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Take these steps to prepare to sell your business

There may come a point when you realize that selling your business is the best decision you can make. Regardless of why you want to go down this path, it's important that you take the right steps at the right time.

Proper preparation will put you in the best possible position to successfully sell your business. Here's what you need to do:

  • Obtain a business valuation: While you probably have an idea of what you want to sell your business for, you won't know for sure where to start until you receive a business valuation.
  • Review your books: If your books aren't in order, you'll find it difficult to provide potential buyers with everything they need to make an informed decision.
  • Consult with a financial advisor and attorney: There's a lot that goes into selling a business, so you should surround yourself with a team of professionals who can provide guidance and help you prevent mistakes.
  • Make yourself available to potential buyers: Selling your business is a big decision. So is buying a business. For this reason, you should make yourself available to potential buyers, as they're sure to have questions about all aspects of your company. The more accommodating you are, the greater chance you have of making a sale.

The best way to talk to your parents about estate planning

Just as you have concerns about your own estate plans, it's natural to wonder if your parents have taken the necessary steps to protect themselves.

While it's never easy to discuss estate planning with your parents, it's often the responsible thing to do. If you take the right steps, you'll realize that you're in a position to help your parents in a number of ways.

It may be time to modify your estate plan

Just because you've created an estate plan doesn't mean you can turn a blind eye to it for the rest of your life. There will be times when it makes sense to review your estate plan, with the idea that you may need to modify some of the terms and conditions.

Here are some examples:

  • Divorce or marriage: If your marital status changes, there's a good chance it'll call for modifications to your estate plan. For example, if you get married, you may want to name your new spouse as the beneficiary of your will.
  • Having a child or adoption: Adding a child to your family is a joyous occasion. Review your estate plan for applicable changes, such as naming a guardian or adding them as a beneficiary.
  • Major change in financial circumstances: For instance, if you win the lottery or sell your business for a large sum of money, you'll want to alter your estate plan to match your newfound wealth.
  • Too much time has passed: Even if you don't have a specific reason to modify your estate plan, the passage of time is enough for you to conduct a thorough review.

Franchising: It isn't always an easy way to the top

Interested in investing? One thing that you might like is opening a franchise. A franchise can be an excellent opportunity to make money, but like anything else, you need to make sure it's the right franchise for you.

When you are opening a franchise for the first time, there is definitely a learning curve you need to overcome. You need to make sure you understand the contract involved on top of finding a good location and being sure you understand how much money there is to be made in this franchise location.

How to choose a business partner

As you learn more about the many types of business structures, you may come to find that starting a company with a partner is the best way to move forward.

Choosing a business partner is easier said than done, as you don't want to make a decision you could regret in the future. Here are some tips for making the right choice the first time:

  • Find someone with the right skills and experience: Just because you get along with someone doesn't make them a good business partner. They must bring the right skills and experience to the table, as to help your business grow.
  • Choose a partner who is financially stable: Someone who is good with money in their personal life has a better chance of being financially responsible in their career.
  • Take your partnership for a trial run: Work together for a few weeks on tasks such as creating a business plan, seeking funding and related business matters. This will help you better understand how you work together, if you enjoy teaming up with the person and how your relationship could evolve over the long run.

How are breaches of contracts and warranties handled differently?

Contracts are a type of agreement that both single individuals and business entities enter into. It generally details what particular product or service is being offered and what type of compensation is being paid for whatever item is provided or action that's being carried out. If the terms of the contract aren't carried out, then it's often said that a breach of it has occurred.

Two common types of breaches are contract and warranty breaches.

Many people make these estate planning mistakes

It doesn't matter how you feel about estate planning, it's imperative to make sound decisions that will benefit you and your family now and in the future.

No one is immune to estate planning mistakes. These are particularly common. Many people are in a rush to create an estate plan, as it's not something that they want to continually think about.

Massive Ford recall relates to dangerous, improper shifting

The motor vehicle you drive works through the integration of multiple, complex systems that allow for control of the vehicle and safety of the occupants inside. From the brakes to the transmission, the multiple different systems in your vehicle must all work together seamlessly to allow for a safe driving experience.

You trust your vehicle and the company that makes it with your life and the lives of the people you love, and sometimes, the companies that make vehicles don't live up to the trust you place in them. The design of most vehicles involves significant review and testing to ensure safety before products ever reach consumers.

Why is it beneficial to set up a limited liability company?

If you ever take time to look at the incorporation structure of some of your favorite, local small businesses here in Baton Rouge, you'll notice that many of them are set up as limited liability companies (LLCs). This isn't a coincidence. Many owners here in Louisiana and elsewhere in the United States choose to incorporate as an LLC because they appreciate how it provides them with many of the same protections of a corporation while still allowing them to operate as a small business.

An LLC has a highly desirable tax structure compared to many other types of business formations. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows an LLCs profits and losses to be passed-through on their personal income taxes similar to what someone who owns a sole proprietorship or partnership can do. This means that there's no separate tax filing for an LLC.

Estate planning myths: These could creep into your mind

Estate planning is a detailed process that requires you to make informed, legally sound decisions. When you do this, you end up with a plan that gives you and your family peace of mind. But when you don't, it can cost you and/or your loved ones dearly in the long run.

Here are a handful of estate planning myths that you should avoid:

  • You don't really need an estate plan: Generally speaking, this is true. The law does not require you to create an estate plan. However, when you take this approach, you have no control over what happens upon your death or in the event of incapacity. It's up to the legal system.
  • You only have to create an estate plan one time: While it may be true that you only have to create one estate plan, you need to review and modify it as you age. For example, if you get married or have children, review your plan with an eye toward changes that need to be made.
  • Estate planning is only for managing your assets upon your death: This is a big part of estate planning, but far from the only thing it can do. You can also use it for incapacity planning, long-term care management and retirement planning among other things.

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