Small Business Expert and Author of Asset Protection: What If? Is an essential introductory guide for anyone who has anything to protect and we sat down with White and asked him a few questions about small business asset protection, James T. White says, “If you are a small business owner, you may think that asset protection is simply a ploy for the Mitt Romney’s of the world to avoid paying as much income tax. However, the truth is that asset protection is even more important to middle class small business owners than it is for the wealthy — because most small business owners simply can’t afford to lose all the assets of their business to unexpected financial catastrophes and still expect to find a way to start over.”
Q: Shielding Business Assets in an LLC
White continues to explain, “The real difference between Mitt Romney and the average small business owner, when it comes to asset protection, is that Romney has sought out expert advice. He has learned the true secret of success: it’s not what you own, it’s what you control. He has also learned the truth of the old adage: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
With James Timothy White experience As a result of my dynamic career, he has gained an extensive knowledge of public markets, an expansive network of connections in the venture capital and small business community and knows how to access that ounce of prevention and deploy it to protect the assets of your business — not to avoid paying income taxes, but to protect the money and property you’ve worked so hard to obtain from being taken from you by a legal judgment, a creditor or even the machinations of a greedy ex-spouse.
Further in the interview, White explains “Remember, the point of asset protection is not to hide money or property belonging to your business, and certainly not to do anything illegal, but simply to protect your assets in case something unexpected happens. One way to do this is to form an LLC for the purpose of owning your business assets.”
Q: Dividing Family Business Assets Among Family Members
When we continue on to exit strategy or succession planning, James White explains, “Most small businesses are family owned. But family members don’t always get along or work well together, and sometimes families fight over business assets later, even if the business ran smoothly in the beginning. There is a way to prepare for the stormy seas of family conflict. It is possible to set up separate LLCs to hold different assets of the business, and give different family members control of different LLCs. If power over different aspects of the business is set up and organized from the beginning, power struggles between family members become less common.” White continues to say “Putting family business assets into an LLC can also protect those assets from being regarded as marital property if a family member who owns part of the business goes through a divorce. Jokingly White ends with “Do you want to lose half your business in your divorce?”
Q: Stashing Business Assets Offshore
White answers, “Offshore investments have a poor reputation in some circles, but there is really no reason why they should. If the assets that you need to protect are very high in value, or you have a very complicated business situation, forming an offshore entity can be an effective, legal, and legitimate strategy for protecting your assets. Putting your assets into an offshore company will not shield you from having to pay taxes — that’s not really the point. Instead, the point is that if your asset is owned by an offshore company, creditors will not be able to execute a judgment on that asset unless they go to court in the country where the asset is being held. For most creditors and most judgments, that’s too much expense and hassle. No asset protection plan in 100 percent guaranteed, of course, but if you make it hard enough to execute on a judgment, creditors will not view collection as worthwhile use of their time. Even if creditors are able to execute on an offshore asset, the process of doing so will cause a delay — and the business’ cash flow problems may be resolved in the meantime.”
Q: Protecting Business Owners’ Privacy
White’s says “Finally, it’s important to note is that the purpose of asset protection is not always to protect the money or property that is in question. Sometimes, asset protection is a way to protect your own privacy as a business owner. For example, if you are worried about the danger of being stalked (by people who don’t like you, don’t like the form of business that you are in, or even by fans), you can prevent stalkers from looking up your physical address by making sure that the address is not in your name, but in the name of a company formed to protect your privacy.”
James continues with, “The time to think about asset protection, however, is not the moment when you realize that you or your business are being sued, that your debts are mounting to a level that is out of control, or that you have acquired a stalker who is invading your privacy. Rather, the time for asset protection is much, much earlier, when times are good and you can’t foresee any possibility of an economic crisis. Then you can enjoy running your business with fewer worries, knowing that you have thought ahead and prepared for unexpected events.”
We believe you have found the ultimate resource for dramatically improving and growing your business with James White and the company he works for JTW Vantage Group Inc. In today’s is business environment being perceived as professional is essential for your personal and business success. Of course this is only one element, however the most important. As a small business owner you must consider many other important things other than asset protection like structuring your business right, and ensuring your business has enough money to grow, expand and pay your bills, and marketing James Timothy White can help you as he is North America’s expert small business consultant.