Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, accounting for 99.7 percent of U.S. employer firms1 and creating more than 11 million new jobs between 1993 and 20112. As a small business owner, you know how important your business is to your employees and your community. That’s why building protection into your business plan is one of the most important decisions you can make. Life insurance can help protect you and your partners and help ensure a smooth transition of ownership. It can also provide a way for employees to keep their families secure.
Here are some tips to protect your small business:
- Consider providing employees with group life insurance so they can have some financial security. The IRS allows employers to deduct premiums on term life insurance policies of $50,000 or under for their employees. Consult your tax advisor for tax advice.
- If you own your business with partners, consider setting up a buy-sell agreement. In a buy-sell agreement funded with life insurance, partners purchase life insurance to help ensure a smooth transition of ownership in the event of one partner passing away.
- If you have someone on your team you can't be without, consider covering him or her with a life insurance policy. Think about what would happen if one day this person's ideas, talent, or leadership were suddenly no longer available. Would your business lose customers or revenue?
- Keep in mind that a whole life insurance policy builds cash value, which can be accessed via policy loans for business needs, such as providing incentives or rewards for employees. Policy loans accrue interest and reduce the death benefit and cash value.
- When your protection needs decrease, your whole life insurance policy's cash value can also be borrowed against to help supplement your retirement income. After years of hard work, you want to enjoy your retirement, not worry about paying bills.
1 Small Business Office of Advocacy, Frequently Asked Questions, September 2012, www.sba.gov/advocacy/7540/42371
2 Bureau of Labor Statistics, BED. For the latest employment statistics, see Small Business Office Advocacy’s quarterly reports, www.sba.gov/advocacy/10871