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For business owners, the end of the year can be very busy. There are tax planning meetings, budgets to forecast and many loose ends that need to be tied up by December 31.

While these actions are very important, year-end planning for business owners can and should incorporate a whole lot more. This time of year provides an opportunity for business owners to develop (or update) business plans and consider how those plans can impact their personal plans and financial goals.

The year-end planning agenda below can help you plan for all aspects of your personal and business goals, beyond the next 12 months.

Year-End Planning Agenda

Business Income Tax Planning

  • Project current year income tax liability
  • Explore existing methods to reduce current year income tax liability
  • Examine new opportunities to reduce income tax liability

Business Planning

  • Business value
    • What is the value of my business now?
    • What actions can I take during the next year to increase the value?
  • Business continuity
    • Do you have a buy-sell agreement? If so, is it still relevant?
  • Business expansion or contraction
    • Plan for capital needs in each situation
  • Employee considerations
    • Revisit key employee incentive plans, compensation agreements and the needs of your workforce
  • Business contracts, including liability insurance contracts
    • Review these contracts and revisit insurance coverages
  • Banking considerations
    • Is your current banking relationship meeting your needs? If not, what other banks in the area are interested in your business?
  • Exit planning and strategy
    • Do you (and your partners) have a transition/exit plan? If so, does it need to be adjusted?
  • Other – Add any other items that need to be address

Individual Planning

  • Project current income tax liability and explore ways to reduce income tax
  • Financial plan
  • Are you still on track with your personal and business financial goals?
  • Estate Planning
    • Do you have an estate plan? If not, you should begin to develop one. If you do, does it need to be adjusted?

While this may seem overwhelming, business owners do not need to plan for these issues alone. Many business owners rely on the knowledge and resources they have in a team of professional advisors, such as CPAs, personal financial planners, and insurance professionals. Ideally, business owners will meet with their advisory team to discuss the full scope of their personal and business financial plan.

It is easy for business owners to get caught up in the day-to-day of their business. However, it can be beneficial to take the time and effort to plan accordingly.

ARGI has assembled a team of professional advisors to help guide business owners through this type of comprehensive financial planning. Our business owner advisory team includes Certified Financial Planner™ professionals, CPAs, attorneys, Certified Exit Planner™ professionals, and insurance professionals.