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Business Ownership

Business Ownership

Business owners have financial planning needs that are often considerably more complex than those required for an individual. The complexity stems from the ownership of a closely held business, managing employees, creating succession plans, mitigating taxes, optimizing the value of the business, and training the next generation of leadership. Business ownership involves not only the day-to-day operations but also strategic planning for long-term success.

The StoryOne approach to advising business owners

We understand that, as a business owner, you spend most of your time and energy running and growing your business. Because this can take your attention away from making strategic long-term decisions, your StoryOne team coordinates the long-term strategic considerations unique to your business.

For business owners, balance sheet optimization is a critical aspect of strategic planning. The optimization process involves managing assets, liabilities, and equity to maximize the company’s financial health and efficiency. By carefully analyzing the balance sheet, our skilled advisors can identify opportunities to improve liquidity, reduce debt and enhance profitability—while enabling you to reduce or shield yourself from personal liability as you mitigate taxes. This may involve strategies such as refinancing debt, renegotiating terms with suppliers, optimizing inventory management practices, reorganizing the business, recapitalizing the business, and improving accounting practices.

Benefits

Balance sheet optimization is essential for maintaining financial stability and positioning the business for growth and maximizing the owner’s benefit.

Entity selection is a key consideration for business owners, as it determines the legal structure of the business and can have significant implications for liability protection, tax treatment, and operational flexibility. Common entity types include sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, and limited liability companies (LLCs), each with its own advantages and drawbacks. Choosing the right entity structure requires careful evaluation of factors such as the nature of the business, the number of owners, the desired level of control, number of employees, the ability to attract investors, and liability protection.

Your StoryOne team can guide you through the many considerations needed to select the entity that best aligns with your mission and goals.

Succession planning is essential for ensuring the long-term continuity and viability of the business, particularly in family-owned and closely-held companies. Succession planning involves identifying and developing future leaders within the organization, as well as establishing protocols for transferring ownership and management responsibilities over time. This may include implementing training and mentorship programs, creating buy-sell agreements, and establishing governance structures to facilitate smooth transitions.

By proactively planning for succession, business owners can minimize disruption and maximize the value of their businesses for themselves and future generations.

Strategic coaching provides business owners with personalized guidance and support to navigate complex challenges and capitalize on opportunities for growth and innovation. Your strategic coaches work closely with you to clarify your business’ mission, vision, values and goals. These insights drive the creation of a set of strategic objectives, and action plans designed to achieve your goals with maximum effectiveness.

Strategic coaching can help business owners enhance their leadership skills, make informed decisions, adapt to changing market conditions, increase their long-term opportunities, and, ultimately, drive long-term success. Exit planning is a crucial consideration for business owners who are nearing retirement or considering selling their business.

The sooner a business owner begins their exit planning process, the more opportunities that individual will have to reduce taxes, make charitable gifts, establish long-term financial security for their family, and have increased optionality on the outcome from the sale or transition of their business. At the same time, there are opportunities business owners simply cannot access if they fail to act early enough.

 

Exit planning involves developing a comprehensive strategy to maximize the value of the business. The exit plan also provides for a smooth transition of ownership, enabling owners and their families a look at what “life after the sale” looks like so they can establish lifestyle parameters for themselves and their family.

 

The planning process may include conducting business valuations, identifying potential buyers or successors, and implementing strategies to enhance the company's marketability and attractiveness. Exit planning also involves addressing legal, tax, and financial considerations to optimize the proceeds from the sale and ensure a seamless
exit.

By planning ahead and engaging in proactive exit planning, business owners can maximize the value of their businesses and achieve more advantageous outcomes for themselves and their family.

Charitable giving and philanthropy play a vital role in many lives, providing support to ministries, causes, and organizations that address critical spiritual, social, environmental, and humanitarian issues. Charitable gifting strategies enable you to make a meaningful impact while also maximizing your tax benefits. For business owners who are selling their business, charitable gifting strategies can maximize their charitable impact while reducing their personal tax liability.

 

Charitable giving strategies may include donating a portion of a closely held business, cash, publicly traded securities, real estate, distributions from qualified accounts, or other assets to qualified charitable organizations.

The StoryOne approach to managing charitable giving and philanthropy

We work closely with you to identify the gifting strategies that support your vision and values, while providing strategic financial advantages that help you further grow your business.

By strategically timing and structuring charitable gifts, individuals can minimize tax liabilities, support causes they care about, and leave a lasting legacy for future generations.

The legal structure of the receiving foundations or charities is an important consideration when establishing a charitable giving strategy—or even when making a large, one-time gift. There are some charitable entities that are more efficient and effective than others, which can help you maximize your impact and ensure you achieve your philanthropic goals. There are multiple legal structures that can be used, including donor advised fund (DAF), private foundations, supporting organizations (“SO”), charitable trusts, and operating charities, each of which has specific use, cost, and benefit.

 

Planned giving strategy and implementation involve creating a structured approach to charitable giving that aligns to your mission, vision, values and goals. Planned giving can take place during your lifetime, or after through an estate plan. Creating a comprehensive planned giving strategy enables you to make charitable contributions over time, often through bequests, charitable trusts, donor-advised funds (DAF), or charitable annuities. By incorporating planned giving into your estate plans, you can support the charities, ministries and causes that matter most to you … while at the same time preserving wealth for yourself and your heirs.

 

By adopting charitable giving strategies, carefully selecting reputable foundations or charities, and implementing planned giving strategies, individuals can leverage their resources to support causes they care about, maximize tax benefits, and leave a lasting legacy of generosity and impact.

Planned giving offers flexibility and control over the timing and impact of charitable gifts, providing a powerful means to make a positive difference in the world while also achieving personal and financial objectives.

The StoryOne approach to charitable gifting strategies

Our team of trusted advisors can provide valuable guidance and expertise in navigating the complexities of charitable giving and ensuring that philanthropic efforts align with broader financial and estate planning goals.

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Contact us to see how our personalized, story-driven approach to wealth management can guide you toward achieving your financial goals.

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