Whether you’re starting from scratch or buying an existing business or franchise, getting legal and tax advice probably doesn’t make your high priority start-up or operational to-do list. You just want to get to work and you don’t really want spend your startup budget on lawyers… Because it all seems like common sense anyway.
Common sense does work some of the time. And, when business is good and customers happy, the legal side feels almost optional. But the marketplace isn’t always friendly and without realizing it, you can quickly find yourself in the wrong corner scrambling for an exit.
We have helped many business owners like you survey the road ahead and avoid the largest potholes and bumps without blowing their budget. When surprises appear around the curve, we help you stay in (or regain) control and get back to running your business.
A well operated business not only produces good cash flow for you, it can also provide powerful income tax benefits. You can structure your company and operations so that your business truly benefits you more than the IRS. However, take care to properly plan and monitor your tax structure, operations, and deductions so you don’t find your self sitting across the table from an IRS auditor.
We have helped many business owners make money and reduce their taxes without crossing complex tax rules.
Most small businesses are one-owner affairs—the founder starts, builds, prospers, declines and finally closes the doors. If the business can stand on its own, and the founder is able to transfer or sell to a new owner, statistics predict that two-thirds will fail after the transfer. Why? The three main reasons businesses fail when the founder leaves are: The Wrong People, Too Little Cash and Too Much Debt. So, buyers, spending some of your acquisition budget for good legal assistance can usually identify where the potential problems lie. Of course, if you are the seller, all you need to worry about is that you collect your entire sales price.
Many times a small business is a family business and the founder exits by transferring the business to the next generation. You may think transferring to family is simpler, but family-owned businesses frequently fail in the second and third generation due similar problems: The Wrong People, Too Many Taxes and Too Little Cash.
If you want to keep your business “in the family,” how well you prepare makes the difference between success or failure. Be willing to address potentially uncomfortable questions like: Who will run the business after you? Will your spouse participate? Do all your children participate? If not, will you balance the total inheritance? Do you have non-family key employees that need consideration? And, what about the “out-laws”? Have you in-law proofed your estate?
The above points really only cover a few critical aspects common to most businesses and business owners. You and your business, however are unique. Your situation and goals should dictate how you organize, operate and protect what you build. Finding an entrepreneurial law firm that has broad business and personal planning experience, that feels as passionate about business as you do, and is willing to take the time to listen and understand your needs can make a big different in your success.
We like to think we are that type of firm.