2017 – 06/07 – Business owners: Put your successor in a position to succeed





Transitioning your company to a successor means becoming a mentor. As such, you’ll have to communicate clearly, be patient and know what you’re trying to accomplish. For starters, identify various ways to pass along your knowledge. Consider, for instance, a formal training program. Have your successor work in each business department or area. Also, encourage him or her to join trade associations and network with executives in your industry and others. Please contact our firm for more help maximizing the effectiveness of your succession plan.

2017 – 07/03 – Keep real estate separate from your business’s corporate assets to save tax





Many businesses operate as C corporations so they can buy and hold real estate just as they do equipment, inventory and other assets. But this can be a costly mistake: If the real estate is sold, any profit is subject to double taxation, first at the corporate level and then at the owner’s individual level on distributions. If real estate is held instead in a pass-through entity, such as a limited liability company (LLC), and then leased to the corporation, profit on a sale of the property is taxed only once, at the individual level. Contact us for details.

2017 – 07/17 – 3 midyear tax planning strategies for business





It’s unclear whether tax reform will be passed this year, so let’s look at three midyear business tax strategies inspired by the last major tax law, the PATH Act of 2015: 1) Buy equipment. The PATH Act preserved generous limits for the Section 179 expensing election and the availability of bonus depreciation. 2) Ramp up research. After years of uncertainty, the PATH Act made the research credit permanent. 3) Hire workers from “target groups.” The PATH Act extended the Work Opportunity credit for such hires through 2019. Contact us for details on these breaks.

2017 – 06/07 – Business owners: Put your successor in a position to succeed


Transitioning your company to a successor means becoming a mentor. As such, you’ll have to communicate clearly, be patient and know what you’re trying to accomplish. For starters, identify various ways to pass along your knowledge. Consider, for instance, a formal training program. Have your successor work in each business department or area. Also, encourage him or her to join trade associations and network with executives in your industry and others. Please contact our firm for more help maximizing the effectiveness of your succession plan.

Could stronger governance benefit your business?

Every company has at least one owner. And, in many cases, there exists leadership down through the organizational chart. But not every business has strong governance.

In a nutshell, governance is the set of rules, practices and processes by which a company is directed and controlled. Strengthening it can help ensure productivity, reduce legal risks and, when the time comes, ease ownership transitions.

Looking at business structure

Good governance starts with the initial organization (or reorganization) of a business. Corporations, for example, are required by law to have a board of directors and officers and to observe certain other formalities. So this entity type is a good place to explore the concept.

Other business structures, such as partnerships and limited liability companies (LLCs), have greater flexibility in designing their management and ownership structures. But these entities can achieve strong governance with well-designed partnership or LLC operating agreements and a centralized management structure. They might, for instance, establish management committees that exercise powers similar to those of a corporate board.

Specifying the issues

For the sake of simplicity, however, let’s focus on governance issues in the context of a corporation. In this case, the business’s articles of incorporation and bylaws lay the foundation for future governance. The organizational documents might:

• Define and limit the authority of each executive,
• Establish a board of directors,
• Require board approval of certain actions,
• Authorize the board to hire, evaluate, promote and fire executives based on merit,
• Authorize the board to determine the compensation of top executives and to approve the terms of employment agreements, and
• Create nonvoting classes of stock to provide equity to the owner’s family members who aren’t active in the business, but without conferring management control.

As you look over this list, consider whether and how any of these items might pertain to your company. There are, of course, other aspects to governance, such as establishing an ethics code and setting up protocols for information technology.

Knowing yourself

At the end of the day, strong governance is all about knowing your company and identifying the best ways to oversee its smooth and professional operation. Please contact our firm for help running a profitable, secure business.

© 2017

Getting your money’s worth out of a company retreat

Company retreats can cost enormous amounts of time and money. Are they worth it? Sometimes. Large-scale get-togethers can involve considerable out-of-pocket costs. And if the retreat is poorly planned or executed, participants’ wasted time is the biggest expense.

But a properly budgeted, planned and executed retreat can be hugely profitable, producing fresh ideas, renewed enthusiasm and heightened employee morale. Here are a few ways to get your money’s worth out of a company retreat.

Create specific objectives

First, nail down your goals and objectives. Several months ahead of time, determine and prioritize a list of the important issues you want to address. But include only the top two or three on the final agenda. Otherwise, you risk rushing through some items without adequate time for discussion and formalized action plans.

If one of the objectives is to include time for socializing, recreation or relaxation, great. Mixing fun with work keeps people energized. But if staff see the retreat as merely time away from the office to party and golf, don’t expect to complete many work-related agenda items. One successful way to mix work and pleasure is to schedule work sessions for the morning and more fun, team-building exercises later in the day.

Set limits, allow flexibility

Next, work on the budget. Determining available resources early in the planning process will help you set limits for such variable costs as location, accommodations, food, transportation, speakers and entertainment.

Instead of insisting on certain days for the retreat, select a range of possible dates. This openness helps with site selection and makes it easier to negotiate favorable hotel and travel rates. Keep your budget as flexible as possible, building in a 5% to 10% safety cushion. Always expect unforeseen, last-minute expenses.

Have fun

Company retreats are serious business in the sense that you’re sacrificing time and productivity to identify strategic goals and improve teamwork. But these events should still be fun experiences for you and your staff. We can help you establish a reasonable budget to help ensure an enjoyable, productive and cost-effective retreat.

© 2017