As small business owners ourselves, we understand the unique challenges and opportunities faced by entrepreneurs. From business structure selection to retirement plans, we offer a variety of planning and portfolio management services to meet your needs and allow you to leverage your time. Owning your own business can often mean that you become a jack of all trades. However, smart business owners can leverage their time by hiring the right professionals to help them. Here is one story based on an actual client (names and personal details have been changed):
Phil and Susan were in their 30’s. They had a successful landscaping business that generated more cash than they needed.
“We are paying more in income taxes every year. What can we do to reduce this? We would like to retire at age 55. How much should we be saving for retirement? Do we need to be worried about business liability?”
As part of the discovery process, we realized that they were comingling their personal and business expenses in one checking account. We suggested that they set up a separate account for the business which makes expenditures easier to track and use an accounting software program like QuickBooks. They had also set the business up as a sole proprietorship. We encouraged them to change this to a Limited Liability Company (LLC) for liability protection and to consider adding business liability insurance. Next, we reviewed their tax return and budget information. There were significant cash flow surpluses for the past 2 years. We suggested that they set up an Individual 401(k) plan – a perfect vehicle for couples that are in business together with no other employees. They were able to maximize their contributions to the plan – each contributing more than $50,000/year – and saving them $24,000 annually in federal taxes alone. The 401(k) contributions drastically reduced the taxes that they paid AND they were saving significantly for retirement. Their 401(k) accounts were invested in an ETF portfolio that we designed for them based on their risk profile. When they made monthly contributions to their accounts we invested the new funds for them and rebalanced their accounts on a quarterly basis. Preparing all the paperwork and managing the investments for them has made the process easy for Phil and Susan and they have been able to spend their time running their business. Regular meetings with us keep them on track.
Owning your own business is a rewarding experience but it doesn’t come without challenges. From a financial perspective, you have to not only consider the health of your business but also the impact that business decisions may have on you personally. We know that entrepreneurs’ lives are intertwined with their businesses and we can help you make sense of the choices you face. Over the years we have helped many small business owners plan for the financial future of both their business and their family. Whether you are looking for asset management for your firm’s retirement plan, or you have a few specific questions and need advice, we are uniquely positioned to help small business owners find solutions and answers.
We can help you establish the ideal retirement plan for your company based on the size of your firm, your goals, and the tax impact. Small business owners who come to us for help with retirement plans are often seeking to achieve multiple goals at once. There are many tax-advantaged plans available. In addition to helping with the selection of the best plan for you and your employees, we can also assist with implementation and investment management within the plan allowing you to do what you do best- run your business.
There are a wide range of options for different plans. For more information on different plans read a blog that we wrote outlining different plans, there benefits and features. Small Business Retirement Plan Blog
Business Structure Selection
The legal structure of your business is a critical decision that should not be taken lightly. Selection of the right (or wrong) structure can have long lasting impacts that can affect your taxes, risk, succession planning strategies and more. By spending time getting to know our business owning clients, we are often able to recommend a structure that allows them to achieve multiple goals at the same time.
Business Risk Management Planning
Business risk management often goes hand in hand with structure selection. In many cases, it is possible to decrease risk by selecting a more advantageous structure such as an LLC. Beyond this, our CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERS™ can help you identify potential opportunities to decrease risk for your firm or for you personally. While we don’t sell insurance, we can help recommend certain policies such as BOPs or E&O insurance that work in conjunction with your business structure to reduce potential liability to you, the owner.
Many business owners use the sale of a business to help fund their retirement. While the sale of a business can provide the funds needed to retire, there may be substantial tax consequences that need to be planned for. Our CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERS™ can incorporate the sale of a business into your personal financial plan to give you a clear picture of what your retirement will look like.
Small business owners are often critical to the day to day functioning of their firm. From an owner retiring to an owner unexpectedly passing, it can be difficult for a business to move forward in the absence of an owner. Having a plan in place mitigates some of these challenges. From buy-sell agreements to key person life insurance, our planners can analyze your current situation and recommend any needed changes to help smooth these transition points
We are a fee-only firm unwavering in our promise to deliver a long-term financial strategy that will help guide your financial decisions and answer your financial questions. We want you to know where you stand and have a plan to get where you want to be.