Business Management Services Payroll You don't need a separate company for your payroll. The Independent Group of CompaniesSM offers complete payroll services, including withholding and depositing taxes, and filing the periodic forms required by the federal and state governments. If withholdings include United Way contributions, union dues and other "courtesy" deductions, we also process the deduction and direct payment to the recipient. The company that helps with all of your other financial planning and administration can also provide payroll services. Succession Plans Early in a business' life, its owner should begin planning for succession. Will the business stay in the family? Will you take it public? Will you share it with employees?Our business planners are experienced at helping business owners like you plan for the future. We also have the resources to fund such a plan through insurance, stock offering, preparation and implementation of an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan), or selling to a third party.A business succession plan is never cast in concrete. Circumstances change, requiring that the plan be reviewed and updated on a regular basis. As a member of your advisory team, we can alert you to the need to review the plan when such a need occurs. Business Succession A question that causes a great deal of angst among people forming a new business is the structure the business should take. There are so many business forms available to us today, including:Sole ProprietorshipThis is the most basic business structure. You own the business and control it. You are the final word on all decisions. You, personally, benefit from and pay taxes on the profits and suffer from any loss. You are completely liable for any legal actions against the business.PartnershipTwo or more owners are needed for a partnership. The structure is very similar to a sole proprietorship, except that profits, losses and liability are shared by all partners.CorporationA corporation, or "C Corp." as it is known, is considered a tax-paying entity by the government. It is owned by shareholders, governed by a board of directors and managed by people appointed by the board. In a very small corporation, you may be the sole shareholder, but you have additional directors. In this form of business organization, the board decides on executive compensation, distribution of profits and handling of losses. Shareholders and directors are not generally, except in certain situations, personally liable for the debts of the company and are limited in other liability.Subchapter "S" Corp.An "S Corp." is structured much like a "C Corp.", except that the corporation is not a taxpayer. Tax liability on profits is passed through to shareholders.Limited Liability Company (LLC)An LLC is like an "S Corp.", except that it is not registered as a corporation. Tax liabilities are passed through to the owners, but the LLC does not need a board of directors. It can best be described as a sole proprietorship or partnership in which the owners` personal liability is sheltered.Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)An LLP is structured like an LLC, except that it is available only to owners of professional practices, such as a law, firm, engineering or architectural firm. The LLP umbrella does not shelter malpractice by individual partners, but does protect the other, innocent partners. Business Plans The first step in the formation of a business is the business plan. This is often the most intimidating step for entrepreneurs. We provide the necessary assistance to interpret your plans, and format them into a business plan that you can take to the bank - literally.We can also advise you on the viability or your business, and recommend changes that will make it more attractive. We will advise you of inclusions required by banks and other financing sources.A business plan is a dynamic instrument that must change as the business evolves. Our planners will be available to work with you and to advise you as changes to your business plan become advisable. Financing While the bank is usually the first stop for fledgling business owners, other options exist as well. These include venture capital and even an initial public offering (IPO). Our professionals can advise you on the processes needed to initiate the various financing options, and the pitfalls inherent in each. We can also handle work necessary for planning and implementing a financing strategy. Mergers & Acquisitions As your business grows and is in a position to acquire other business, or becomes a merger or acquisition candidate, our business professionals can help you evaluate your business, analyze the offer and make recommendations concerning its viability. International Banking and Business Services If your business involves international sales or acquires a business with overseas interests, you will need an offshore banking relationship. Certain family concerns may make an international trust attractive.2000 Independent Planners Group, Inc.