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Cloud-based business planning platforms in Natural Disasters

November 12, 2012

Cloud-based business planning platforms could facilitate efficient FEMA/SBA small business relief in the case of natural disasters

The Problem

In areas struck by natural disasters, tens of thousands of small businesses have been damaged or destroyed in one event. This causes unprecedented challenges to the public and private mechanisms designed to address small business access to capital and community recovery

Affected business owners are too often left without the necessary documentation or information for FEMA/SBA to process their claims and applications after a disaster. And the longer it takes for a small business person to painstakingly re-construct their documentation, the more likely it is that they will give up and the jobs they supported and their tax revenues will be lost forever. (more…)

Three Acquisition Tips

November 2, 2012
By Mike Handelsman, Group General Manager, and

Buying a business can be a complicated process, even with previous experience. The business-for-sale marketplace is very dynamic – and each business is so unique – that both pros and novices alike must do extensive research and preparation before diving into a deal.

How do buyers avoid getting burned and make sure they enter into an acquisition that offers them financial and emotional peace of mind? They have the greatest chance for success by being proactive and well-versed during every step of the purchase process. With the following three tips as starting points, buyers can be sure to find out what they need to know to get well on their way to owning the business of their dreams.

1. Understand Parameters

One of the biggest mistakes people make when purchasing a business is not having a solid grasp on how it will affect their lives. It’s not uncommon for buyers to get so excited by the prospect of owning a new business that they rush into it without asking themselves some very important questions, such as: (more…)

The Business Buying Process in 6 Steps

October 22, 2012

According to a recent buyer survey, 60% of online business buyers reported that they “Understood the buying process”, but many of our conversations with SBDC counselors paint a different picture. Our workshop at the ASBDC conference aimed to address the complexities of the buying process and shed insight into buyer expectations to better prepare SBDC centers as they intake aspiring entrepreneurs.

Read our 6 steps to buying a small business that were presented at the conference, and click here , or any of the following links to download our Buyer Tools referenced below.

1. Determine Readiness to Purchase

Are your clients prepared to take on the task of running a business? Consider your client’s income, lifestyle, investment, and risk profile to see if they’re suited for the task. (more…)

4Q Business Planning

October 16, 2012

Many business owners are paralyzed by uncertainty over what the future may look like for their business and industry. But if you’re the owner of a closely held family business and are thinking about some form of retirement, you should consider taking advantage of a few tax provisions before the end of the year to help you, your company, and your family.

In the next 12 to 24 months, several tax laws will probably change. The lifetime gifting exemption of $5 million per person will likely be reduced and the long-term capital gains tax of 15% increased. In the fourth quarter of 2012, you can take advantage of current rates to start implementing the transition or sale of your closely held family business.

If your net worth is high enough, and your children are going to be taking over your company, then strongly consider using some or all of your $5 million gift exemption this year. (more…)

Do You Have A Buy And Sell Agreement With Your Business Partner?

September 24, 2012

Many businesses that are owned and managed by multiple partners or family members do not have a plan in place should certain triggering events occur such as death or divorce. It is important to have a contingency plan to ensure a smooth transition at little or no expense to the existing owners.

What is a buy and sell agreement?

Think of it similar to a Will, but for a business. Essentially, it is a binding agreement between the owners or principals of the business (no matter the entity type) that determines what will happen in the event that a partner passes way, is held up in a divorce, files for bankruptcy or leaves the firm.

Many buy and sell agreements contain an insurance component which guarantees that in the event a partner is no longer with us, the other partner(s) will have the cash value to purchase the other share of the business. The clauses in the buy and sell agreements will dictate the outcome. This is why it is particularly important for all parties involved to pay close attention to every detail in the agreement. (more…)