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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If a buy-sell agreement becomes outdated, for example, and there’s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:
Borrow more. Invest outside of the company.
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."
just put a dollar amount on the company because it was worth very
little when they entered into the contract with the partner,"
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."
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."
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,
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."
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 (www.njbia.org).
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