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Caring For Generations

Tending to the Human Side of Business Planning

by | May 29, 2024 | Business Law, business planning


Setting up a solid foundation for your business is of the utmost importance, and, since 1999 our team at Rebecca W. Geyer & Associates has been helping Indiana businesses start out on the right foot. Not only must the right business entity be selected, but the new entity must be considered as part of the estate planning process.

But even after great care has been taken to properly establish a business as a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a limited liability company, when that business begins to hire employees, they need to understand the many employment laws – federal, state, and local – with which they must comply.

For today’s blog post, our editor interviewed William (Bill) Hammond, owner of HRFE Consulting, “Your HR department for rent”. Owning and operating a business is far from easy, Hammond acknowledges. In fact, statistics show that fewer than half of startups survive long enough to celebrate their fifth anniversary.

After more than 35 years of human resource consulting, Hammond knows to begin by “walking around” the premises to make certain the proper Federal and Indiana State “posters” are displayed. He looks for possible safety hazards, such as worn-out electrical outlets/extension cords or top-heavy filing cabinets or display cases. What machinery is being used? Is the requisite safety gear on hand, such as glasses, gloves, or hardhats? He’s known businesses to fail because of not properly classifying employees, Hammond warns. Department of Labor rules are very strict about which employees need to be paid overtime wages.

“Small business owners should include their business in their estate plan to ensure a smooth transition of ownership and management in case of incapacity or death, preventing disruptions to the company,” the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel writes, reminding owners that, without properly executed documents to the contrary, state law will dictate where your business goes at death. As we counsel our Geyer Law business owner clients, we stress that making decisions upfront is crucial to avoiding costly disputes in the future.

Over the years, as a new business develops and grows, with new employees “onboarded”, it is crucial to review – and make adjustments to – both the business owner’s estate plan and the business’ human resource policies and practices.

While owners often focus on expanding the range of products and services they offer, even concerning themselves with expanding their physical premises,never, ever, William Hammond reminds us, should business owners be allowed to forget the human side of the business!

– by Ronnie of the Rebecca W Geyer blog team

William Hammond is principal of HRFE Consulting and may be reached at (317) 408.5513
[email protected]