Planning for Business Owners

Growing a business is a difficult undertaking today as business owners must confront myriad tax laws and regulations while trying to effectively create products and services, manage their employees, develop and cultivate clients and customers, and do so profitably.

Business owners are often too focused on their business to tend to their own financial needs, and they may also overlook key planning considerations that could help their business grow and prosper. The risks are also immense for a business owner because something unexpected can put their business or them in a very precarious position. The Integrated offers a number of customized strategies to help business owners build strategies to plan for success and manage risk, so that it’s easier to focus on the day-to-day, while knowing that your future is secure and on a good path. We use our Wealth+ process to combine these and other customized elements into a well-considered strategy that works for you.

Top Items for Businesses

Financial Planning for Business Owners


Business owners face unique challenges and opportunities in terms of financial planning. You’ve worked hard to develop your ideas into a successful business, or perhaps you’re considering moving into self-employment. Regardless of your situation, it’s an important time to build a financial planning strategy that takes advantage of your unique situation.

From complex tax planning to negotiating a line of credit and figuring out self-employment, The Integrated has the experience to help you gain financial security and clarity so you can achieve the other important things in your life. Our experience with complex layers of transactions and structures help us define unique and customized plans for our more experienced clients.

No matter what stage of growth your business is in, contact us today to help design a tax-efficient business planning strategy.

Benefits Plans


Building the right employee benefits package may be the difference between finding and missing out on the talent that would help your business achieve its goals. We work with business owners to define a benefits program that provides the options that employees are looking for within the context of the greater financial strategy of the company and business owner. From group medical insurance to disability (long-term and short-term), from transportation benefits to life insurance options, we work to build a custom plan that will help you attract the talent you need to succeed.

Executive Compensation


In a small business setting, it could take years to find or develop the executive talent needed to take the business to the next level. Executive talent is hard to come by, and it is even more difficult on the business when it walks out the door in pursuit of another opportunity.

Building the right incentive package is key to retaining talent and making sure that they feel appreciated and appropriately rewarded. Structured incentive plans can help keep key executives in place and motivate them to higher levels of performance.

At the Integrated we use plans such as Nonqualified Deferred Compensation, Executive Bonus, and Split Dollar Life Insurance (life insurance based plans that enable the business to offer current and future benefits to their key executives in exchange for their continued service for a specified period of time) to help build the right plan for what matters to your key executives. That said, every situation is different, and we are eager to find more capital-efficient ways to preserve talent that falls outside of these agreements so that your business and the key employee are aligned around the future of the company.

Key Employee Protection and Retention


One of the more devastating events a small business can suffer is the loss of a key employee. Often times it’s a key employee who brings a special talent to the business and is responsible for much of the company’s success. The loss of such a valuable asset could set the business back for a period of time, and at tremendous cost, while the business owner seeks to find a replacement, if one can be found at all.

In financial planning, we are taught that our most valuable assets – our home, our ability to earn income, our cars – should be insured against an unexpected loss. It’s no different for business owners as the loss of a valuable business asset could imperil the business.

Buying life insurance coverage on a key employee makes good business sense. The amount of coverage should be enough to cover the costs of recruiting and paying a replacement, loss of earnings to the company, any redemption of stock or a salary continuation plan arrangement with the surviving family. But sometimes this isn’t enough, and The Integrated has developed customized strategies for companies to ensure that the company can go on to thrive again. Let us help assess your risk and work with you to define a plan that can keep a tragedy from becoming a disaster.

Business Succession Planning


Business succession can be planned or unplanned. If a partner dies without a well-considered strategy, you may find yourself facing their family member who is looking for their interest in the business—are the remaining partners prepared to pay that? For the families of business partners, the business interest is often their biggest asset and they may become the rightful owner of that interest at the death of the partner and want to receive their share, either in direct compensation or through their participation as the newest active partner.

A business succession plan can provide for the orderly transfer of the business interest from the deceased’s family to the business, but in a more planned sequence it can also help you transition the business to new ownership. After years of hard work, it may be time to enjoy the results. Many entrepreneurs spend years of focused effort building up a business, but then fail to consider how to make the transition to retirement. A financial security advisor can offer professional advice in how to plan an effective business succession strategy.

Entrepreneurs can work to turn equity in the business into capital that can be used to fund retirement as part of a successful well-considered strategy, ranging from life insurance policies, to paying yourself a salary as the business founder, or arranging for a successor to slowly buy up your shares.

A well-planned life insurance policy can help successors transition into business owners. Upon death, successors face estate taxes on business values of more than $500,000—with the tax-free amount potentially offset by any capital business losses the owner declared during his or her lifetime. Life insurance is one way that successors can cover the remaining amounts.

Smaller businesses may not need to pay estate taxes, but can still benefit from a plan that ensures an equal legacy for their successors. A financial security advisor can help entrepreneurs plan an inheritance that is fairly distributed among all loved ones. At The Integrated, we’re familiar with all of these and many other business succession planning techniques which we regularly deploy to help clients prepare for both the expected and unexpected business succession.

Contact us today to discuss strategies and opportunities for business succession planning.

Retirement Planning


For many business owners, their business is their primary retirement asset. After many years of building a successful business they expect to convert it to an income for retirement by selling it. If they are relying on the business as their sole means of retirement they run the risk that it may not retain or even attain the value needed to produce the needed income.

Businesses can fail. Businesses can lose value in certain economic cycles. The timing is not always right to sell a business. Many times the true value of the business lies in the talents and good will of the business owner who won’t be around to run the business after he retires.

Business owners today must prepare for retirement with the same level of diversification recommended for any retirement plan. Business owners have access to a number of qualified and nonqualified retirement plan options that can provide a cornerstone for their retirement income needs. At The Integrated, we help business owners find the strategy and products that are right for them and their goals.

For more information on Retirement Planning, please contact us today.