by Al Zdenek
Begin by assembling a championship team of experts whose guidance and support you want to tap: your wealth advisor for your financial planning and investing, accountant for tax work and attorney for the purchase agreement and possible estate planning-related work. There is a logical order in which you will want to consult your team. Here is how I see it:
Action plan chronology
To make the best use of your time, money and experts your starting point should be to sit down with your wealth advisor. Before you’re ready to call in your accountant or attorney you have some important personal financial planning and investment related considerations to resolve. Your wealth advisor is best equipped to help you.
You need to evaluate your alternatives about where you could take the money from to buy the business. Run the numbers to understand what the impact one option versus another might have on your personal finances, current cash flow and wealth building or wealth preservation.
Select the two best financing options. If your wealth advisor doesn’t also handle your accounting, or you don’t have an accountant, you should bring in an accountant who is a CPA. With his tax planning analysis and counsel, identify the most tax efficient way to make your purchase. The next big decision is under what entity you will acquire the business. There are significant implications when it comes to who, or what entity, is buying the business: you, a company or trust you already have, or a new entity created just for the purpose of this acquisition. You’ll want your attorney’s guidance on this in addition to your tax advisor’s input. From there, your attorney can draw up the appropriate legal documents and you’ll be ready to make your formal offer to the current owner of the business.
Questions to Answer
Buying a business is a big ticket expense. Where you take the money from to buy it will impact your personal finances. So, you need to figure out what the impact will be and what you’re going to do about it. Among the questions we help our clients answer when planning a business purchase using personal assets are these:
- How much of the purchase should be cash? debt?
– If you are asset rich but cash poor, from where should you draw funds?
– If you have to sell some investments, which should you sell and how should you rebalance your portfolio?
– If the purchase will reduce your money for living expenses how can you best replenish that cash flow?
– Are there estate planning implications to the purchase will a trust be a shareholder of the business?
So, set your action plan chronology, work out the answers to personal finance questions to guide how to make your business purchase and you’ll find it much easier to make most productive use of your experts and their guidance.