21March
2019
Negotiating a Commercial Lease

A commercial real estate lease, like any other contract, can be negotiated. But don’t use or accept a form lease. The lease should be constructed in a way that you obtain the maximum legal, economic and tax advantages. Keep in mind that any ambiguities in the lease are usually construed by the courts against the person who drew it — in many cases, the landlord. Get qualified legal advice before signing any contract. To fully and adequately protect your rights, here are eight important considerations in a lease: 1.  A tenant can move in and start paying rent after: A certificate of occupancy has…

21March
2019
Hey, That’s A Brilliant Idea!

It is called the Japanese miracle — the kaizen teian — and the concept successfully provides a way for employees to propose more efficient ways to work.  Today, this variation of the suggestion box can be found at many American companies. Yet despite the proven effectiveness of these suggestion programs, it’s estimated that only 7% of U.S. companies use them. In many companies without programs, employees feel their suggestions fall into a black hole. Managers may think some ideas are mediocre or frivolous and the overall consensus is that creativity simply isn’t encouraged. But before you dismiss ideas that come…

21March
2019
Build a Strong Board

A strong board of directors provides financial guidance to a company, develops long-term priorities and elects executives to run the operation. To accomplish these goals, directors need to meet frequently and take an objective look at how the business is being run. Yet in family-owned companies, this is rarely the case. Here are some telling results from an American family business survey* of 1,143 firms: Number of Meetings a Year None 13.4% One to two 49.3% Three to four 19.2% Five or more 10.1% *Survey conducted by the George & Robin Raymond Family Business Institute and the MassMutual Financial Group….

07March
2019
When Dollar-Cost Averaging Makes Sense … and Doesn’t

The benefits of dollar-cost averaging (DCA) are generally extolled by market commentators and investment providers. But this well-regarded strategy may not always be the best approach for individual investors.1 What is Dollar-Cost Averaging? Dollar-cost averaging is the practice of buying a fixed-dollar amount of a particular investment on a regular schedule over a period of time. The primary advantage of DCA is that an investor buys fewer shares when the price is higher and more shares when the price is lower, which can mean a lower average cost over time. Keep in mind that DCA does not protect against a…

07March
2019
LLC: A Blueprint to Limit Liability and Cut Taxes

There is generally no one legal structure that works best for all businesses. The most favorable choice depends on a number of factors, including the number of owners, your tax situation and whether or not you have employees. A limited liability company (LLC) may be a good choice because it provides flexibility, low maintenance, favorable tax treatment and most importantly, limited liability protection to keep your personal assets safe. A properly-organized LLC combines some of the aspects of partnerships and corporations into one entity. For example, general partnerships and sole proprietorships generally have no insulation from liability. But by statute,…

07March
2019
Succeeding At Business Succession

Inc magazine reported that sixty-six percent of small-business owners have no formal succession plan.1 While the number may shock you, it probably doesn’t surprise you since so many small business owners are consumed by the myriad responsibilities of running their businesses. Nevertheless, owners ignore succession planning at their peril, and possibly at the peril of their heirs. There a number of reasons for business owners to consider a business succession plan soon. Let’s take a look at two of them. Estate Tax Bill The first reason is taxes. Upon the owner’s death, estate taxes may be due that a proactive…