: “Anytime you can make something more efficient and save people time and money, they love it.”

But the bigger picture, he says, is the notion of a central source of truth. In other words, once you have everyone’s information in one place, why not evolve it into all the other forms of agreements that people make.

“There is always a series or sequence of agreements tied to business transactions. Keeping these in one place allows you to free up time for your “One Thing” which is to deliver a great product.”

Owen also underscores the theme of simplicity for business owners:

“When you get too technical people get scared. By way of example, think about something as simple as bitcoin. When you talk about what Bitcoin is in a simple way, people are like, ‘I get it. It’s digital gold or whatever.’ But when you get too deep into the details, it can actually be very complicated. So at the end of the day, we want to avoid confusing people and keep their lives simple.”

Continues Owens: “One of the things I have always wanted to see and I think most people who are technology advocates also want to see is a user interface and experience that’s easy enough for even a grandmother to use. In other words, they are intuitively able to use it without having to know too much.”

Heconcludes: “Our goal is to make user experience our number one focus so a person would never have to know anything about the underlying technology. As long as someone gets just the basics, they’ll be able to use it.”

To learn more about Equa and sign up for a free trial, please visit us at www.equa.global

Maintaining low operational costs amid a sea of legal documents is an ongoing challenge for today’s businesses. Manual processes are often costly, inefficient, and fraught with inaccuracies.

Given this prevailing trend, growing numbers of companies are exploring the viability of artificial intelligence (AI) as a potential solution for streamlining their document management systems.

The use of AI is not a new trend. Rather it’s already exerting a quiet presence in our lives. Whether it be personalized playlists on Spotify, book recommendations on Amazon, or the curation of Netflix movie options, AI is fueling an impressive set of advancements.

Now, AI’s algorithmic approach is seen as a revolutionary approach to document management, providing new ways for storing, archiving, processing, and extracting information. Unlike traditional data processing systems tied to a consistent set of logic, AI systems become more intelligent as data volumes increase.

OCR (optical character recognition) is a key element in AI’s promise. Allowing for text recognition, it is able to “read” document information, correctly classify it, and automate workflows based on that classification. This signals a new normal for managing large numbers of scanned documents with human-level accuracy. This information can be efficiently read, contextually understood, and extracted.

By way of example, an AI-powered document management system could sort through invoices and other key information. Organizations will also be able to access data tied to how documents relate to one another (i.e. shipping order and invoice), providing deep levels of analysis that have since been impossible.

Securing The Future

Data security is a top-of-mind concern for today’s business leaders. AI-driven document management systems can boost security and protect customer data by offering permissioned access protocols that help mitigate the unauthorized viewing or alteration of documents. It can protect documents by safeguarding the files in conjunction with whitelists, blacklists, and firewalls.

AI technologies allow for post-scanning character recognition, virtually mitigating the need for human intervention. All this can occur in fractions of a second, resulting in significant cost savings and enhanced efficiency for an organization.

AI thought leader and expert Mariya Yao, in her book Applied Artificial Intelligence: A Handbook For Business Leaders noted:

“While brilliant minds worry about achieving marginal improvements in competitive benchmarks, the nitty-gritty issues of productizing and operationalizing AI for real-world use cases are often ignored. Who cares if you can solve a problem with 99 percent accuracy if no one needs that problem solved? What’s the utility of a tool whose purpose is so arcane that no one is sure what problem it was trying to solve in the first place?”

Equa is committed to these sorts of real-world applications for the business world — With the advent of AI, the future of document management systems hold immense promise, with early adopters first in line to reap the rewards.

Concludes Equa founder and CEO Shawn Owen:

“AI is how we get to frictionless agreements. By knowing the information of all parties involved, AI can instantly answer all of the needed information in any given situation to form agreements that are near ready to sign at any time.”

To learn more about Equa and sign up for a free trial, please visit us at www.equa.global

In this episode of the “What Is Money?” Project podcast Sten & Shawn explore a broad range of perspectives on how money has shaped their life experiences, pains, and passions.

Enjoy!

Originally posted June 10, 2019

To learn more about Equa and sign up for a free trial, please visit us at www.equa.global

Starting a business is an exciting endeavor. The possibilities for success are unlimited.

But the road to success is not easy. It requires long hours, dogged persistence, and the expenditure of funds.

With the takeoff of your entrepreneurial venture, you may have noticed the impact it’s having on your time and finances. This requires your constant attention in order to ensure that these vital resources are not depleted.

Developing a business plan without an effective cap table or other financial tools often lead to unfortunate business failures. Without a mechanism for accurately tracking historical financials, it becomes a challenge to accurately assess new company revenue and costs.

The good news is that while these critical obligations may be a challenge, they are certainly manageable with the right systems in place.

Here at Equa, we provide a broad range of solutions for managing the time and financial demands of your business. Targeting the simplification of business agreements, our platform allows members to create a new business, obtain a bank account, and secure a tax ID within minutes. This allows business owners to significantly reduce the amount of time and money involved in establishing and managing a company.

Starting a business can be a time and money vacuum. Given the explosive growth of small businesses and registered entities worldwide, Equa is on a trajectory to becoming the pre-eminent one-stop global destination for documents, banking, and compliance.

Says founder and CEO Shawn Owen“We are excited to offer an enterprise cloud solution that allows businesses to draft, sign and manage all of their operational agreements. We also provide tools for managing an organization’s capitalization table and ownership structure.”

He concludes: “Ultimately, the real magic is in the ability to manage ongoing edits or evolution's needed for any action or transaction from your dashboard at the click of your fingertips. We aim to make corporate governance and high finance easy and fun while providing business leaders with an efficient system for managing their time and financial demands.”

To learn more about Equa and sign up for a free trial, please visit us at www.equa.global