4th Quarter Small Business Considerations

The Year End Crunch For many, the passing of Labor Day signals the beginning of fall and the inevitable acceleration of year-end activities.  Year-end is punctuated by striving to make annual goals, completion of next year’s business plan and the number of work days reduced by holidays.  In other words, the 4th quarter is very busy and it is never too early to begin thinking about and documenting what must get done. Is Healthcare on the Radar? While not in the news as much, open enrollment for 2015 Affordable Care Act health insurance coverage begins November 15, 2014.  If you are a business owner considering offering health insurance to your employees, take time to review how the Insurance Marketplace works in your area.  The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace is open to employers with 50 or fewer full time equivalent employees (FTE) and might provide an affordable way to provide health insurance to employees.  For businesses with fewer than 25 employees, health insurance costs can sometimes be offset by tax credits.  The tax credit is worth up to Read on! →

Are You and Your Business Covered?

If your business leases space from a commercial property manager, chances are you have sufficient business owner and umbrella insurance coverage.  Most landlords have extensive insurance requirements tenants must obtain prior to occupying their space.  If you are contemplating whether to start a business or if you already run a business out of your home or another piece of property, having the right insurance coverage is important. The Basics While specific coverage amounts requirements may vary depending on the type of business, tenants are generally required to maintain the following types of insurance coverage at their own cost. (1) Commercial general liability insurance applicable to the premises and its appurtenances. (2) Property insurance covering all above building standard leasehold improvements and tenant’s trade fixtures, equipment, furniture and other personal property within the premises. (3) Business income (formerly “business interruption”) insurance written on an actual loss sustained form or with sufficient limits to address reasonably anticipated business interruption losses. (4) Business automobile liability insurance to cover all owned, hired and non-owned automobiles owned or operated by tenant (5) Workers’ compensation insurance Read on! →

Liquidity Events Tied To Succession Planning in a Small Business

Recent market strength has increased the value of many small businesses. Increased values often bring succession planning to the forefront as owners see opportunity to cash out when their business value is at or nearing a peak.  If a business is sold, then the challenge becomes what to do with the proceeds. There are many ways a business can be sold.  Two that come to mind are selling the entire business and receiving a lump sum or selling the business in phases, securing payment over several years.  Choosing which is best might be a reflection of the business’ maturity and/or where the owner may be in his or her career cycle.  Consideration must also be given to the type of business and how business cycles influence valuations.  Said differently, if the value has peaked and is significant, an owner may elect to cash out regardless of where they are in their career cycle. When considering a lump sum, a business owner should reflect on whether he or she wants to stay involved and how that might influence the value.  A Read on! →

The Affordable Care Act Considerations for Small Business Owners

As a small business owner I have observed the machinations of the Affordable Care Act from a safe distance.  From its inception, it has served as a divisive focal point for our elected representatives.  As with most comprehensive government policy initiatives, the respective sides have spun the details in a way that works to their advantage.  The Affordable Care Act has not been exempt from this posturing and continues to have its share of supporters and detractors. Over the years I have found that most new initiatives never fully meet the needs of everyone but if looked at more closely, often have appealing features for certain groups or individuals.  While not completely sold on every aspect of the Affordable Care Act, I have decided to assess the various components.  I plan to use this forum to highlight a few basics and expand further in future writings.  In time, my goal will be to make an informed decision on whether the Affordable Care Act is right for my business, my three associates, and for me and my family. The Basics Beginning Read on! →