Business Planning & Retirement Planning Burlington
Many of our clients are successful business-owners whose business and personal financial affairs are directly related. We have extensive experience dealing with the constantly changing and complex situations these clients face. Our team has consulted with over 300 businesses and corporations from start-ups to those with sales of over $100 million. We offer a number of business planning services both in correlation with, or independent of, our financial planning services.
Every business owner will someday leave his or her business and will take one of three paths for continuation planning; liquidate the business, pass it on to a capable family member or employee, or sell it to a third party. The challenge owners and partners of closely held businesses face is their stock is highly illiquid. This poses a number of problems for executive:
- Ensuring timely redemption of the stock's value when desired, such as at retirement.
- The risk that this illiquid stock will transfer to a partner's heirs due to their death or disability.
- Family businesses must make funds available to cover costs associated with estate taxes and disinterested family members who still want to receive the value of their stake in the business.
Regardless of how business-owners decide to exit their business, they all want to sell it in the most profitable and tax efficient manner possible. Creating and implementing a long-term plan for this event generally produces the best results.
In addition to helping business-owners with corporate tax planning, we coordinate and integrate corporate tax reduction strategies with their personal tax exposure to minimize the total tax impact.
Shareholder (Buy/Sell) Agreements
A buy/sell agreement is a written document between partners in a business or shareholders in a company obliging one party to buy the other's interest, and obliging the other to sell, upon the occurrence of some event stated in the agreement, such as death, disability or retirement.
There are three components to a buy/sell agreement:
- The strategy is the plan of execution to reach your goals and objectives, such as who will have the first right to buy shares and at what price. Our team has consulted with numerous closely held businesses, helping them with the design of the optimal strategy.
- The legal documents put the strategy in writing, make it binding, and articulate the details of the strategy to be implemented. Although we do not prepare the legal documents, we will make recommendations on the type and structure, as well as work with your legal advisors making certain the documents are properly coordinated with the other components.
- The funding is the mechanism that creates the cash with which to buy shares at the specified price. There are a number of different ways to fund the agreement, including life and disability insurance, installment payments, or liquidating existing assets of the purchaser. Regardless of the funding mechanism, it must be in line with the business's cash flow, share price, and tax situation.
Fringe Benefit Consulting
Poulos Advisors advises on a number of fringe benefits, including:
- Key-person protection and incentives: You need good people to run a successful business. However, good people are hard to attract and even harder to retain. We help business-owners design and implement programs to retain and reward key people. We also help them prepare for the unexpected loss of a key-person by assisting them with contingency planning.
- Executive carve-out benefits: Reward those who contribute significantly to the success of your business without committing to a company-wide benefit program.
- We also help business-owners with implementing various fringe benefits for themselves such as supplemental retirement and medical programs that maximize the personal use of their business dollars.
Retirement Plan Consulting
As part of the business planning process, it is often necessary to audit an existing retirement plan, implement a new retirement plan, or both. Employers provide retirement plans to take advantage of the many benefits these plans afford their employees and themselves. Some of the many issues we consider are:
- The amount of fiduciary liability the employer is taking in providing the plan.
- The plan allows for the maximum, or optimal, tax advantages and contributions.
- The investment alternatives within the plan, as well as those investment's expenses and performance.
- Employee education and investment advice that is offered.
- The plan's compliance with ERISA laws.