Tax advantaged retirement plans, retention tools for key employees including benefits and potential golden handcuffs, estate planning to maintain the business after death or disability with proper documents and insurances, succession plans to help manage the transition into retirement and succession of the management or ownership of the company.
We help in these important areas by:
All partnerships end. The only question is when and what happens to the partners, employees and beneficiaries when they do. Proper planning can help ensure that if bad things happen, the business can have the financial strength to continue. Buy/Sell agreements are often written, but many are never funded. This brings a false sense of security that things will be okay. Reviewing your agreement to determine what would really happen and who really benefits from the Buy/Sell agreement; the surviving owner, or the surviving spouse/family. Developing and implementing agreements with funding mechanisms when things are calm enables them to be ready when they are needed.
Only one-third of family owned businesses survive the transition to the second generation. A primary reason for this dismal survival rate lies in poor succession planning according to Money Management, New York State Society of CPA’s- July 10, 2006. Liquidating a business at pennies on the dollar is no way to end your life’s work. Carefully crafting a succession plan that protects your family, employees and customers can help.
Many businesses rely on key managers or salespeople for the majority of their profits. “Golden hand cuff” retention plans can help reward them and encourage them to stay. Additionally Key Person Life Insurance can help the business transition if they should pass away. The potentially tax-free death benefit is payable to the company and can be used to compensate for lost profits and the expense of finding and training a replacement.
A number of years ago a business owner/client of ours said retirement became very different for him when he built a small business. When he worked for a large corporation he had planned on picking the day and then announcing, “I am retiring!” He figured a party would ensue and he would then get income for life in the form of a pension. As a small business owner he could say “I am retiring” and everyone else would just say, “So what!” The small business owner has the opportunity to be creative in designing a retirement plan, however, he/she must take the initiative to make it happen. The first step is to identify how many employees will benefit and whether they are key to the success of the business. Then determine the balance between the simplicity of a SEP (Simplified Employee Pension) vs the enhanced complexity and benefits of a 401(k) with Profit Sharing and Match combined with a Defined Benefit Pension, or a balance in between. Careful modeling can help you determine which one is right for your business.
Disability income insurance, Long-Term Care Insurance and life insurance are key benefits that many companies provide. These programs can be established for the key employees, key managers or all employees. There are many advantages to creating an environment where the employees know they are okay if bad things happen. This can enhance retention and enable employees to focus on their jobs. Program design is crucial to ensure that it meets the goals of the company.