Planning For Business Owners

 

As business owners, it is difficult to separate your personal life and your business life. You may build a business with the sole intention of selling it in the future as a capital event. You may regard your business as an income stream that provides a living, through up and down cycles, and build your lifestyle around the income. Or, your goal may be to build a family business and pass it on to your children, thereby building a business to last through the decades. The family business supports several generations of management and the goal is to keep the balance sheet and business healthy while living off the income.

Our Simple Goal:

To guide you and your business through the three stages of wealth:
Creation, Accumulation and Distribution

Employee Benefit Plans

Building effective employee benefit plans is the first step in assembling a talented team of the best people who can help you drive your business forward. The right benefit plans can successfully attract, retain and reward the most desirable and productive employees.  We can help you structure a plan to stay competitive within your industry, while achieving the balance of doing what is best for your company

Considerations:

  • What’s expected from an employer of my size and in my industry?
  • How do I reduce the costs rather than simply pass them along to my employees?
  • Am I wary of Consumer Directed Health Plans (HSA’s) because I don’t understand them and can’t explain them to my employees?

 

Buy/Sell Agreements & Funding

Planning for the unexpected can mean the difference in the survival of your business. As a business owner, you should have a written and funded buy-sell agreement to purchase company shares in the event of the retirement, withdrawal, death or disability of another shareholder. As your advisor, we can help you consider your insurance options so you can respond appropriately to – and rebound successfully from — unexpected events

Considerations:

  • How can I inexpensively fund this liability?
  • Should I use a stock redemption or a cross purchase plan?
  • Do I really need legal counsel to execute an agreement?

 

Key Person Insurance

Key people in your company have relationships and knowledge that are critical to the success of your business. These attributes have a direct impact on revenue contribution and represent an insurable value that should be covered by adequate life insurance.  It is important to indemnify the business for the loss of an asset so you can receive the cash necessary to secure profits until the key person can be replaced. WAG can help you identify your key people and determine the appropriate amount of insurance to purchase.

Considerations:

  • Who are my key employees and why should I insure them?
  • Can I insure my key employees inexpensively?
  • Is this common practice in my industry?

 

Voluntary Benefit Plans

Stay competitive by providing value to your employees with “sponsored” voluntary plans for life insurance, disability insurance, 529 education plans and long-term care offered at a discount to employees. These plans can round out your total benefits offerings without cost to you. We can help you reduce corporate expenses by offering attractive plans that motivate employees to spend their own money rather than allocating corporate dollars

Considerations:

  • Can my employees get these benefits at below-market costs if I sponsor them?
  • Is it worth the time and effort?

 

Qualified Retirement Plans

Most companies offer a retirement savings plan for their employees with the convenience of payroll deduction.  These plans can “qualify” for a tax deduction and the money accumulates tax deferred.  We provide the design including traditional or ROTH provisions, installation and investments for the plan. Employee education drives participation, prudent investment selection and enhanced retirement readiness – helps your employees achieve their financial goals

Considerations:

  • Is my plan properly designed to maximize my ability to save and reduce taxes?
  • Is my current plan fulfilling my fiduciary responsibilities?
  • Is my plan truly successful or is just popular with my employees?

 

Compensation Plans

The goal behind well-structured compensation plans is to attract the right people to grow the company, with the net result being their success equates to your success. Wealth Advisory Groups designs plans for all forms of compensation including base salary, benefits, bonus income, incentive compensation payments and deferred compensation.  We also provide total compensation statements for all of your employees which are a great tool for demonstrating value.

Considerations:

  • Do total compensation statements really motivate employees?
  • Do other employers look at the cost of benefits as a form of compensation?
  • How can I defer some of my compensation to minimize my taxes?
  • Is my company’s compensation in line with my competition?

 

Business Continuity Planning

The continuation of a business requires planning, whether passing the company along to family members or selling your business, and there are necessary agreements and funding to consider.  If you will be selling your business, there is a transaction or an Agreement of Sale to prepare. In passing the company along to family members, you will need a generational business plan, including valuation and valuation discounts. We can help you determine the path that is best for you and your company by clearly identifying your goals first.

Considerations:

  • Some of my family members are in the business and others are not, so how do I treat each of these two groups fairly?
  • What should I do if my spouse is concerned that I may be giving the business too cheaply to the kids?
  • My business partner is opposed to my family members joining the business, but I feel strongly about it; what now?

 

Business Estate Planning

Since business ownership rarely has liquidity, the burden of estate taxes on the value of your company – one of your largest assets — can be substantial.  Proper gifting of shares and trust strategies can dramatically reduce wealth erosion while ensuring that transfer of ownership occurs at the proper time, to the appropriate identified individuals and in the most efficient manner. 

Considerations:

  • How do I reduce the reported value of my business for gifting purposes?
  • How do I divide my business to give to several people?
  • How do I pay the taxes without selling my business at a substantial discount?

 

Executive Insurance Strategies

Wealth Distribution Planning involves many insurance strategies such as trust owned life or survivorship life insurance vehicles to direct wealth to the family members not involved with the company, as well as to compensate those who do receive an interest in the family business.  As a business owner, estate tax minimization is your goal. We are experts in the various ways to structure effective life insurance strategies. 

Considerations:

  • Is life insurance a cost effective way to transfer wealth?
  • How can I get an unbiased comparison of different life insurance policies?
  • How can I be sure my existing life insurance policy is performing as sold?

 

Want to learn more about planning for business owners?

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