SMALL & MEDIUM-SIZED ENTERPRISE
When you work with us, your business receives more than the knowledge of one professional – you harness the expertise of the entire TE Group team.
Our best-in-class leadership and deep technical expertise, combined with flawless execution, enable us to meet any business requirement. Our clients appreciate our on-demand, as-needed support that comes with no minimum commitments or contractual obligations. The TE Group has extensive expertise with unions, non-profits, and industries including business services, energy, healthcare, manufacturing, oil and gas, retail, real estate, biotech, recycling, and telecommunications.
The TE Group - The Future Is Bright
What small business owners sometimes forget is that they need to adapt their own individual financial plans for the new realities and risks of being a business owner.
Holistic financial planning for an individual or couple generally involves tax planning, risk management, investment planning, retirement planning, and gift and estate planning. For each of these areas, let’s consider how business ownership takes this planning to another level.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 changes the tax treatment of the various legal structures businesses use significantly. Business income that passes through to an individual from a pass-through entity and income attributable to a sole proprietorship will be taxed at individual tax rates after taking a deduction of up to 20% to bring the rate lower. To the extent that individuals and businesses have different marginal rates at different brackets of income, it is possible to coordinate the taxation of business and personal income in a way that provides the greatest benefit to both the business and its owner.
Most individuals need to plan for the financial risk of early death, disability, illness and infirmity, and liability or loss related to property ownership. Once an individual owns a business, however, the risks multiply to include interruption of the business due to a disaster; death or disability of a person key to the success of the business; loss of business property; and lawsuits resulting from negligence or defective products. This last risk can be addressed in part by the legal structure of the business, but the others require specialized insurance coverage over and beyond what the owner holds for himself and his family. If the business has employees, worker’s compensation coverage becomes necessary as well.
It’s not uncommon for business owners to assume they will never retire. After all, they’re presumably doing what they love, so why not continue indefinitely? Alternatively, they may see the business as the only retirement plan necessary—as a source of capital that will fund their retirement needs. Thinking along these lines is generally a mistake: If anything, a business owner may need more retirement planning rather than less, to prepare for the time when they no longer can or wishes to work, and/or the business cannot fully provide for their financial needs. The good news is that business ownership affords all sorts of tax-advantaged ways to save for retirement, and the ability to put aside amounts considerably larger than what is permissible to non-business owners.
Most small businesses are self-financed by their owners, which results in the business becoming the owner’s major or only investment. Even when the owner has extra capital to make other investments, he may still prefer to put his money back into his business, where he feels he has the most control over his returns. Prudent planning nevertheless must be focused on diversification. Asset classes and investments must be carefully selected for the owner’s personal portfolio to offset the concentrated risk he is taking with the business.
If a small business grows and becomes an asset, simple wills or family trusts set up for personal affairs may no longer suffice for the transfer of the business. More sophisticated financial planning techniques will be necessary to ensure business continuity after death, reduce any estate taxes assessed for the business, and provide liquidity to heirs to pay those taxes. A reorganization of the business might be advisable to create different types of ownership for family members and to make full use of IRS-sanctioned discounts in valuing the business for the purposes of gift and estate taxes. Insurance trusts and charitable trusts can also play an important role in the efficient transfer of a small business.
One point should be clear when it comes to financial planning for the small business owner: the do-it-yourself drive that helped you start your business will not serve you well when it comes to managing the many financial issues created by that business. This is where professional expertise often becomes necessary.
Exercise your privileges as chief executive officer, and delegate these issues to qualified tax and financial planning professionals. Their advice can make all the difference in improving your chances of business success. The TE Group can give you the peace of mind that your family’s finances are secure, so you can focus on growing your business.