Category: Asset Protection

The Asset Protection Mindset

A strategic asset protection mindset is one that will separate those who accumulate long term wealth, but also keep it. Most successful entrepreneurs let their big egos get in the way and they don’t take the steps to set up a complex (not simple) structure to protect their assets.

A strategic asset protection mindset is part of this important business equation; you must master two skills: first, the skill to generate profits in the shortest period possible and keep them. Many times, keeping them may be harder then creating the profits.  Keeping them focuses around the strategy of asset protection. You must protect your assets from everything, like lawsuits, taxes, creditors and bankruptcy. 

This success requires a certain mindset for survival. It requires working backwards to think through what could go wrong and how your assets would be affected.

You Must Ask Tough Questions

It requires asking some tough questions like, “What would happen if I get sued and my business insurance (if your business even has any) did not cover the legal fees and damages? What would happen to my financial fortress? If my assets were to take one direct hit (a lawsuit), what would be the outcome?  Would I lose everything? How do I mentally handle being totally unprotected?”

Develop the Right Asset Protection Mindset and Avoid Regrets

Perhaps you have at least formed a separate legal entity for your business, and a hit at the business level should protect you at the personal level. How do you handle a lawsuit at your business level where the business has to pick up the tab?

Does Your Business have the Cash Flow for Legal Expenses?

Could your business survive defending a lawsuit that would require a retainer of $20K and $3K a month for 18 months? What would that do to your cash flow? Is there even enough cash flow to handle that extra monthly overhead?

What about an IRS audit? Is your business being operated as a business, not a hobby? What would the IRS discover if they looked at your records? Would there be large holes and gaps in the business records which would lead to huge penalties and interest? How would you and your business handle such an attack?

Here are the key attributes of the asset protection mindset for survival:

  1. Consider the downside first.  If you were in the business of setting up firework shows, you would take every precaution and consider what could go wrong to determine the best safety, so no one would be hurt.


    Are You Being Negative or Smart?

    But in most businesses, it could be considered being negative to consider what can go wrong.

    I know you do not want to spend all your energy in this space, but it has a very important role of stepping into the consideration as part of your survival plan.


    Do You Have a Partner? Business is like Marriage…

    This is a must, especially if you have a business partner. You must consider if there is not the cash flow to pay yourself, who will personally guarantee the accounts? What legal issues can you create for each other and how will you avoid them?

    In most businesses, the founder gets so excited (similiarly to how you feel before getting married) about their great idea and how much money it could generate, how their life would be different…that if you enter the conversation with a point of what could go wrong, or what if that does not work out…you would be considered negative and unsupportive of the idea.

    Keep in mind, being positive and excited has it’s role and is the genesis of most great businesses. At some point, ideally in a separate meeting, the downside must be considered.

    I mean consider it first, before you open your doors, sign the big lease, and commit your capital. Not that you have to consider everything that could go wrong when an idea comes into your mind, because you would never get started, in that case (that is an entirely different issue).


    Want Results? Model Walt Disney’s Approach

    The best approach is to model Walt Disney. Walt would conduct a separate meeting for creating the ideas (the dreaming room) vs evaluating the ideas.

    This was key to separate them, because the creative and open-ended thinking phases where was not the time to evaluate an idea to determine if it would work or not. That would more than likely stifle the ideas in the first meeting. The same approach works well when it comes to evaluating the downside of a business opportunity. Have fun with the open-ended green light thinking and plan a separate meeting to evaluate the down side or what could go wrong.

    The huge mistake it to skip this separate meeting and let your enthusiasm carry you to signing a lease, committing large amounts of capital…

  2. Separate for success. Putting all your eggs in one financial basket is crazy and irresponsible.

    It blows my mind that over 67% of all small business still operate as sole proprietorships. I realize the pattern that creates that outcome (comes from a tax point of view and belief about the ability to succeed), but still, it blows my mind.


    Separate Safe and Risk Assets…

    You have taken the first step, by forming a separate legal entity for your business. Step two is to protect your safe assets from your at-risk assets. That means stocks, cypto, gold, silver, ownership in other companies (this is a big one), artwork…assets which do not cause direct liability.


    Did You Protect Your Ownership/Investments in Other Companies? 

    Why leave any of your assets on the table that are likely to be taken in lawsuits, bankruptcy or IRS issues? Many will say, “I only have $_____ in safe assets. I do not have enough to protect.”


    Do You Have Enough Assets to Protect?

    Actually, the less you have, the more important it is to protect it, because if you lost $25K, and that represents 100% of your safe assets, that is more meaningful and impactful to you than if you were Elon Musk and got hit with a $10-million lawsuit.

    Is the Equtity in Your Home Protected Properly?

    The next step in asset protection is to protect the equity in your home (if you have any in this economy). Check into your home state homestead laws to find out how much equity is protected.

    In some states, like Nevada, $550,000 is protected; and in others, it may only be $5,000 of equity. Florida is unlimited. Next, separate your real estate, both commercial and residential, from your own personal name. Typically, each commercial building (depending on the value and overall percentage of your net worth) would be held by a separate LLC.

    Residential real estate, again, would depend upon the overall percentage of your network, which would be a big part to dictate whether a separate entity should hold each piece of real estate or if you would have 3-4 properties in each LLC.


    Your Living Trust Does NOT Protect Your Assets from Liability, But…

    Next is to tie in the living trust, as the owner of the entities, for estate planning purposes. This is a critical step to remember. Why protect your assets during your lifetime and, upon your death, leave the state to handle the distribution of your assets? Probate can be very expensive and take years, in some cases.

  3. Lawsuit Strategy for Survival: Ask questions, understand the challenge, back to work. What happens when you are hit with a lawsuit? The natural reaction is to be upset, frustrated and mad!


    Most Lawsuits Emotional Derail Most Entrepreneurs, this is the Expensive Part

    Typically, you were attempting to do good, help someone out, or provide a quality product or service, and an individual or a business did not see it that way. They think that you screwed them over (right or wrong). Now, you are staring down the barrel of a lawsuit.

    Even if you feel right upfront, this is totally bogus, not right, and should be set aside in court (which is, by the way, the mindset that may get your butt kicked in court).


    You May Become Financially Paralyzed 

    That lawsuit can prevent you from receiving any financing in your business name or personally, depending on who is getting sued. You never want to assume a lawsuit is bogus or will have no merit in court.

    You must approach it with 4-5 ways to attack this lawsuit, what you must do to protect yourself, and provide it invalid. You must be organized and prepared.

    Thinking you have a slam dunk leads to being unprepared and getting your butt kicked.


What You Should Do If You Are Sued…

Here is the best approach for survival, if you get sued. First, interview 2-3 different attorneys on the lawsuit and ask a lot of questions. Ask for their initial opinion, how they would approach it, how long it should take to defend, what stages are involved, how much is their upfront retainer, what are the time requirements involved, what would have to happen in order for you to lose, to win, can you counter sue, and should you attempt to settle outside of court…


Get Back to Work and Focus on Your Business

Once you get your asset protection mindset around the big picture, all the steps involved, the time frame, and what your game plan will be, then you can take the most important step, focus on your business, and get back to work.

The costly part of a lawsuit can be the profits you lose from your business because you are distracted by the lawsuit. You are up at midnight, upset at the person or company suing you, and thinking, “How can they do this to me after I attempted to do business with them or help them in some way?”


Are You Weak and an Easy Target?

The worst approach can be to let them see you will make no effort to defend yourself, because the lawsuit has no merit. That sends a message that you and your company are soft.

I recently spoke to the VP of a $15-billion-per-year company, and the VP told me that they must aggressively go after every lawsuit that hits their company, so they do not appear as a weak and easy target.

asset protection mindset

The approach is correct.  In the end, you have to be prepared to understand the challenge at hand, find out the time frame, issues and expenses, put it in your budget and get back to working on profitability. It’s like a military operation.

   Expand Your Legal Budget       

Again, as you can imagine, most do not handle it this way, and that is why even if you win and your insurance company pays the legal fees, a lawsuit can be financially devastating.

This will help you avoid many legal issues to begin with. Many times, you may be signing an agreement or contract and you assume the other party has reviewed the agreement.

You should NEVER sign a legal agreement or contract without having an attorney review it. I know it may take two hours of time to review, and it may be $500 or more for those two hours, but it can be a worthwhile investment in the long run.


Being Cheap can Comeback and Haunt You

Now, if you are opening a brokerage account with a major firm and you want to review it for the sake of understanding what you are signing, that makes sense. But if you think you are going to make some recommendation for changes to this major firm, that is not happening. Being cheap in this area can come back to haunt you.

Why Partnerships Fail

It does help, when you are starting a new opportunity with another company, if their side will write the agreement for you to review; that is much less than you writing the agreement. I have been on both sides. It does depend upon your position of strength in wanting to get the deal done.

If you are working with partners and you do not put things in writing, that is bound to fail. This all refers to you realistically having a legal budget of perhaps $400-$700 per month in place, which may come into play 2-3 times per year.

If your company is much bigger, that number may be huge, especially if you have employees. HR issues can be very costly, and it is best to run it past an HR attorney vs your buddy, who has 10 years of management experience.

All these areas are key when it comes to developing the best asset protection mindset for survival. When you develop a stronger mindset in this area, take action and implement the recommendations. If and when you get hit with a big lawsuit, it will NOT derail your entire business or ruin you personally!

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12 LLC Strategies to Protect Your Assets and Financial Future

The proper LLC strategies will help ensure your assets are really protected. Unfortunately, most will file a “simple LLC” online for the least amount of money and are later surprised when they are not protected.

First, let’s look at the history of the LLC. The Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a powerful entity that originally started in Wyoming in 1977 and became more popular in the late 1990s. It is a hybrid between a partnership, and a corporation. Most are unaware that an LLC can be taxed in four different ways: disregarded, partnership and S or C corporation.

The IRS established federal default rules to simplify this determination in 1997. A one-member LLC by default will be taxed as a disregarded entity for tax purposes, and a two-member LLC will be taxed as a partnership for tax purposes.

Which LLC is Best?

Which LLC is Best?

Now let me share with you 12 LLC secrets that will not only keep you up out of tax trouble but help you better avoid pitfalls down the road.

  1. Can an IRA invest in an LLC? Yes, but…This is a popular strategy when looking for different investment options for retirement funds. Many are looking to take advantage of the real estate market to invest in and find they do not have the money personally to invest, but their IRA does. This strategy involves moving your IRA to a self-directed IRA and the IRA becomes the member of an LLC. In other words, the investment is in the membership interest of the LLC.

    There are a couple of major issues with this strategy that could create problems with the IRS. First, if you are the manager of the LLC and you are on the LLC checking account that has IRA funds, that means you have “checkbook control”. There are prohibited transactions in where you cannot use that money, but more importantly, is that the signer on the account may use the LLC money for personal use which is a big problem and could create serious IRS issues. The second issue centers around who can be the manager of the LLC. Can it be you also? Is that self-dealing?

    That means you are running the same entity that is owned by the IRA in which you own and that is an issue by the IRS. It appears that having a separate self-directed IRA only to own the real estate may be a better approach. You do want to isolate the safe and risk investments also.

  1. What are the advantages of an LLC over an S corporation? Assuming the LLC is taxed as a partnership vs. the S corporation, there are differences. When you capitalize an S corporation, code section 351 allows shareholders to transfer appreciated assets to the corporation tax-free. BUT…the shareholder who is transferring the asset MUST own 80% of the S corporation. This is fine if you have a one-person corporation, but what if you have a partner? What happens if you own it 50/50? Is it now a taxable event? Yes! How does an LLC taxed as a partnership differ?

    There is no such rule for an LLC. Transfers are tax-free under IRC §721 to an LLC taxed as a partnership. There is no 80% rule. An LLC can rarely lose its status as a partnership for tax purposes, but the S corporation can forfeit the S election, in many ways including having a foreign owner, an owner that is a C corporation….(the S corporation has restrictions on who can be a shareholder. This is especially important when you are looking for investors.

    The LLC has the charging order protection, which offers more protection vs. an S corporation. Yes, you can get the best of both worlds and have an LLC taxed as an S corporation and have the charging order protection (which will be covered in bonus point #12).

  1. When should an entity convert to an LLC? Yes, in many states. This comes up when someone has had a corporation for several years, and they would like it to “become” an LLC. Many times, if you formed a corporation recently it may be fewer steps and cheaper to form a new LLC. Many statues authorize the merger of an LLC with another entity like a partnership or corporation.

    Some state LLC acts provide that an LLC may NOT merge with another entity unless there is unanimous consent of the members for such merger. For states that do not have a specific statute authorizing such a merger, an indirect merger can be accomplished by a transfer of stock, interests, or assets. A second method is to use another state’s merger statute. After that, the LLC can foreign register in your state of the business.

  1. What are the consequences if an LLC is “doing business” in a state but is not registered as a foreign LLC? This is very common when the entity formation industry will promote incorporate in tax-free Nevada and claim your business can be based from anywhere. Typically, the entity will need to foreign register where nexus (or a business presence) is located.

    Even an internet business can make the argument you can be based from anywhere, but if you are working in your home office in California with a Nevada LLC, you have nexus in California. Besides, how do you claim a home office deduction when the LLC is not in your state doing business? It does not make sense. A more common issue may be that you have an LLC in your home state and you are actually doing business in another state and have nexus there which will cause the need for you to foreign register the LLC, but what if you did not know that?

    Here are some of the consequences. An LLC that is not registered to do business would NOT be allowed to bring suit in that state. This is a big one. However, the LLC would remain liable for any act or contract entered into while it was operating in that state. A party could bring an action against the LLC, and the lack of registration does not prevent the LLC from defending the action. The LLC will be liable for registration fees, taxes, and penalties that it would have owed during the period of time it operated in that state. Many states impose penalties when an LLC transacts business in the state without being registered.

  1. When do LLC members have limited liability? No member of the LLC is personally liable for the LLCs debts and obligations (as opposed to by individual action, such as by personal guarantee or commission of a tort).

    A member of the LLC has personal liability if a creditor of the LLC has the right to require a member to satisfy a debt of the LLC to the extent that the LLC’s assets are insufficient to satisfy the LLC’s debt to the creditor. Members and managers of an LLC are by statute generally not liable for the obligations of the LLC. But anyone who acts on behalf of the LLC without the authority to do so will be liable for any liabilities as results of their actions. A member may also have liability to the extent of the member’s contribution (or capitalization). Members and managers are always liable for their own torts. The members could lose their liability protection if the LLC veil is pierced.

  1. How will a single-member LLC, taxed as a disregarded entity for federal income tax purposes be treated for state tax purposes? Where state laws follow federal laws, a single-member LLC would be disregarded for state income tax purposes when disregarded for federal income tax purposes. If the single-member LLC is taxed as an S or C corporation, the state taxation laws would follow suit. 

  1. How much capital must be contributed to an LLC? Except when required by state law, there is no minimum amount that must be contributed to an LLC in exchange for an interest in the LLC. Some states statutes provide that members do not have to make any capital contributions in order to be admitted as a member of an LLC (Michigan is an example).

    Adequate capitalization is usually left up to the members. However, a member that receives a capital or profit interest in the LLC with a fair market value in excess of fair market value of the capital contribution, the member may be subject to tax on receipt of that interest to the extent of the difference. Therefore a good CPA is recommended when you have partners in an LLC!

  1. What type of reporting is required if real estate is contributed to an LLC in exchange for a membership interest? According to the Treasury Regulations Section 1.6045-4(b)(1), a transfer of real estate to a partnership must be reported, even though it is tax-free under Code Section 721 (a). The required information includes (1) name, address and TIN (tax identification number) of the transferor; (2) a general description of the real estate; (3) the date of closing; (4) the amount of the entire gross proceeds (to the extent required by Form 1099); (5) a statement that the partnership receives the property (if the transferor received such a statement); and (6) the real-estate-reporting person’s name, address, and TIN. [Treas. Reg. § 1.6045-4 (h)] The preceding information must be filed with the appropriate IRS Service Center by February 28th in the following year of the transfer. [Treas. Reg. § 1.6045-4(h)]

  2. When can an LLC make distributions to members? LLCs generally can distribute cash or property, whether income or capital, to the members as provided in the Operating Agreement, or otherwise agreed by the members.

    Most LLC acts prohibit any distributions to members if, following the distribution, the LLC’s liabilities (other than liabilities to members) would exceed the value of the LLC’s assets.

    Most LLC statutes hold members liable to creditors for wrongful distributions although some states elect to treat wrongful distributions under their fraudulent conveyance statute.

  3. What is a series LLC and what issues does it bring? In a series LLC, the corporate structure looks as though each part of the business or “series” looks and functions in many ways as if it is a separate LLC. The series is a creation of state law. Delaware first enacted LLC series legislation in 1996. Delaware also provides for series limited partnerships. Sixteen states permit series LLCs. The series LLC is similar to a corporate-controlled group with several operating corporations, but there is only one legal entity.

    The benefit is that you could put 10 rental properties into one series LLC and provide protection of each property from the other because each is owned by one cell. This saves you from having to form 10 separate LLCs and save on the state filing fees. The challenge is that you still need to have a separate LLC record book for each cell, separate operating agreement, separate bank accounts, and books…and if not done properly there may not be any additional protection. Plus, there is a lot of grey areas as to whether or not the liability protection would hold up (lack of cases on it).

    The IRS finally came out with federal tax guidance a few years ago and the states are a different matter.  still uncertain on the tax consequences. In the end, it is better to just form a separate legal entity vs. saving $200 on state filings fees.

  4. How are interests in an LLC transferred? As personal property, an LLC interest may be transferred by a bill of sale, assignment, or comparable document. If the interests are documented with certificates, like stock certificates, it should be possible to transfer an interest by endorsing the certificate, by granting a power of attorney to the transferee, or by granting a type of power like a stock power. To be effective the transferee must also cause the transfer of the interest to be reflected on the LLC’s books.

    The transfer must first be approved under the LLC’s requirements. An LLC should record the transfer of membership interests in the same fashion as a corporation uses a stock transfer ledger. The transfer of an interest to a person does not by itself bestows the status of a member in the LLC. Rather, the transferee is merely an assignee of certain economic rights unless the other members by a requisite vote approve the transfer of membership interest.

    If you have a buy-sell agreement, that will have restrictions on how a transfer may occur. The LLC operating agreement may also have restrictions.

  5. What is the “charging order”? A charging order is a statutory remedy of a creditor available under state statute when the creditor is unable to force a partner or LLC member to assign his or her partnership or LLC interest to the creditor. A charging order is neither an assignment nor an attachment. It is a court order, somewhat like a garnishment, that directs the partnership or LLC to make any distributions it would have made to the partner or member to the creditor.  The creditor will not get “stuck” with the tax bill, as others promote, but rather have access to an “economic interest” only. 

    The theory is that to allow a creditor to access the partnership or LLC assets and record as a result of the creditor’s claim against one partner/member, would disrupt the entity’s business to the detriment of the other owners, especially if management rights were also involved. It is thus used to protect the business and the other owners, typically from a creditor of the owner or ex-spouse.  Therefore, many times an LLC taxed as an S corporation is much better than an S corporation.

    There is more protection if the owner is sued personally for something unrelated to the operating entity to protect the profits interests of the member.

    There are a few states where the charging order is not recognized for a single-member LLC, they include Colorado, Florida, and New Hampshire. 
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The Business Master Checklist to Review Before You Ever Start Another Business

Before you establish a new business you must review our master business checklist to help you determine, if a new business, or entity is necessary.
You have one business up and running with some success. You are considering starting another business and dividing your focus.
Perhaps you do not want to put all your “business eggs” in one basket. What if one business slows down and the other one picks up? As you know, the worst number in business is one – one vendor, one client, one affiliate, one bank account. Does that mean one business? Not necessarily.

Your Business Master Checklist Before Starting a New Business

Your Business Master Checklist Before Starting a New Business

First, what are your reasons for starting another business? Here is a the start of the business master checklist. Let’s consider them carefully:

  1. The first business is not working.
  2. You found a new product in another niche that should bring in more revenue.
  3. You want to diversify into another niche.
  4. You see an opportunity in your current niche and starting a new business (more so a new company) to service the opportunity in that niche.
  5. Your business partner was lame, and you started a new company and a new business, perhaps in a similar niche, to move on.

The first one is fairly obvious as to the concerns; yet, many fall into this trap.
Here is the pattern.
The first business (which was never up and running as a real business) was not working, and the business owner got excited by another, different opportunity (the new shiny object syndrome).
The challenge here is that the second and third businesses will not work either, because typically there was nothing solid in place for the first one. They half-started that business and half started another business, lacking focus, consistency and frequency…all leading to another failure.
Finding a new product in another niche can work effectively. Most successful entrepreneurs, who were successful 5-8 years ago, have a totally different main profit center today than what their business had back then. They had to reinvent themselves and, more importantly, change with the times and look for new opportunities.
Those who continue to ride the same horse down the wrong path will just end up with more problems. You have to act and move quickly to be successful in business today. With NCP, our international market is the biggest new profit center that was not even in our business (or very little) 5 years ago. We expect it to grow dramatically over the next 12 months.
Wanting to diversify into another niche can work and can be expensive. Typically, those who succeed are the ones who are already succeeding in their current niche.
For example, top internet marketers have a system for bringing traffic to a website, and converting them for leads and revenue. They can take that model to any niche, especially ones that have a great following with few good online marketers.
Armand Morin said, in a seminar, that he does very well in the tattoo niche. There are a lot of passionate people interested in tattoos. I do not believe Armand had any real interest in tattoos, other than a lot of people do and he knows the marketing model to drive traffic and make money.
Frank Kerns, another top internet marketer and great copywriter, has websites in the dog training niche. Again, a great marketer with a SYSTEM that already works, and will adopt it to another niche where there is an opportunity for profit.
What does NOT work is someone with an ineffective system, jumping from one product to the next, hoping that it was not them or their system, but the product or niche was an issue. That, as you know, is typically not the case.
This is very common in the direct sales industry, where distributors jump from company to company, pointing out how the marketing system on each company did not work, yet each company has many people doing very well within that system.
This is really a matter of being more accountable and accusing everything or everyone else of not working. The main common dominator, in that situation, is you. If you are on the other side of the coin, and you are successful at almost every business you start, congrats – your system works!
The huge profit opportunity is to realize once your system works for one niche, more than likely a similar pattern will work for another niche!
You would be surprised how many top marketers have multiple streams of income (other than the ones they promote that you are familiar with).
You see an opportunity in your current niche and start a new business (more so a new company) to service this opportunity in that niche.
This makes a lot of sense when you have created a product or service that your niche loves. They almost expect you to come out with something that adds value to your first product or service.
There are three ways to look at your second product or service (many times this makes sense to turns into a new company…especially if you have a partner on the first company and your partner does not want to also invest in the second concept; you may go it alone).

  1. Complement –Does your new product or service complement the first product or service you developed? Does it give your original product 5 times more results or benefit? If so, that is a natural fit!
  2. Enhance-Perhaps your product or service will enhance your existing products or services? How about fries with your hamburger?
  3. Enabler –If your new product or service enables you to get results you would not have been able to get otherwise, that is a natural opportunity. The Ipad has several enablers to allow you to do different things, including working with pictures from your digital camera.

This becomes a very different way to look at your competition. What if you could provide a product or service that will complement, enhance or enable what your competitor has already created?
You are bringing in profits with less effort, because your competitor spent a lot of money to sell, market and brand the first product or service the market is buying up. Now, you can come in on the backend for easier opportunities!
Your lame business partner got in the way. All great businesses, like many marriages when they start, are full of excitement, dreams and hope…that many times, during rocky times, turn the other way quickly.
Most businesses take 2-3 times as long to become profitable (if at all) and the expenses are, many times, 2-3 times what you and your partner expected. This can damper the enthusiasm quickly for the business opportunity and many partners bail early, or worse, damage the credit of the company and/or other partner before they leave.
In this case, it would never make sense to save a few dollars to use that same entity structure you shared with your disgruntled partner.
Even if you thought they properly resigned, it never makes sense to have them sit on the sidelines and, years later, find out they still own 50% of your company. Forming a new entity makes sense, in this case.
Here is the Master Checklist (Questions) to Review Before You Ever Start Another Business: 
Purpose: 

  1. Is your purpose compelling?
  2. Why do you believe you will be successful in this new business? It is always important to note your current beliefs and compare them within 3-6 months, to see if they are on track. If they aren’t, what is different? The key is to learn from your successes and failures.
  3. Do you have a passion for the new business?
  4. Are you starting another one because the first one did not work?
  5. Are you able to leverage resources from the first business to shorten the learning curve of the second one?
  6. Are you motivated and excited to start another business?
  7. Do you have the energy to start another business?

 Niche:

  1. Is there a deep and passionate niche for the new business?
  2. Is there a low barrier to entry to acquire market share in the next niche?
  3. Do you have access to joint ventures to help you get off to a fast start to profits™ in the new niche?
  4. Is there pain in the niche and you can provide the solution to solve their pain?
  5. Do you have a plan to develop CREDIBILITY for your business within your niche? Do you know how to do that with the business credit bureaus?

Capital

  1. Do you have the capital to start up another business? Meaning…
    1. Do you have a 2-5 year business plan?
    2. Do you have financials with a business and cash flow for the first year, especially the first 90 days will be key?
    3. Do you have the ability for extra reserves from a personal loan or line of credit, in case sales are off and expenses are more than you thought?
    4. Have you or do you plan to separate your personal and business credit to get your business in a position to secure more capital?
    5. Do you know the cost of goods sold of each product line or service you offer?
  2. Do you have plan B and C in case plan A does not work with the amount of capital you thought?
  3. Is your new company building business credit with vendors that report to the business credit bureaus?
  4. If you are looking for investors, do you have a good securities attorney to help you follow the law as you look to raise money?

 Time:

  1. Do you have the extra time to commit to starting another business?
  2. Do you have the time management skills to make this happen?
  3. Are you able to avoid the pattern of overwhelm to keep focused and successful?
  4. Are you working ON your current business and not just IN it, so you are creating a system that allows you to work on the other business?

Resources: 

  1. The key resources to make any business opportunity easier are other people’s money and resources (including contacts, clients/customers).
  2. Do you have skills with joint ventures to leverages other people’s resources? Specifically, the host-beneficiary relationship, where your business is the beneficiary and someone else’s business are the host. That means they will promote your business at no cost to your company. That is massive leverage when you are starting a new opportunity!
  3. Do you have the key relationships within the niche where you need support? If not, who do you know who has access to key people who can help you in your niche?

Legal Structure:
When starting a new business, it often makes sense to form a new entity if the following are true:

  • The first business is profitable, and the new business may bring unnecessary liability to it.
  • The second business has a high degree of liability and should be separated from the primary business.
  • The asset class of the second business is different, safe assets vs risk assets.
  • You have a partner for the first business and not the second, and vice versa.
  • The first business has financial problems.
  • For marketing reasons, to help create a new entity and separate brand. You can have more than one brand in one company, and many times it makes sense to keep it separate.
  • You are going to raise money for the new business and wanting to keep the assets of the first business separate.

Starting a new business and entity can be exciting and an opportunity for a fresh start to grow and add value.
Remember, the ONLY purpose of a business is MASSIVE PROFITS. If the business does not have a viable way to develop MASSIVE PROFITS, don’t do it.
That may take a couple of years, but our business master checklist should be in place before you start a new business.

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Steps to Schedule a Call with Scott Letourneau

Thanks for coming to my website today. If you need support with your important questions about entity formation, sales tax compliance, funding, or other business resources, here are my options below.

1. Free Evaluation and Recommendation Call with Scott’s Team:

Our first option is a scheduled free call. This is best for us to understand your situation and make the best recommendation for you.

That may include questions about our services, process, and pricing including entities, sales tax permits, virtual address service…If you do, this free evaluation and recommendation call are perfect to address those questions.

You may have also had questions that fall into our second call, which is a paid strategy session below, and if you have those during our free call we will let you know.

If you would like to schedule a free evaluation and recommendation call go to this link below to schedule an appointment on my calendar. We know it is a free call if you do not pay but it is the same calendar we use when you pay for a strategy also.

Go to this link to schedule a free evaluation and recommendation call with Scott’s Team.

2. Paid Strategy Call with Scott:

Our second option is a paid strategy session where we answer specific strategy questions which may include questions similar to how do I know which states I need to register to collect and remit sales tax, how do I register without an ITIN, which U.S. LLC type is best for my situation… These fall into strategy questions vs questions about our services.

My background is in business finance. I have invested over $250K+ since 1997, with different tax and legal professionals, events (from marketing, sales, e-commerce, taxation, business growth…) along with continued educational training. You will benefit from the millions of dollars our clients have collected invested over the years with their professionals and shared their input on our strategy calls.

In the end, all this experience, in multiple situations, I can to quickly understand your situation and give you plan A, B, or C that may work best for you.

More Details on Strategy Questions that are Common:

If you are an international seller on Amazon.com FBA there are many factors to consider in the U.S. with both federal income tax and sales tax. Our concern for you is if you do not get all these elements answered correctly and in the right sequence, the potential audits may be devastating to your U.S. Amazon business years down the road.

The good news is we are able to share with you the correct order of all these elements to help you avoid the severe problems that have derailed other Amazon FBA sellers.

Here is a summary of the key elements that will be covered during your 30 or 45-minute strategy session:

  • U.S. Tax responsibilities based upon how you have set up your Amazon business.
  • U.S. tax returns. Are you current? And if not, what do you need to do to avoid a big audit (typically a three-year lag time).
  • Even if a tax treaty exists with your country, what is still required? (one client received an IRS tax big for over $292K because they did not file the correct U.S. tax return).
  • Sales tax responsibilities as a foreign seller, as well as the misconceptions that cost Amazon sellers a fortune. (has nothing to do with pending federal sales tax legislation).
  • Behind on sales tax? What are the big issues to avoid that may jack up your penalties to as much as 100% when you attempt to get into sales tax compliance?
  • Looking to skip U.S. sales tax altogether because your tax advisor said don’t worry about it? Discover why the states are on to you and why a sales tax audit is the most crippling of any U.S. audit.
  • How to get back on track while selling in the U.S. Should that be through a foreign entity or perhaps a U.S. entity?
  • How do you remit U.S. sales tax without a U.S. bank account and what will that cost you?
  • Discover the cost of compliance for a real U.S. brand as an Amazon seller, as well as, what you need to consider with our cash flow.

If you are in the U.S. and have wanted to have clarity on which entity type or state is best before you form an entity; if you have strategy questions on ownership, which assets to go in which entity; those questions fall into a paid strategy session as well.

Imagine having clarity after 45 minutes on these issues so you have a plan for your business moving forward.

We have done all the research with many SALT (sales and local tax experts) to simplify this entire process.

We realize a high percentage of Amazon FBA sellers still have wrong information about sales tax. Many hope federal legislation will make it go away or Amazon will collect and remit in all the states for FBA sellers. However, it is still your responsibility to apply for sales tax permits and file sales tax returns.

Those that do are in compliance and focused on marketing and profits; not staying up late at night wondering when the sales tax or federal income tax audit will fall and destroy their business. We don’t want that to happen to you.

Take the next step to secure your U.S. Amazon FBA business. Click on the payment link below which will take you to our thank you page and schedule your strategy session with our team:

You may book a 45-minute strategy session that includes an email summary by Scott on your action steps for $397.00, or a 30-minutes strategy session below. On the links below you will also see what other high-level professionals say about working with Scott.

Go to this link to register for a 45-minute strategy session plus a detailed email summary of your action steps.

Go to this link to register for a 30-minute strategy session.

After your payment on the thank, you will have the ability to schedule an appointment. All times are 30 minutes, however, with the 45-minute package, another 15 minutes will be added.

We also recommend you send an email summary of your questions 24 hours before your scheduled call to support@launchwithconfidence.com with the subject in the email “Strategy Questions for Scott Letourneau” and in the body of the email add your name and company.

I am looking forward to helping you move your business forward with confidence!

Questions? Please email us at support@launchwithconfidence.com


Dedicated to Your Success,

Scott Letourneau, CEO and Founder
www.LaunchWithConfidence.com
www.SalesTaxSystem.com

Scott Letourneau
Schedule a strategy session with CEO and founder of NCP and Sales Tax System
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Are ALL Your Assets Protected Properly?

As the end of another year comes to a close soon and you are getting ready for your plans for the new year, you may be evaluating are all your assets properly protected?

Protect Your Assets from Risk

Here are many of the common strategies that often turn into costly mistakes (that you may not have considered):
  • All your business ventures in one business. Yes, if you are just starting and testing 3-4 different revenue streams that may be ok in one entity but if two or three are really taking off, why put all of that in one business entity (other than it is easier). Would you put all your investments in one stock? Probably not. Why? Too much risk. The same strategy applies to a business (don’t put all your eggs in one basket).
  • Real estate in your own name (outside your principal residence) even without equity may be a lightning rod for lawsuits, best in a separate entity.

  • Too much equity from real estate in one LLC. Especially if the equity is a high percentage of your net worth. If you have three properties free and clear worth $400K each and that is 80% of your net worth, that makes no sense to have in one LLC. Remember, your living trust does not protect assets from liability.
  • Business with a partner that is in the same entity as your operating business that you own 100%. At the end of the day, you make your partner owner of your main company which may not be what you intended.
  • Holding safe assets or investments (crypto also) outside your retirement plan in your own name/brokerage account or your living trust (remember your living trust provides ZERO liability protection but protection from probate taxes).
  • Doing business in the U.S. with your home country entity not knowing that maybe bringing undo liability to your home country business.

It is a great time to form a new complete entity formation (which we do in all 50 states) as you get ready for the New Year.

REMINDER: In January the Secretary of State’s new business filing process slows greatly, so give your business enough time to get up and running for as early in the year as possible.

If you need help to form another entity to protect another business or other assets see our packages below that include a video overview and pricing. Questions? Email support@launchwithconfidence.com. Here are our steps for a Complete Formation for a 50 State Formation. Here are our steps for a Complete U.S. Company Formation.

As we get closer to the end of the year, we may choose to have the start date with the IRS on the SS4 application to be January 2020 vs 2019. If you are forming an entity that would trigger a year-end return for 2019.

Feel free to forward to any friends or business associates that may need support with protecting their business or personal assets. Thanks in advance!

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The Ultimate Asset Protection Structure to Protect Your Net Worth

Lawsuits are at an all-time high; there are over 80 million per year!  The more people struggle, the more they are concocting ways to extract your wealth from you. Perhaps you may not feel you have a lot of wealth, but to others, you may appear rich. Your insurance policies are like blood in the water that the sharks can smell from a mile away!

Make sure your assets are properly protected.

Don’t fall prey to thinking; no one has sued me yet, so why do I need to take these extra steps? My question to you is simple. What is your current risk tolerance given your age and net worth? Can you afford to start over? I have known many have had to do that since 2008.
Keep in mind, simple vs. asset protection is inversely related. Meaning, those are successful, rarely have all their assets in one legal entity. Why? If that entity were to be sued you could lose all the assets in that one entity! Perhaps you will be protected personally, but your business may be gone.
Let’s assume, you are thinking, “Ok, Scott…I want to protect everything, how do I do that”?

Let’s take a look at what that structure would look like.

  1. A separate legal entity for your main operating business. That may be a corporation or LLC.
  2. Another separate legal entity to separate your business into two parts. If you are brand new this is not
    necessary. But if you have been in business for 20 years in one legal entity, that means one lawsuit could cause 20 years of business to go down the tubes. You may want to split up your product lines or services. If you do seminars that may be a different entity from your information product business.
  3. If you have a business with partners and operate through LLCs, each partner should own their
    membership interest in their own LLC, not individually. Why? The LLC has the charging order protection that makes it more difficult for someone to come after the owner of the LLC, which is great. When you have partners, even with the charging order, you do not want any disruptions if the owner is sued for something unrelated to the operating entity. A second layer LLC will prevent that from happening.
  4. A separate legal entity for each piece of real estate you own (your primary residence will be a different
    approach). If you own rentals in Wisconsin where you can buy a house for $40K, you may not need a separate LLC for each piece of real estate. In California, the same house may be $930K. In that case, a separate LLC may make sense. California has an $800 per year franchise tax fee so you may consolidate based upon that fee.
  5. A separate LLC for your safe assets. That includes investments in the market, gold, silver, ownership in other
    companies (like any C corporations). Any entity taxed as an S corporation, there are limits on who may be the
    shareholder, only a single member LLC can be a shareholder. NEVER have your safe asset LLC be the
    owner of a risk asset, like real estate or a business.
  6. A separate LLC for your domain names. Domain names are virtual real estate free and clear. They may become quite valuable over time. If owned by your main operating company and that is sued, you could lose control of your most valuable asset.
  7. A personal residence trust for your home. If you have equity that is not covered by your state homestead laws, this may be the best option to protect your equity and not have the negative consequence that placing your residence in an entity would entail. Attorney Rob Bolick is a great resource and referral partner with NCP and covers more details about the personal residence trust.
  8. A life insurance trust for your life insurance policies. This is part of the estate planning for your estate. Life insurance is not subject to income taxes but is subject to estate taxes and that is why the life insurance trust is a must. Attorney Rob Bolick, an attorney in Las Vegas would be a great resource for this as well. His number at his law firm is (702) 690-9090.
  9. A Nevada Asset Protection Trust. This is like having an offshore trust onshore. It would be the owner of your LLCs and the living trust would be the beneficiary of the Nevada Asset Protection Trust. Nevada has a two-year statute of limitations and when two years go by you are home free from almost all creditors. Attorney Rob Bolick is the resource for this also.
  10. A living trust. Estate planning is very important and most Americans do not have a living trust established. This will help pass your assets to your heirs and avoid probate when properly funded.
  11. An offshore entity. This is the top asset protection tool because the entity is in another country with different rules than the U.S. There are NO tax benefits to an offshore entity. The U.S. person would need to pay all taxes associated with it. The IRS is all over this type of entity, so again, just to be clear, you must pay all taxes as a U.S. citizen.

Other keys point to consider:

  1. A buy-sell agreement with any outside partners in any business.
  2. Life insurance on all partners.
  3. A Nevada domiciled entity for your business which will add another layer or protection. Keep in mind the LLC will foreign register into your state of operations.
  4. A great accounting firm would be needed to keep the flow of money and tax organized.
  5. A great attorney is recommended especially if you make any changes to owners or officers of any of the entities.
  6. It is very difficult to protect your assets AFTER you are sued personally. The key is to protect your assets BEFORE you have any issues.

Need help with a complete formation? See our infographic of our Complete 6 Step Formation Process

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Why Completing Your Estate Planning is a Must!

Growing your business can be one of the most rewarding experiences for you and your family. It can provide a stream of income for years to come. Part of being successful in business is planning for the unexpected, anticipating what can go wrong and have contingency plans. On a personal level, you should be taking the same approach. For example, do you have life insurance (especially if you have loved ones) to support your family if something happens to you? I know in my situation with three girls and my wife I want to make sure they are taken care of if something should happen to me (hopefully a lot later than sooner). Having life insurance was something I had in place right after I was married over 16 years ago.
What I have found over the years is the big areas that create the biggest mess; when a business owner does not get around to completing their estate planning and something unexpected happens to them. This creates a financial mess for the family that is left behind. It is hard enough to handle the sudden loss of a loved one but to add on the financial turmoil can be just devastating for your loved ones. Especially when the IRS gets involved with estate taxes that will be due that may cause unnecessarily to liquid assets at a fire sale point of view to pay the
estate taxes.
Here are my top reasons why your estate planning should be a must to complete in the next 30-60 days and for you to take immediate action after reading this article otherwise it may be 12 months from now and you have not started yet.
1.Take care of your family. Your spouse must be prepared financially and emotionally as best as possible to make sure if something happens to you what the steps are financially..
Certainty and financial security are very high needs, especially guys for your wives. Don’t leave your spouse left holding the financial bag and having to work with other family members and in- laws to figure how what should happen next. Especially, if you run the business, provide the revenue to support your family and your wife runs the household, kids’ schedule and school (which is a much harder job by the way, in my opinion). This is even more of a must if you are in a second marriage and there are your kids and your spouse’s kids.
You may inadvertently have your net worth not go to your kids when you thought it would. Even worse, what happens to your kids if something happens to both of you? What directives do you have in place to take care of your kids? Do you have guardians in place? Here are six mistakes that happen in this key area of naming a guardian 1) they name only one person with no back-up; 2) they name a couple without directing what should happen if something happens to one of the partners of the couple; 3) they consider financial resources of their guardians instead of leaving enough behind through insurance or savings; 4) they don’t name anyone to take care of their financial resources for their children; 5) they name only guardians for the long-term and don’t consider what would happen in the immediate moments or hours after an accident until their long-term guardians could arrive; and 6) they fail to exclude anyone they know they would never want to serve as a guardian. If you die without a Will or having named guardians, the decision as to who will take care of your money and your children is left up to a State Court Judge operating in a broken court system who don’t know you or what’s important to you.
Another challenge is having your estate go to the probate courts because you have no estate plan in place. Here is how this works. In any jurisdiction in the U.S. that recognize a married couple’s property as tenancy by the entireties, if a person dies intestate (owning property without a will), the portion of his/her estate so titled passes to
a surviving spouse without a probate. This part seems to be ok at this point. If the estate is not automatically devised to the surviving spouse in this manner or through a joint tenancy and is not held within a trust, it is necessary to “probate the estate”, whether or not the decedent had a valid will. A court having jurisdiction of the decedent’s estate (a probate court) supervises probate, to administer the disposition of the decedent’s property according to the law of the jurisdiction and the decedent’s intent as manifested in his testamentary instrument.
In order to dispose of certain assets in the estate, it is necessary to sell the liquid assets including real estate. This is where your spouse may be left to sell real estate at a discount and lose significant value. If the decedent died without a will, known as intestacy, the estate will be distributed according to the laws of the state where the decedent resided or held by the court. You never want the state to determine how to distribute your assets. If the decedent died with a will, they will usually name an executor (personal representative), a person tasked with carrying out the instructions laid out in the will. The executor marshals the decedent’s assets. If there is no will, or if
the will does not name an executor, the probate court can appoint one. The other issue with probate is that your assets may be tied up in court for a year or many years longer. Many celebrities’ estates have been tied up for several years with families and lawyers fighting over the assets. That just gives more money to the lawyers and less to the loved ones.
2. Take care of your business. You are working to build your business as an asset and if something happens to you there should be a clear plan on how the business can continue or how to best sell it off. If you have a business partner and one of you dies this can be a real disaster when it comes to paying off the estate of your partner who passed on. Having a buy-sell agreement with a term-life insurance policy on each partner is a must! The ownership of your entity should be held by your living trust for estate planning. Putting your adult kids on
as an owner or officer/manager is not a good idea unless they are really involved in running the business. Why bring undue liability to your business? I would not recommend that. This is a version of shortcuts to avoid good estate planning. If someone in your family or one of your business partner’s wishes to keep the business alive after your death, he or she may face opposition from others who wish to sell the business or who also wish to have a say in running the company. If you know that you can pass the business on to a ready and willing person, say so in an estate plan. Like a guardian plan for your children, an estate plan for your business allows for an easy handoff, so your company can maintain stability.
3. Minimize Estate Taxes. There seems to be some confusion between avoiding estate taxes and income taxes. A Living Trust will NOT help you avoid income taxes. The key is to help lessen your estate taxes. In fact, if you’re the trustee of your Living Trust, you will file your income tax returns in exactly the same way you filed them before the trust existed. There are no new returns to file, and no new liabilities are created. Keep in mind that you may require more complex estate tax planning to help minimize your estate taxes. In 2012, an estate must be worth $5 million to trigger federal estate taxes, so the vast majority of people do not need to worry about this issue. However, several states also have estate taxes, and the exclusion tends to be lower – more like one or two million dollars. If you
are worried about estate taxes because your estate is worth several million dollars, I will share a resource for you at the end of this article
4. Privacy. Most of you would not want your estate to become public record after your death. Having a Living Trust in place is not usually filed in court to become a public record. However, in many cases an inventory must be filed with a court upon death. The inventory will at least show the size of the trust and may be required to list the assets. The inventory is used for the inheritance tax determination. The inventory is public record. The amounts received by each beneficiary may also be public record. One of the goals is to make things as smooth a transition as possible if something happens to you. There are stories upon stories, of family members suing each other after a loved one is gone fighting over the money. This leads to years and many times generational splits in the family because of fighting over an estate which can be all avoided with some proper planning. Why even put your family and your future generations in a position to fall apart because of a lack of planning on your part?
Are you convinced that this is now a must for you and your family? Please take the time to put this in place and you will sleep better at night knowing your family is protected.

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Multi-Tiered Structuring Strategies for Maximum Asset Protection

One of the biggest mistakes I have found over the past 20 years is clients who sometimes have that false sense of security thinking they are totally protected with one legal entity.
Unfortunately, I have seen clients lose control of their companies, their personal assets, and even control of their operating business. The goal is to give you the strategies to plug up any gaping holes you may have in your shield of protection to your current and future assets.
Let’s review the basic’s. The first step is to separate your personal and business assets. That means not operating as a sole proprietorship and forming a separate legal entity like an LLC. Nevada offers an extra layer of protection when it comes to protecting the entity veil and making it harder for someone to come through to your personal assets (assuming you were the owner of the entity).
The next step is to separate your “Safe” from “Risk” assets. Most take the first step to separate their “risk” assets by forming a separate legal entity. Shortly we will cover how to add more separation for your business.
Many forget to form a separate legal entity to protect their “safe” assets, like gold, silver, stock in the stock market (even your cryptocurrency)…where there is no direct liability to you. I believe the reason for this is most think they do not have enough safe assets to protect.
There is no magic number, like once you achieve $100K in safe assets (outside your retirement plan) you need to form a separate LLC. The key question to ask is, “How would you feel if you lost all safe assets to a lawsuit, or action by your creditors?”
If you had $40K of investments unprotected, that may be very important to you, if that is all your safe assets. Also, if you have ownership interest in a business, you may be worth millions, but if you own it personally or by your living trust (which is protected from probate, not liability) you may lose control of that safe asset also!
If you own real estate outside of your principal residence, that should be held by a separate legal entity. It should not be owned by your safe asset holding LLC or by your business operating LLC. To this point your asset protection structure should look like the following diagram below. Notice that the living trust is owning the
membership interest in each LLC, which is ok because the LLC provides the “charging order” protection which is a legal remedy that only (typically) allows the creditor to receive an “economic interest” in distributions from the LLC, not a management interest in the membership interest that controls the company. Now, with the charging order and the living trust connected, you have the best of both worlds (still some improvement can be made. I will cover that part shortly).

Above is the diagram that points out the power of the “charging order” protection.

I find that most seem to forget that if you form an S or C corporation (except in Nevada, which is the only state that has the “charging order” protection for corporations) and you are sued personally for something unrelated to the operating company, you could lose control of your entire company AND ALL the assets of the company, including ownership to your website, bank accounts or any other assets titled to that company. Many seem to forget even who their website is owned by, which for any online marketer may be their biggest assets they lose control of.

The key part is to ask the question: What would happen if my business was sued at the operating level? Do you have any type of business liability insurance to handle the first hit? Most small businesses owners do not have any liability insurance. This means if your business is sued, your business is on the hook for all the legal fees to defend the business. You could lose all the assets, domain names and bank account balances in the lawsuit. The good news is your personal assets should be protected because of the separate legal entity.

The second important question becomes: What would happen if you were sued for something unrelated to the operating business at the personal level? Would you lose control of your company? Would you have a new business partner in your company? This is why so many business owners are vulnerable as a corporation where you own the stock personally.

Let’s discuss a couple powerful strategies involving multiple layers of entities to protect you and your business.

The first strategy involves the use of Single Member LLC’s disregarded for tax purposes to accomplish two goals: 1: to isolate liability to the main operating business (the main assets) and 2: to reduce your federal tax return expenses ( a single member LLC does not have a separate federal tax return due when it is taxed as a disregarded entity vs. an LLC taxed as a partnership would have a 1065 due federally which may be $400-$800 each).
Let’s assume in our example the husband and wife have an internet marketing business and they realize they do not want all their eggs in one basket with their growing business. It is typical if you are a speaker from the platform that would be a separate legal entity, also, if you put on your own events that would be a separate legal entity, and your coaching program would be a separate legal entity.
Each business has its own level of liability and forming a separate legal entity for each to isolate liability is a smart move. You may want all the profits and losses of each business to flow to one entity for tax purposes to simplify the tax structure. In the diagram below you will see this example and how the profits will flow through an LLC taxed as an S corporation to the individual owners.
Ideally, the individual owners will have a living trust set up for estate planning purposes to complete the planning. In this strategy make sure you separate each LLC for each business on all the websites, bank accounts, credit cards… to run them as separate legal entities.

The next diagram is an advanced strategy taking the previous strategy to the next level.

Let me share a story that shares the purpose of this diagram below. A couple of years back, I had a client from Hawaii who had a very successful flooring business doing about $3 million per year in annual revenue. He had a partner and they operated under a Hawaii LLC taxed as a partnership. The one partner was involved in a high profile divorce and the spouse (non-partner) engaged in the charging order, again the LLC as one of the assets involved in the divorce.
Even though the charging order protected the LLC’s assets, that spouse was able to subpoena all the business records of the LLC to determine if any expenses were hidden or going to other companies that the spouse had control of. This was very disruptive to the operating entity. Although the charging order did its job, this was disruptive.
When the partner finalized the divorce and moved to Las Vegas to open a similar business with his same partner, we added a layer of protection at the ownership level. Each owner formed a separate LLC to hold only safe assets, and the safe asset it would own was the ownership interest in the operating company. NOW, if either partner had a legal issue, personal, or another divorce, instead of a charging order against the ownership interest in the operating
company, it would be a charging order against the safe asset holding LLC. This would insulate the operating business from any legal issues with any of the owners.
This same strategy works well with an investment group, with many owners, to require each owner to have their own separate LLC to own the ownership interest in the investment fund. This would help avoid any disruptions to the investment fund.
In this example, the flooring company may have different divisions, each with its own product line, and a single member LLC may help with the other structure for each division for liability reasons. See the diagram below.

In conclusion, a multi-tiered approach is a very powerful, yet underutilized strategy that many times can be the difference between growing your net worth and not having any at all. It is not if you will be sued, but when. The more protection will help you keep more of your assets for you and your family.

Need Strategy Help with Your Structure or Situation?
Learn more about hiring Scott Letourneau for a strategy session.

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Why Your Assets May Not Be Protected…..

As you know, there are over 80 million lawsuits filed every year in the United States. Frivolous lawsuits alone are said to cost the United States over $200 BILLION annually. Even in this current ecomony, things could turn and go back down.  If money gets tighter will more get desperate? How many entrepreneurs abandon their business, which was there vehicle for financial success, and now look to a much easier approach…like suing you and your business. Does someone look at you as their retirement plan? For many Americans, their only option for retirement is to win the lottery or sue someone. I know, not very uplifting, but conceivably reality. This may be the last wake up call to button up your asset protection plan, tax and bookkeeping, and business credit so you and your family are protected. Unfortunately, one entity is not a catch-all for results. Let me ask you these important questions to show where you may be very vulnerable:
1. Do you still operate a side business as a sole proprietorship? That is like playing Russian Roulette with your financial future.
2. Do you own real estate in your own name (separate from your residence)? Even if do not have any equity, to others you must be rich and a target. That is like walking around with a big sign on your forehead that says, “I own real estate in my own name, check it out online…go ahead and sue me.”
3. Are you relying upon your living trust to protect your assets? They do not protect from liability! Do you have family members or parents that are doing the same? That is an open invitation for someone to take their net worth.
4. Do you own safe assets in your own name (like gold and silver)? Is it enough to protect with a separate legal entity from your operating business? Maybe it is a “small” amount in general. The question you have to ask yourself is how would you feel if you woke up tomorrow and your “small” investment was gone? Now…that maybe a different feeling. Losing 100% of your investments no matter how “small” may be a very big deal to you. It is time to protect them before it is too late!
5. Are you operating a business with a partner as a general partnership on the side? That is a double danger because now your partner could cause you to lose all your assets. Are you waiting to make more money first…remember, you cannot buy homeowners insurance when your house is on fire…and you cannot protect yourself (very well) after you have been sued. If you have $100K in assets and are sued for $100K you cannot form an entity and transfer them to protect them (well you can do anything you want but…) the judge will call that fraudulent conveyance and undo your transaction if your goal was to protect your $100K because of the $100K lawsuit. If you had $200K and you did not mind leaving $100K on the table to be taken, that is different…but why be in that position when there is a better way? This is only one threat your business is up against. The other is the IRS (and they are hurting big time when it comes to collecting tax revenues). Are your records up to date? Do you have any records other than an online checking account balance? That is not a business, but a hobby according to the IRS. Finally, is your business financially naked?
How much revenue are you losing on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis? Read the article on how to position your business so you are not financially naked and have an opportunity for success!
See holes in your plan? Email NCP at support@LaunchWithConfidence.com, we can help you plug up your holes so you will be protected and can sleep at night!

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