Every Entrepreneur needs a Firewall

Don’t put your life’s work at risk.

Most business owners are ‘sitting ducks’. Exposed.

Protect your most important assets, your business, your investments and even your family, with a Firewall.

Let’s learn from the smartest business minds on Earth

Jack Ma was fortunate to meet Joe Tsai very early in his Alibaba journey.

In the pioneering days of Alibaba, Jack Ma, like most startup entrepreneurs, did not know much about international structures, fund raising and asset protection. He learned from Joe.

Joe Tsai is a corporate lawyer and understood the world of international structures and capital raising. He became a co-founder and executive Vice Chairman of Alibaba.

Today, Jack Ma has a complex web of international structures. So, what can we learn from smart entrepreneurs like Jack and Joe?

Watch our firewall video to learn more.

Jack Ma Joe on Boat in West Lake 1999
Joe Tsai & Jack Ma meet on a boat in 1999 to begin work on Alibaba. (Hangzhou, China)

Common Mistakes Entrepreneurs Should Avoid

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Business Assets Exposed

Business assets including cash reserves, premises, equipment and intellectual property unprotected from operational risks.


Family Home at Risk

Incorrect home ownership structure and exposure to aggressive lenders using draconian, heavy handed loan documents.


Poor Documentation

Busy entrepreneurs often neglect critical documents that protect them from potential litigation.



Often entrepreneurs unwittingly sign high-risk guarantees from unscrupulous creditors.

Firewall Concepts

  • Threats. Claims by creditors, employees, shareholders, family members. Geo-political risk. Bad debts. Fraud & Cyber. Black swan events.
  • Diversification. Separation of assets using special purpose structures and cross-border jurisdictions.
  • Documentation. Shareholder Agreements, Terms of Service, Wills, Testamentary Trusts, Disclaimers, Guarantees.
  • Types of Structures. How to effectively use limited liability structures, LLCs, Trusts, Foundations.
  • International Trusts. The ultimate vehicle for asset protection and privacy. Best locations. The costs.
  • Taxation. If you trade internationally, prepare for hidden taxes like Transfer Pricing and Digital Taxes.
  • Roles. Who should and should not be Company Directors. Choosing the right Advisors.
  • Preferences & Voidable Transactions. Retrospective powers of Liquidators, Trustees and the Courts. Don’t delay.
  • Intellectual Property. Protect your brand and designs. Trademarks. Patents. Copyright.
  • Asset Ownership. Protecting the family home, investment properties, stocks, and your business assets.
  • Protecting Privacy. Avoid being an easy target to opportunistic plaintiffs. Locking down privacy is fundamental.
  • Insurances. Essential insurances which are inexpensive. How insurance can make you a target.

Firewall FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions:

A Firewall is a strategy to protect assets from risk events. Firewall strategies can include documents, structures, insurances and diversification. Apart from asset protection, Firewalls are used for estate/succession planning and should be tax optimised.

Risk events include business failure and insolvency (trading losses or cashflow problems caused unforeseen ‘x’ factor events eg trade wars, a pandemic, credit defaults) being sued by a creditor or employee; family disputes; changes to Govt policies or regulations; fraud; accidents; death. Being a director of a trading company carries risk.

Building a Firewall costs less than you might expect and depends upon your situation. You can get started with simple steps like a Will, Testamentary Trust and Power of Attorney for just hundreds of dollars. More complex international structures may cost a few thousand dollars.