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Construction companies take note: 3 impacts of new tax law

A successful business plan must account for a number of business practices, including tax planning. It is wise for entrepreneurs to revisit their business tax plan on a regular basis. However, this is particular true in 2018 due to recent tax law changes.

Will the new tax law impact business planning? In short, yes, the new tax law will likely impact tax planning for everyone — businesses included. Every business should review both general business impacts as well as those that will specifically impact their industry.

Houston commercial real estate takes a fresh approach

The commercial real estate market often fluctuates with the economy. As the economy is doing well, so is the commercial real estate market. The market in Houston has experienced a few set-backs in recent years, but appears to be poised for growth.

This was highlighted in a recent discussion about the development of a strip mall in the area. The developers appear to have re-imagined this rather commonplace building type. Instead of the more traditional styles that come with a strip mall, the developers have designed the buildings to reflect its neighborhood, at times with a bit of modern flair.

3 questions to guide incorporation discussions

Business owners are familiar with the need to analyze the risk-benefit ratio before moving forward with a transaction. An important part of this analysis is a full understanding of the components of the proposed transaction. Taking the step towards incorporating a business is not much different than moving forward with any other business transaction. The business owners need to become familiar with the different options for forms of business entities and weigh the risk-benefit of each to determine the best option for their interests.

Does the new tax law impact the pass-through deduction?

There are many different business practices that can reduce tax obligations. Recent changes in the law can impact the impact of various practices. One specific question involves the impact of recent changes on the pass-through deduction.

This piece focuses specifically on the impact of the new law to businesses that use pass-through deductions. The pass-through deduction is of particular interest to sole proprietorships and S-corporations. An S-corporation is a corporation that has properly elected subchapter S status under the Internal Revenue Code.

Developers Can Give New Life To Old Properties

A crumbling 150-year old prison can have a new life as a 5-star luxury hotel. A fire-damaged church can be reborn as a trendy brewery and restaurant. An obsolete streetcar and maintenance facility can become a valuable live-work space for artists.

As demonstrated by an article from Bisnow, a creative commercial real estate developer may be able to achieve success from even the most unlikely starting point. Old and unused properties can have extremely lucrative second lives in the right hands. 

4 key questions to address during due diligence

Thinking of moving forward with a merger or acquisition deal? Make sure you complete proper due diligence first. Due diligence, in its most basic form, is the investigation of a business before moving forward with a proposed transaction.

The process should result in a great deal of information, but the four key points that should be addressed in any thorough due diligence review include:

  • Integration. Will the business that is under consideration integrate well into the potential buyer's business model?

Three tips for a successful business succession plan

When done wisely, transitioning a business into new ownership can prove a profitable affair for both the current and future business owners. Three tips that can help better ensure everyone benefits from the transaction include:

  • Think ahead. A smooth transition requires proper planning. Ideally, begin putting together the plan years ahead of an anticipated transition. This is helpful for a number of reasons. In some situations, it works well to have owners or key members of management remain within the organization for a period of time to help ease the transition of the business. If your role qualifies it may take longer to transition out of ownership than anticipated. Beginning the plan earlier than needed can help to avoid any obstacles with your transition out of ownership and help you structure a realistic timeline for the deal. 

Do your obligations continue in a breach of contract dispute?

Contracts are fundamental to business operations. As a business owner, you may have contractual obligations with a wide range of entities, such as your co-owners, shareholders, vendors, commercial landlord, local zoning authority, and state and federal tax authorities. Of course, those legal obligations also raise the possibility of business disputes.

When one party alleges a breach of contract, it is important to understand any continuing obligations owed under the contract. As this example illustrates, financial liability may continue to accrue under a contract.

Careful consideration of a buy-sell agreement for a new business

Here at Stephenson Fournier, we assist new businesses in Houston, across Texas and beyond in all legal aspects of formation. One important consideration is whether the owners should sign a buy-sell agreement to plan for the transfer of an owner's portion of the business should he or she leave.

Typically, this becomes an issue in closely held or family corporations, partnerships, professional practices and similar entities. The buy-sell agreement creates a binding plan for what will happen in case of co-owner retirement, disability, exit, death or similar departure. Other trigger events could be co-owner bankruptcy, misconduct or criminal conviction.

Business transactions may include various licensing agreements

Businesses in Texas and elsewhere may take advantage of a wide variety of licensing arrangements that may benefit both parties to the transaction. Licenses may consist of business transactions permitting the use of patents, trademarks or other technology from one firm to another. A recent transaction between a university in another state and an innovation technology firm is an example of such a licensing arrangement.

In the agreement, the university will grant a license to the technology firm, SensIT Ventures Inc., to use the university's ion mobility spectrometer. The device is capable of detecting trace chemicals from environmental samples. It detects the chemicals on a much smaller size, weight and power level than traditional detection devices.

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