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Buying or Selling a Business isn’t like Buying or Selling a Candy Bar

KeysSome people think that buying a business is a cinch, as easy as buying a candy bar.  It’s not. You can’t say, “Here’s X dollars; give me your computer and the key to the office (or to the truck, or whatever); and go enjoy the rest of your life.”

It’s the same if you want to sell a business. You can’t say, “Pay me X dollars right now, I’ll hand you this key and the computer, and then I’m outta here.”

You want a clean purchase and sale, right? Without any bad after-effects. So figure on resolving a bunch of matters up front. [Read more…]

You Can’t Write Off An Item Your Business Isn’t Using

PlaneGetting tax write-offs for purchases you make through your business is a good deal.  And if you do business as an S corporation, you know lots of tax benefits flow through your business to your personal tax return.   You can write off all sorts of things and save yourself and your business a lot of money.

But you can’t write off an item the business isn’t using. [Read more…]

Shielding Personal Assets from Business Risks

blank business card

A proprietorship is the business equivalent of nothing. A vacuum. You’re a proprietorship if you never bothered to incorporate or LLC your business. So proprietorships are the cheesecloth of business entities: everything passes through a proprietorship to its owner — including creditors.

On the asset protection scale of what works, a proprietorship is a zero.

So why would someone want to be in a business as a proprietorship?  Well, it’s seductively easy, a real do-it-yourselfer. Pick a name for your business.  Print up some business cards and stationery showing the name.  Get a website. Voilà. You’re now a proprietorship.  But big deal. [Read more…]

Asset Protection ABC’s

Lawsuits are filed for all sorts of reasons. (For some really bad reasons, check out www.StellaAwards.com, which is named for the woman who sued McDonalds over that hot coffee.) Unexpected things also happen, and sometimes they lead to suits. And people in affluent areas are easy targets to blame . . . and sue. So how do you hedge the bet? I can wait, right? Won’t my liability insurance protect me?

Maybe. It’s great to have coverage, so the insurance company’s lawyers come in to handle when you’re sued and the insurance can cover any damages.

But what if you’re sued for something which isn’t a covered risk? [Read more…]

Questions are welcome.
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