Self-Employment Tax Reduction Strategies for Spouse-Owned Businesses

Self-Employment Tax Reduction Strategies for Spouse-Owned Businesses

If you own a profitable, unincorporated business with your spouse, you’re probably fed up with high self-employment (SE) tax bills. An unincorporated business in which both spouses are active is typically treated as a partnership that’s owned 50/50 by the spouses — or a limited liability company (LLC) that’s treated as a partnership for tax…

Seeking Startup Investors: Registering a State Securities Offering

Seeking Startup Investors: Registering a State Securities Offering

Merit Review in State Securities Offering Registrations This article discusses the “merit review” process when seeking state registration of a securities offering. Background If you are trying to sell ownership of your company to investors, you are engaged in the sale of securities. The sale of securities is regulated by state and federal securities laws….

Failure to Plan is a Disaster for Clients and their Advisors

Failure to Plan is a Disaster for Clients and their Advisors

Savvy planners know that failing to plan is not desirable. Benjamin Franklin is often quoted, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Few planners would guess how many of their clients might not have a plan in place. According to a recent survey by Harris Poll, 64% of Americans do not even…

What Is a Simplified Employee Pension (SEP)?

What Is a Simplified Employee Pension (SEP)?

Simplified Employee Pensions (SEPs) are stripped-down retirement plans intended for self-employed individuals and small businesses. If you don’t already have a tax-favored retirement plan set up for your business, consider establishing a SEP — plus, if you act quickly enough, you can claim a deduction for your initial SEP contribution on your 2016 tax return….

Planning for Retirement Benefits: Get it Right the First Time

Planning for Retirement Benefits: Get it Right the First Time

Retirement assets comprise a large portion of most Americans’ total wealth. By March 2015, retirement assets hit $24.9 trillion. That’s a lot of money! The key to maximizing and maintaining that large chunk of your clients’ wealth is to keep the money in the retirement plan for as long as possible. Two Reasons There are…

Trump Administration Appointees & Future U.S. Trade Policy

Trump Administration Appointees & Future U.S. Trade Policy

President Donald Trump has nominated Wilbur Ross Jr. to be the next Secretary of Commerce, and Robert Lighthizer to be the next U.S. Trade Representative.  As of this writing, both are still undergoing confirmation by the U.S. Senate (Mr. Ross was approved by a voice vote of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee on…

Start Up Fundraising: Disclosures in Private Placement Memorandum

Start Up Fundraising: Disclosures in Private Placement Memorandum

Link to Free Small Business Guide Download Questions answered in video: What is an example of a disclosure in the context of a security offering? How do you decide what information should go in there? What should you do with the information you do not want to tell investors? What if you have bad information…

Entity Selection: Why and How You Should Incorporate Your Business

Entity Selection: Why and How You Should Incorporate Your Business

In the beginning, there was an idea . . . and then what? Why incorporate your “business”? If you have more than one economic activity, you want to separate those activities into “buckets” to keep the expenses and assets associated with each economic activity together. Protect your personal assets from any liability that may arise…

Social by Staffing: An Overlooked Social Enterprise Method

Social by Staffing: An Overlooked Social Enterprise Method

In recent years, momentum behind the so-called “social enterprise movement” gas accelerated. But what exactly is a social enterprise? A social enterprise is an organization applying commercial strategies to maximize improvements in human and environmental well-being. A social enterprise can be either a for-profit enterprise or a nonprofit, charitable enterprise. Aided by a new corporate…

What is a Grunt Fund? Pros and Cons of the Formula

What is a Grunt Fund? Pros and Cons of the Formula

What is a grunt fund? A grunt fund gives fiscal value to all contributions, tangible and intangible, a founder makes to a startup. Everything from intellectual property and connections to time and cash is valued by the fund. A complex formula then assigns weight to each contribution and allocates company equity stakes amongst the founders…

Top 5 Legal Risks Faced by Fintech Companies

Top 5 Legal Risks Faced by Fintech Companies

What is Fintech? Fintech is the overlap between technology and finance. The Fintech sector includes companies providing technological solutions or innovations to traditional financial service businesses. Fintech has proved disruptive and transformative to the highly regulated financial service industry. The Fintech market is growing exponentially and has become increasingly crowded. What are the top legal…

IRS Reports a Significant Increase in Whistleblower Awards

IRS Reports a Significant Increase in Whistleblower Awards

The IRS Whistleblower Office celebrated its 10-year anniversary in 2016. The office was created under the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 to oversee the IRS whistleblower program, which is a critical part of overall enforcement and compliance. Since the program began, informants have helped the IRS collect $3.4 billion in additional revenue,…

IRS Updates FAQs on Certain ACA Provisions

IRS Updates FAQs on Certain ACA Provisions

January, 2017 The Trump Administration and the Republican majority in Congress plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the coming months. In the meantime, however, employers must continue to comply with the existing rules for 2016, including the information reporting requirements and shared responsibility provisions. The IRS previously issued three sets…

Minnesota Public Benefit Corporation Annual Reports

Minnesota Public Benefit Corporation Annual Reports

Public benefit corporations are for-profit corporations that have elected to add a social “benefit” purpose in addition to a general business purpose. This additional social purpose allows public benefit corporations to elevate pursuing a social good through business to a status at least equal to profit making. Annual Benefit Report Minnesota’s Public Benefit Corporation Act…

How can Crowdfunding and Venture Capital Thrive Together?

How can Crowdfunding and Venture Capital Thrive Together?

Amongst all the excitement about crowdfunding, one key group is still skeptical:  Venture Capitalists.  The JOBS Act aimed to make startup funding more accessible and it is beginning to do so via Regulation CF (Federal Crowdfunding), Regulation A+ offerings and state based crowdfunding. Many offerings have already been launched, some more successful than others, and…

Scan Your Company’s Software for Pirates and Viruses

Scan Your Company’s Software for Pirates and Viruses

When you think of Internet piracy you aren’t likely to think of your company. Instead, you may imagine warehouses filled with copying machines running 24/7 to produce bootlegged versions of popular software. You might want to revise that view. Corporate software piracy is more common than you likely think. Two Forms In business, software piracy…

Risk Management: Formulating Plans Based on New Realities

Risk Management: Formulating Plans Based on New Realities

Risk management is organic, last year’s risks may have evaporated and new ones may have surfaced this year. The main question is: Was your company prepared to deal with those threats when they appeared? The responsibility for predicting and managing risk generally falls on your company’s board, audit committee, chief financial officer, and, if you’ve…

Consider State Taxes When Deciding Where to Live in Retirement

Consider State Taxes When Deciding Where to Live in Retirement

When you retire, you may consider moving to another state — say, for the weather or to be closer to loved ones. State taxes also may factor into the equation. Here’s what you need to know about establishing residency for state tax purposes — and why the process may be more complicated than it initially…

Best Law Practice Management Software: CosmoLex vs Clio

Best Law Practice Management Software: CosmoLex vs Clio

Like other professional service sectors, there is little margin for error in the legal industry. In order to remain compliant, law firms must keep case and client records securely confidential as well as robustly track billing and bookkeeping. Without a top-notch law practice management software package, these tasks, among others, are near impossible in the…

Prepping Your Business for Sale: Best Practices, Strategies & Timeline

Prepping Your Business for Sale: Best Practices, Strategies & Timeline

When should you prepare to sell a business? It is never to early to begin planning and preparing to sell your business. The key to a successful sale is having a well-formulated exit strategy and diligently adhering to a natural timeline. Three Years Prior to Sale 1) Clarify your life goals. What will you do after…

Default Judgment Motion in Minnesota: Template Forms

Default Judgment Motion in Minnesota: Template Forms

Default Judgement Motion in Minnesota – Template Form Package A motion for default judgment is a request asking the court to provide a default judgment when the defendant has not responded to a complaint within the court-allotted time-frame. The following are examples of forms used for a default judgment motion in Minnesota court. It is not recommended…

Contracts Prohibiting Customer Online Reviews are Illegal

Contracts Prohibiting Customer Online Reviews are Illegal

 Provisions Banning Negative Reviews are Void In 2016, the United States established a federal law voiding provisions in contracts that prohibit customers from writing online reviews. Officially named the Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016, or CRFA, the law voids non-disparagement clauses that businesses have in form contracts with customers. While businesses can still sue for defamation when a review is false, businesses…

Documenting Core Company Processes: Examples

Documenting Core Company Processes: Examples

Core processes are those activities that your company engages in regularly and are central to your organization’s mission. Over time, your business has probably moved towards performing these activities in the most efficient and effective manner. It is important to document these processes, so if a key employee leaves suddenly, their replacement will not be starting from scratch….

Investor Dispute: The Steps of FINRA Arbitration

Investor Dispute: The Steps of FINRA Arbitration

Most of the time, investors are satisfied with the relationships they have with their brokers or investment advisors. Occasionally, however, an investor may have a serious dispute about how a broker handled an account. Can the investor file a lawsuit? Probably not. Nearly all brokerage firms have binding arbitration provisions in their client contracts. This…