Do you own a small business?

There are approximately 982,000 small businesses in Georgia, and nearly 150,000 of these have fewer than 20 employees. Are you one of these business owners? Is your estate in order? Whether you have zero, two, or dozens of employees, the right legal advice can protect you and your family. NOW is the time to pay attention to how your business is represented in your overall estate plan-long before you need it.

Some questions to consider:

  • Is your documentation solid? Your business needs a careful combination of business insurances, well-drafted contracts, and formation documents. The right documentation can help minimize you or your Estate’s risk of liability from activities associated with your business.

  • Are steps in place to terminate the business? Many small businesses are “owner dependent,” with no expectation that the business will survive the owner. If this is the case for your business, you should consider legal procedures to limit liability by reducing the applicable statute of limitations — the period of time when clients can sue for alleged harm caused by the business.

  • Are your intentions clear? What you intend to do with your business after your death should be documented now. For example, if you intend to terminate the business at your death, you should minimize the risk of your family members owing estate tax on a business that no longer exists after your death. A business plan and legal documents that convey your intent to limit transferability of the business can help ensure your intentions are clear.

Do you have questions about business ownership and estate planning? Call us at 770-528-0150.