Craig Hecker had thought about his eventual departure from his family business for a decade or more. A few years before he sold, he began preparing. He spent time “making sure everything was up to date and in good shape,” and even paid off the company’s debt.
Some business exits go smoothly; others, not so much. The key for business owners approaching the time when they’re poised to move on is to plan early and often, and to thoroughly think through their approach to the process.
Life happens. So does death. Professional advisers say business owners need to prepare for what happens to their companies in the event they’re taken out of commission by a sudden life-changing event — such as an illness or injury that leaves them incapacitated or debilitated, or worse. Even if an owner experiences a personal crisis that takes him away from the business for an extended period, it can have crushing effects on the company, especially without prior planning, advisers say.
Most manufacturers can expect to fork over less in taxes for last year, and companies that monitor the shifting provisions could capitalize on greater investment in a few key areas. Although most of the tax cuts from the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 became effective for manufacturers on Jan. 1, 2018, businesses in all industries have been left with questions and uncertainty about how the new laws need to be applied, said Joel Mitchell, a tax partner at Plante Moran PLLC in Grand Rapids.
The federal tax reform Congress enacted at the end of 2017 comes with significant complexity that tax professionals say they’re still sorting through as the 2019 tax season begins. For the first time, tax advisers are beginning to prepare and file returns for clients under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Given the depth of the changes and the complexity of the new federal tax code, the only certainty for the 2019 tax season is the expectation that business owners will need to spend more time with their CPAs and tax advisers as they dive into the details and work through their returns.
Here is the MiBiz Growth Report for Feb. 19, 2018:
• M&A: Great Lakes Scrip Center Inc., a West Michigan-based provider of gift cards for fundraising, was acquired by Minneapolis, Minn.-based Bold Orange, a recently formed marketing firm. Over 23 years, Great Lakes Scrip Center has worked with more than 48,000 organizations to raise $680 million. The company last spring acquired The Manna Group in Palatine, Ill. and was the largest gift card company in the nation. Local operations at Great Lakes Scrip, which employs about 90 people, will continue “business as usual,” said Jill Whalen, vice president for retail operations.
Lighthouse Insurance Group Inc. plans to move between 130 and 150 employees to an office in downtown Grand Rapids, MiBiz has learned.
GRAND RAPIDS — The majority of people who serve on the boards of nonprofits lack the time to educate themselves about the terminology used in their organization’s financial statements.