Small Business Week – Entrepreneurs and Estate Planning Series (Part 1)

The National Small Business Week is May 12-16, 2014. This post will share information about doing business in Maryland.

According to the Small Business Administration website, every year since 1963, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.

For informational purposes, the Guide to Legal Aspects of Doing Business in Maryland is a joint publication of the Office of the Attorney General and the Department of Business and Economic Development and it delves into some of the particulars of operating a business in Maryland. Here are a few of the contents of the 2013 publication:

  • Business Organization: Corporation, General Partnership, Limited Liability Partnership, Limited Partnership, Limited Liability Limited Partnership and Limited Liability Company.
  • Foreign Business Operations in Maryland
  • Mergers Under Maryland Law
  • Securities Law
  • Maryland Taxation: Sales and Use Tax, Corporation Income Tax, Maryland and Local Personal Income Tax, Maryland and Local Real Property Tax and Local Personal Property Tax.
  • Labor and Employment Law: Employment Eligibility, Equal Employment Opportunity and Safety Health Standards, Worker’s Compensation Insurance, Wage Laws, Employment-Related Tax Considerations and other related topics.
  • Business Assistance and Financing Programs: Business License Information System, Tax Credit Incentive Programs and other related topics.
  • Environmental Law
  • Consumer Protection Law
  • Franchise Law
  • Business Opportunity Law

The publication also provides information as to where to file business forms and related documents in accordance with the State Department of Assessments and Taxation.

In addition to the topics above, how does estate planning and succession planning figure into the operation of a business? Many businesses need a plan to continue operating in the event that the owner/operator is incapacitated. Even if the incapacity is temporary, things should be put in writing to designate an individual(s) to handle the affairs of the business. Especially in the case of a sole proprietor.

What will happen to a business upon the death of the owner? This question can be addressed in a succession plan. Although, the details of a business are included in the Articles of Incorporation, Articles of Organization, Certificate of Partnership and other documents, this information is limited. Making plans as to how your business will continue upon death or incapacity is another matter. Succession planning will be highlighted in the Entrepreneurs and Estate Planning Series in a future post.

Part 2 of this Entrepreneurs and Estate Planning Series will take a look at wills and the small business owner.

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