Findings from a recent survey outline key insights for aspiring small-business owners. Eighty-four percent of entrepreneurs say the first four years are make or break for achieving profitability, while access to capital is fundamental for capitalizing on opportunities to scale a business.
The legal battle involving former astronaut Buzz Aldrin highlights the benefits of a revocable trust that includes an independent co-trustee, says estate planning attorney Michael Whitty. Aldrin took his two adult children, who say their father has dementia, and an old business manager to court to prevent them from taking over his financial affairs.
Some companies are matching student-loan payments with 401(k) contributions, reducing the need for employees with student debt to choose between paying off loans and saving for retirement. The Society for Human Resource Management says more than 100 companies offer funds toward their employees' student-loan debt.
Uncertainty persists regarding the new 20% deduction on pass-through income because the IRS has yet to provide guidance on the issue, writes CPA Anne Zimmerman. She discusses the issues small businesses are facing and what entrepreneurs can do to avoid trouble.
This fall, the House could take a look at retirement-savings policy, which got little attention during last year's overhaul of the federal government's tax system, said Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Republicans will start talking about changes they'd like to make in July and make public an outline of their ideas in August, he said.
Entrepreneurs often depend on selling their businesses to fund retirement, but that can be a risky proposition. Maurie Backman discusses savings options, including Roth IRAs, SEP IRAs and Solo 401(k)s.
Multigenerational succession planning can be a challenge for family businesses, as heirs sometimes have goals and talents that differ from the generation before them, writes Ivan Hernandez of Omnia Family Wealth. The keys to successful succession planning are communication and starting the process while the founders still control the business, he suggests.
For those looking to sell their small agency, it is important to increase its value as much as possible, according to industry experts. They suggest that owners take several steps to make their business more attractive to prospects such as use a production-based compensation plan to motivate agents to increase their bookings and get rid of unnecessary operating expenses and low-producing staff members.