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Caring For Generations

Good Business Owners Prepare for Bad Things to Happen

by | Aug 30, 2023 | Business Law, business planning, estate and tax planning, estate planning documents

While no one goes into business anticipating bad outcomes, at Geyer Law, we know it’s important to remind clients that, in fact, bad things can and do happen to even very good – and even to very skilled – business operators.

Murphy’s Law tells us that “Anything that can go wrong – will.” In fact, WealthCounsel talks about a number of things that could “go wrong” in any business owner’s world, including::

  • death
  • disability
  • incapacity
  • bankruptcy
  • loss of a professional license
  • departure of a key employee

Whether you’re the owner of a small family business or a large corporation, the sooner you think about how your business might continue to function – or how it might be sold – if and when any of these “bad things” happens to your “good business” – the better.

One of the cornerstones of any business succession plan is a buy-sell agreement. Business owners should ask themselves:

Will your family have sufficient liquid resources to hire someone to replace you?
If you have partners, will they pay your family a fair price for your business?

At Geyer Law, we challenge business owners with even more questions-for-thought:

  1. After your death or in the event of a disability, is it your intent to transfer control of your business or to transfer its value, to others?
  2. If you have children, is it a good idea to make them equal heirs to your business interests?

Since the value of your business will directly affect the amount of taxes you – or your successor owners – will owe, have you arranged for periodic business valuations?

There are many “now” decisions to be made when a new business is being formed, including determining the business structure, securing financing, and choosing a location. But, at Geyer Law, we look ahead, helping good business owners , while hoping for the best and preparing in case bad things happen.
– by Rebecca W. Geyer