Renaissance Rx

Business in Asia

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Published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on April 19, 2000. All rights reserved.

Stark’s Six Deadly Business Sins


At the top of Allen M. Silk’s list of the "Six

Deadly Sins" for business is dumping all your life’s savings into

your business. "That’s like investing in one stock," says

Silk, an attorney for Stark & Stark. "Then the business starts

to take a bad turn, and all your eggs are in one basket."

Planning ahead and protecting your finances are the heart of Silk’s

seminar, entitled, "The Six Business Killers," on Wednesday,

April 26, at 4 p.m. at the office at 993 Lenox Drive. It is part of

a business succession and estate planning forum entitled "Strategies

and Solutions for Today’s Business Owner." It continues on Wednesday,

May 24, with a discussion of proper titling of assets and funding

succession plans. On June 28 the topics include the irrevocable life

insurance trust, annual exclusion gifts, unified credit gifts, and

the private split dollar. Topics for the fall include buy-sell agreements,

deferred compensation, and qualified plan distributions. For free

reservations call Rosanne Scassero at 609-895-7307 or E-mail:

Silk majored in accounting at Penn (Class of 1969) and has law degrees

from Villanova and New York University. He is a member of the estate

and gift tax committee on business planning of the American Bar Association.

He works with closely held business organizations — their initial

structuring, their succession planning, and the transfer of ownership

to other parties.

Not only do small business owners make the mistake of not diversifying

their assets, some leave too many loose ends in relation to business

partners and, in the case of family businesses, successors, says Silk.

If a buy-sell agreement becomes outdated, for example, and there’s

an unexpected death, the business could be sold out from underneath

the partner for a fraction of what it’s worth. Likewise, a business

could die out if a successor is not named.

Silk’s advice for small business owners:

Don’t put all your money into your business. Diversify.

Borrow more. Invest outside of the company.

Update your buy-sell agreement annually. "If there’s

a premature death, and they’re dealing with a document that’s 15 years

old, the company is not at the same value," he says. "Law

suits begin at that point."

Have an appraiser value your company. "Many people

just put a dollar amount on the company because it was worth very

little when they entered into the contract with the partner,"

says Silk.

Groom a successor early on. "It’s the old story of

the father coming to the son and saying I want you take over the business,

and he doesn’t want to do it," he says. "People wait a long

time when there’s a child or successor to be groomed, and they wait

until it’s too late. Or a parent who is running the business never

chooses the successor and it creates a war in the company."

Procrastination still remains one of the biggest business killers,

says Silk. "People believe they really can’t plan because the

IRS changes their rules," he says. "The IRS doesn’t want you

to plan because as a default all the money goes to them. If there’s

a premature death, the IRS or state of New Jersey gets the lion’s

share of the assets."

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Renaissance Rx

A 16th century doctor named Paracelsus, an early pharmaceutical

pioneer, will be featured in a lecture "Renaissance Pharmacy"

to be presented by a 90-year-old historian, David L. Cowen,

on Wednesday, April 26, at 4:30 p.m., at 675 Hoes Lane West in Piscataway.

A Rutgers professor emeritus in the history of medicine and pharmacy,

Cowen is a Rutgers alumnus (Class of 1930) who has written more than

100 articles and several books. An annual lecture was established

by the Rutgers’ College of Pharmacy in 1989 to honor Cowen and this

year he will deliver that lecture himself. Following the lecture there

will be a reception and dinner. For reservations call 732-445-2675,

extension 605.

Paracelsus revolutionized the field of pharmacy by working primarily

with chemically created compounds rather than plants. Also to be covered

in the lecture: pharmaceutical therapies, the myths of pharmacy, artifacts

and tools of the trade, and pharmacy shops during the 15th and 16th


During that period the "Einhorn" or unicorn was a prominent

figure. "The unicorn and its horn are still a symbol for a good

number of pharmacy shops in Germany today," says Cowen. "The

horn was said to be ground into a powder and used as a prime remedy

for almost every circumstance."

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Business in Asia

Learn how to do business in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan

at a half-day seminar on Thursday, April 27, 9:30 a.m. to noon in

the administration building at Mercer County College. The event is

sponsored in partnership with the state office of international trade

and the New Jersey Business and Industry Association.

Jose Gomez-Rivera III, acting director of the state office of

international trade and protocol, will give the keynote address. Trading

with Japan is the topic for Don K. Ueyama, senior trade advisor

of Japan’s external trade organizations. Oh Suk Kwon of the

Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency and Bruce Fuh, of the

Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office will also talk about trading opportunities.

Cost: $20. Call 609-890-9624 (

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