Business Planning Checklist

The answers to these questions could potentially indicate whether the current plans for your business are helping you work towards your personal financial goals in the most effective fashion.

  1. Are you taking advantage of the lower tax rates of your family members especially children?
  2. Will you have sufficient funds to pay for your children’s college education or other major expenses? Is the business helping?
  3. Do you have a written succession plan for your family business? Are all parties in agreement?
  4. Is your buy-sell agreement valuation up-to-date?
  5. Is it fully funded in the event of a death?
  6. Is it fully funded in the event of a disability?
  7. Do you have adequate life insurance coverage in the event of your or your spouse’s death?
  8. Will the full amount of life insurance proceeds be available for your estate’s liquidity needs?
  9. Does your broker know which batch of securities you want to sell so that your taxable gain is minimized?
  10. Are you co-signed on any business loans? If so, will they be fully paid off at your death?
  11. Are you maximizing your gifts to charity?
  12. Have you arranged to avoid a taxable gain on any property you received as a gift?
  13. Can you use passive losses (such as those from a real estate investment) to reduce your personal taxable income?
  14. Are you deducting a portion of your health insurance costs?
  15. Do you have separate disability plans for the key persons in the business?
  16. Do the rules on estimated taxes apply to you?
  17. Do your S corporation shareholders know all about their fringe benefits?
  18. Are you reducing your FICA tax by using a flexible benefits “cafeteria” plan?
  19. Have you considered inflation as you plan for retirement?
  20. Have you maximized tax-deferred and after-tax savings for income at retirement?
  21. Have you kept your estate out of probate and provided a way to manage your assets in case you become disabled?
  22. Have you and your spouse qualified for the maximum credit against your estate taxes?
  23. Have you considered a business retirement plan that doesn’t provide current tax deductions?
  24. Have you structured a profit sharing plan so the owners get a larger share of the contribution?
  25. Have you determined the optimum mix of retirement (qualified and non-qualified) plans?
  26. Is your corporate record book completely current with minutes and resolutions?
  27. Have all major business moves been documented in corporate minutes and resolutions?

This information is not intended to be a substitute for individualized tax, legal, investment planning advice. We suggest that you discuss your tax issues with a qualified tax advisor.

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