If you dream of leaving your company to your family one day, but you haven’t properly included your business in your estate plan, that dream could become a nightmare for your heirs—and your partners, team members, and clients, too. Without a proper estate plan, the business you worked so hard to build could be in serious jeopardy when something happens to you.
If your company has (or plans to have) employees, a well-written employee handbook is an essential communication resource between you and your team. Your handbook ensures that your team is not only aware of your rules and policies, but also the federal and state laws governing their employment. It should reflect the way you do business, and whatever policies you include in it should be consistently enforced.
Whenever you have a partner or multiple owners in a business, one of the most important—but often overlooked—aspects of the relationship is planning for how it will end. It's crucial that you come up with a clear exit strategy, and do so at the start of your relationship when things are going well, and not wait until you encounter problems down the road. Indeed, the more thought you put into your exit plan ahead of time, the smoother things will be when one of you finally does move on.
When you realize that your biggest personal and business expense is taxes, it can come as quite a shock. Seeing so much of your money wind up in the government's hands can feel like a shakedown. So, it's crucial to strategize to reduce your taxes. Some people resist enforcing creative tax strategies because they're worried it will get them in trouble with the IRS. However, as long as you do things properly, there's nothing illegal about strategizing to pay the least amount of taxes possible.
Although paying taxes is a largely unavoidable part of running a business, you might be pleasantly surprised to learn that there is one common type of tax you can often avoid paying. Capital gains tax is one of the few taxes you can avoid paying, but only if you plan ahead and plan wisely. Since we're only a few weeks away from the end of the year, it might seem like it's too late to save on capital gains taxes in 2021, but you may still have time if you act immediately.
Many entrepreneurs structure their business as an LLC because, like corporations, LLCs offer personal liability protection for their owners. But unlike corporations, LLCs are not legally required to adhere to many of the same corporate formalities required of corporations. Although the administrative requirements for an LLC are far less strict than for a corporation, you’ll still need to abide by some operational formalities if you want to maintain your personal liability protection.
A large part of being a successful business owner is knowing how to consciously manage relationships and facilitate conflict when it arises healthily and productively. When business owners and managers find themselves in a disagreement or misalignment of expectations, the potential costs are endless. No one wants to end up in a dispute. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce your chances of conflict in the future. Learn more here!
You may be wondering why you need to hire a lawyer to help you run your company. This is true today when you can access just about every conceivable legal document online for cheap from the countless online do-it-yourself document services. But without the guidance and support of trusted legal counsel, you're likely not aware of all the ways your business is leaking money, putting yourself and your family at risk, and possibly limiting the positive impact you have on the lives of your clients.
Too many start-ups fail to make the transition from idea to execution or encounter major setbacks along the way. In the midst of developing your growing start-up, don’t make the common mistake of disregarding tedious, but vital tasks such as making sure all your legal, insurance, financial, and tax ducks are in a row. Establishing a solid legal system can help you avoid costly mistakes and save time and stress down the road.
Don't let what happened to Bob Ross's family happen to yours. If you own a business, it's crucial to put in place an effective estate plan and should be properly coordinated with your business agreements to ensure that all of your wealth and assets will be passed on to your loved ones in the event of your death or incapacity. Failure to do this could lead them in the same situation as Bob's son, Steve, who's left with nothing, while the business built by his father continues to earn every year.