Patrick: Hi, I’m Patrick Findaro, co-founder of Vetted Biz. I’m very excited to have Larry Carnell here, vice president of Velma at Benetrends. He’s also called Dr. ROBS, as he introduced a unique business structure for those who are looking to invest in a franchise, in a business in a tax-efficient way. And in today’s conversation, we’re going to go through how you should best plan on setting up a business. Then we’ll talk about selling a business and look at different case studies. Today’s lesson is to learn what Larry has applied to his career as a successful entrepreneur. And how to act as an advisor. Larry, thank you for being here.
Larry: Well, my pleasure, Patrick, appreciate the opportunity to join you.
P: I understand you’ve owned multiple businesses, you’ve advised people on buying businesses, financing businesses. What draws you and what keeps you going in helping entrepreneurs?
L: If you make enough mistakes, they call you an expert for better or worse. In this new economy, I don’t think it’s about how much wealth you create. I think it’s about how much you keep. In this economy, where free services are offered to get votes, there will be a cost. Entrepreneurs, in particular, are probably going to be the ones who are going to have to pay for this. The general public can’t be taxed much more. And I think in this new economy, there are things that we have to do from a structure standpoint.
It’s not just about getting into a business, but also thinking about an exit strategy.
L: There are things on the table right now that they don’t have to worry about. It’s not about what’s on the table today when you start the business. It’s about what’s going to happen in the next few years. How you structure that business today can have a significant impact on you, your family, and your children.
P: Then, wealth is created by very small companies all the time, and it’s better to plan upfront.
L: Well, be aware there are efforts politically to double capital gains tax. The argument is that even if you create this wealth and sell the business, you will have all this wealth. In the recent election, there were proposals to tax assets. Even after the business has sold, they tax the assets that you have…
Patrick: Effectively. A wealth tax is common in some European countries, and effectively we have it on the property. But it’s at a very small percentage and…
L: But now here’s the trick. Many things are happening right now. The entire country is being stampeded like a herd of buffalo toward a cliff. We’re not going to be able to save the buffalo. But we can save ourselves, protect our families, protect our children by finding rocks to hide behind. Guess the easiest way to find those rocks.
L: A lot of what I’ve done is lecture around the country. Not on financing, but on how to accumulate, accelerate, protect wealth, mitigate taxes for you and your family. Some things are happening in America right now that have become the fastest-growing wealth erosion in the history of this country. This was what I predicted in the 1990s. I predicted that by 2020, 50% of all bankruptcies in America would be due to health-related issues. I got the numbers wrong by 17%. The American Journal of Public Health just announced that bankruptcies due to healthcare-related issues during the later years of life now account for 67% of all bankruptcies in the United States.
Larry: This has created a paradigm shift in the necessity to structure a business with an exit and wealth protection strategy.
In Benetrends, we specifically design plans, not just to provide funding, but to help you to accumulate and protect that wealth that you create for your family.
L: In my opinion, now is some of the best times in decades to start a business because you have wealth protection features and tax protection features that you didn’t have before. We can use a combination of programs to help you not only acquire business but be able to leverage the ability. The very first deal, one of the very first deals I ever did, was a guy that was looking at a $300,000 business. When he looked at everything, he says, “There’s not enough money in it. I’m just going to try to go find a job.” I was able to leverage his retirement funds to enable him to buy a $1.3 million business that he didn’t think he would be able to afford. But the profitability in that was much more attractive than going back to the job.
L: It was creating an income stream for his spouse if something happened to him, and even his children, if he wanted to bring them into the business later on. Generational wealth for him and his family. I think it’s becoming more of a challenge to be successful in business because there are so many efforts to take away the profit. When that happens, it decreases motivation. In every economy, certain industries and businesses are doing well. That’s the reason I’m a big advocate of working with franchise experts, franchise consultants, business brokers, or other people to help you filter the good from the bad.
L: I used to be a business broker. And I was an award-winning franchise expert, a trainer for the International Business Brokers Association. I bring some experience to the table that a lot of people in finance don’t have. Ironically enough, I kind of joke that I’ve always hated bankers, and lo-and-behold, I became a banker. The difference is I approach everything from an entrepreneur standpoint, not what’s best for the funding resource, but what’s best for the employer or the business owner. That’s what we do at Benetrends.
P: I would say you’re more of an advisor that a bank might just be offering one or two products, whereas for what you offer through Benetrends, you have a lot of different ways that you can go about structuring it now.
L: Well, part of it is that many loan officers in banks are incentivized to collect an application, to get your application. And the problem is the loan process now can be several months long, because they can get a bonus for getting a lot of applications…
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