Most small businesses need to be concerned about the issue of liquidity; however, if your business is a farm or ranch you should play particular attention to this issue. Small to medium size farms and ranches are notoriously short on liquid assets because the value of the farm or ranch is usually tied up in land, equipment, livestock, and other non-liquid assets. Federal gift and estate taxes, however, are calculated based on the total value of your estate assets, without regard to whether those … [Read more...] about Does your small business own sufficient liquid assets?
Business Succession Planning
If you do not plan to pass down your business to the next generation, it is vital to consider what will happen to your business if something happens to you. One option is to enter into a Buy-Sell agreement. A Buy-Sell agreement guarantees that you (or your loved ones) will receive the fair market value of your interest in the business in the event you, or your surviving loved ones, must sell it at a later date. In essence, a Buy-Sell agreement is a binding agreement between you and someone who … [Read more...] about What is a Buy-Sell Agreement?
Among the numerous options available that can facilitate the transfer of ownership of your business from one generation to the next, one of the more popular of those methods is through the creation of a Family Limited Partnership (FLP). An FLP allows you to transfer your legal interest in the business to the next generation slowly, over time, while maintaining control over the day to day management of the operation until such time as you are ready to retire. In addition, you may be able to gain … [Read more...] about Is a Family Limited Partnership right for my business?
If your plan is to pass the business down to the next generation you should start the process far enough ahead of time for your business to make a successful transition. When the plan is to pass a business on to future generations, you must not only plan for the legal transfer of ownership but also for the practical running of the business. The legal transfer of ownership can be accomplished fairly quickly; however, teaching the next generation how to run the business takes time. Moreover, there … [Read more...] about When should I start transitioning the ownership of my business to the next generation?
One of the most important considerations in a small business is management continuity. Who will take over the day to day management of your business in your absence? Never assume that an adult child or senior employee is willing and able to do so. Even if they are, does he/she have the legal authority and practical capacity to step into your shoes? If not, the business could falter rapidly. Both customers and suppliers can become reluctant to do business with an operation when they are unsure … [Read more...] about What is management continuity?
As the owner of a small business, planning for the possibility of your own incapacity is every bit as important as planning for the possibility of your death. A small business cannot function for long without someone at the helm – and that person must have the proper legal authority to operate the business. Imagine if you were injured in an accident tomorrow and became incapacitated. Without an incapacity plan in place, no one would have the legal authority to negotiate contracts for the … [Read more...] about Do I really need an incapacity plan?
The succession plan you create should be as unique as the business itself; however, there are some common questions and concerns that most business owners try to address when creating a plan, including: If you are incapacitated tomorrow because of a catastrophic accident or debilitating illness, who will take over the immediate day to day control of your business? Is it clear to your employees, business associates, and family who will take over in your absence and will they accept that … [Read more...] about What issues or concerns can a succession plan help me resolve?
You have probably purchased business insurance to protect your business from a variety of threats, such as theft or a natural disaster; however, is your business protected from the impact of your death or incapacity? If not, it needs to be because if something happens to you, all of the time and money you have dedicated to your business could be lost in the blink of an eye. Business succession planning ensures that your financial interest in your business is protected in the event of your death, … [Read more...] about Why do I need to include business succession planning in my estate plan?