Business executives and owners of privately held businesses wear many hats, each of which require different skill-sets. Yet, at the same time, the pressures of running a business often leave little time for the continuing education that can benefit them. Financial Poise provides easily digestible, highly relevant information that business people can use right away to make their businesses better.
From columns and articles to webinars and podcasts, all of Financial Poise’s content is produced so that you don’t need a law degree or be a CPA to fully understand and apply the educational information provided. Instead, it’s developed specifically for business owners and executives with the intent to be as comprehensive as possible without all of the unnecessary jargon.
Covering such subjects as fraud and litigation as well as bankruptcy and other similar topics, the Financial Poise collection for business executives and owners is meant to be engaging and easy to apply, so that you can get back to doing what’s most important – running your business .
An Employee Stock Option Plan (ESOP) is a qualified, defined contribution employee benefit plan, under Sections 401(a) and 4975(e)(7) of the Internal Revenue Code, that invests primarily in the stock of a sponsoring employer company. ESOPs allow employees to acquire an ownership interest in the employer company by participating in the ESOP. An ESOP is unique from other qualified plans in that it may borrow money and engage in related party transactions to acquire company stock from the business owner. As such, the ESOP functions as a means of financing the ownership transition of a closely-held business in a tax-favored manner.
An employee stock ownership plan, commonly referred to as an ESOP, offers a range of benefits for sponsor companies, in addition to its owners and employees. As a qualified employee benefit plan, an ESOP is designed to provide retirement benefits to employees similar to that of a 401(k) plan. However, unlike a 401(k) plan where contributions are used to invest in a variety of outside stocks, bonds and mutual funds, an ESOP invests in the stock of its employer. As a result, employees become owners of their company, participating directly in its growth and success.
The first thing any business owner needs to do when thinking about ownership succession is determine what her objectives are in initiating a sale of her company. Certain business owners want to get the highest value from the sale of their company and are not concerned about what happens with their business after they sell it. However, many owners of closely-held companies look at their business as their baby — something they’ve built, nurtured, and grown through their own sweat and tears.
When a private equity (“PE”) buyer considers whether a particular company may make a good potential acquisition, it puts a lot of importance on a number of things that other buyers may put less emphasis on. This is not to suggest that these things are not important to any potential buyer, but you may expect a PE buyer to be more focused on these items than other buyers. Why is this?
There are multiple factors that determine the right time selling a business. The greatest challenge for many owners is creating a strategic plan based on the owner’s individual priorities. An owner who is happiest post-sale is the owner who determined her priorities while a seller who does not resolve her priorities and objectives is often disappointed in a sale of her business regardless of the selling price. An owner is often forced to balance personal and financial priorities against one another. It is critical for an owner to be honest about her skills, desires, timing and business.
EBITDA is an acronym. It stands for “earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization”. It facilitates financial comparison among companies in the same sector, and is widely used in valuing companies for a variety of purposes, especially in merger and acquisition activity.
Most of you probably have some type of an investment portfolio. It may only be your retirement fund via an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or a company-sponsored 401(k) or it may be your personal brokerage account. In any case, when you periodically check to see how your investments are performing, how do you measure financial performance? Most likely, you calculate your return on investment (“ROI”) for each security you own. That is, you determine the sum of 1) any dividend distributions or interest income payments from the investments and 2) any appreciation in the market price (current price less your purchase cost); then you compare that to your cost.
Many business owners thinking about selling their businesses struggle with whether the proceeds will be “enough” to walk away from the businesses they have invested so much sweat and tears into. Let’s look at this sort of situation through the eyes of George and Gracie, this as they consider whether they can sell their business for enough money to provide for retirement.
Business valuations are used for a variety of purposes: in transactions, for financial and retirement planning, for taxation, and in connection with litigation. A valuation can be as loose as a guess, to a ‘back of the envelope’ calculation, to a formal opinion rendered by a third-party professional business valuation expert. Although a valuation is commonly considered to be ‘part science, part art’; experts utilize sound financial and time-tested methodologies.
One of the biggest challenges facing small business owners and entrepreneurs has been and continues to be the inability to access sufficient credit and capital. And new research shows small business lending levels are still lower than they were before the Great Recession. Though many small businesses are struggling to grow and thrive, they are still our nation’s biggest innovators and top job creators. In order to foster our economic recovery, we need to help the small business community achieve its fullest potential. It’s important for investors to know that entrepreneurship is on the rise, and investments in the small business community can be ripe with opportunity.