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Attorney Len Garza Estate Law and Business Law with clients

How to Safeguard What You’ve Built

Critical Questions to Shield Your Business from Unforeseen Catastrophes

A Time for Reflection

For many people, me included, the end of the year is a time for reflection.  What happened this year?  How did I do both personally and professionally?  How did I grow?  Where were the wins?  Where are the areas for improvement? 

This reflection is a cornerstone of rounding out my plan for the next year.  But as any business owner knows, life and business have a way of throwing you curveballs no matter how well you plan.  What’s the saying?  “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans?” – As a recovering control-freak, I’ve had to be reminded of that often!

But that doesn’t mean you should make no plans at all, especially when we’re talking about the business you’ve worked so hard to build.  There are the challenges and obstacles that you can see, but even more dangerous are the ones you can’t.  And those are the threats no one wants to talk about.

What if my business partner says they want out?

What if I get sued and I’m threatened with losing everything?

What if I die or become disabled unexpectedly? 

To prevent disaster, here are vital questions to ask yourself to get out in front of these threats.  

Could your business survive without you?

Who will take the reins if you can’t?  It’s critical to identify who will steer your company in your absence to ensure continuity and stability.

Is your business structure a fortress or a house of cards?

Did you form your business yourself?  Tip: Paying some company a few hundred dollars online to do it does not count as setting your company up “the right way.” 

Are you sure that your current business structure will protect you against legal storms?

What happens if your partner says they want out? 

Are you prepared for the fallout if a partner leaves abruptly or is forced out? Without a plan for how to handle this, these power struggles can lead you and your company to financial ruin.

Are your personal assets at risk?

That one page LLC document you got when you DIY-ed forming your company without a lawyer probably, scratch that, definitely won’t protect you if you get sued by a customer or disgruntled employee and they go after you, personally.  It takes more than a one-page document filed with the state to shield your personal assets from business liabilities.

Will you be remembered for the legacy you built?  Or the mess you left behind?

Do you have a will?  Is it ancient (like older than five years)?  An outdated estate plan can ignite family feuds and legal battles.  What would your family and your business cooperate to pick up the pieces or are you unknowingly setting them up for a fight?  

Have you sheltered yourself from the tax vultures? 

As a famous judge and legal scholar once said, “In America, there are two tax systems: one for the informed and one for the uninformed.  Both are legal.” 

The informed or the uninformed – which one are you?  I doubt you need me to tell you which one pays the most taxes.  Make sure you’re in the right group.

Are your problem employees a ticking time bomb?

Where do you think most companies are most likely to get their first lawsuit from?  A vendor?  A competing business?  How about this: a disgruntled former employee.

Even if the lawsuit is baseless, the legal fees you’ll need to pay to defend yourself against such a lawsuit can easily stretch over $20,000.

Meet Your Enemy:  Procrastination

Before you say, “Great, thanks for giving me some nightmare fuel, Len” – I don’t ask you these questions as a fear tactic to just leave you in worry about what’s to come.  No, I have a purpose in guiding you to think about these things.

I ask you these questions to surface them so you can get out in front of them and get them handled.

So, you don’t have the answers to these questions?  Well, you’re in good company.  Most business owners don’t think about these things until it’s too late.  Alas, the ostrich’s head-in-the-sand approach does not work.

But that’s not you. 

You’re different.  You’re thinking about them now.  Which already puts you ahead of the game. 

But you know that starting something is not the same as following through and finishing it.  Not even close.  Life is busy and responsibilities and distractions pull at you constantly.

Let us help you.  We’ll help you seize control in a world of uncertainties.

Take charge today to ensure your business not only survives but thrives, no matter what the future holds.

Prepare your business now.  Let’s get these questions answered and get you protected.  Schedule an appointment with us today