When you’re a business owner, it’s only natural to take pride in your work and want to protect yourself. When you come home after hard work, the last thing you want is for someone else to claim what is yours. However, that can happen if you aren’t careful about protecting your interests. Fortunately, there are certain things that you can do to protect your assets. Here are some useful tips that can help you out.
1. Cook Islands Trust
Trusts have shown to be one of the best ways to protect assets. Specifically, a Cook Islands trust can protect you in legal proceedings regarding seizures and forfeitures. In order to explain exactly what a Cook Islands Trust is, let us look at the example of a person named John Doe. John Doe has amassed a fortune from years of hard work and he wants to keep it safe from being seized by the government if there ever were any legal proceedings initiated against him in which his assets could be taken. If this were to happen, his entire fortune would be seized and he wouldn’t have any money left over for himself or his family. This makes it necessary that John Doe form a trust that will leave him the ability to keep the majority of his assets after they are seized by the government. This is because the laws in the Cook Islands regarding off-shore protection trust will not permit the seizure of any assets – instead your trustee in the Cook Islands would take over the management of your trust immediately upon legal action being taken against you. And that means that you wouldn’t technically have any assets to surrender, since they’d be under the control of the trustee that’s not a citizen in your country – and not bound by your countries laws.
It’s also necessary that you keep your assets insured. This will ensure that you’ll be refunded if there are any claims filed against you or if they’re damaged in some way. Sometimes, people will try to piggyback off of your success in negative ways – even making FTC allegations against you – which would take a toll on your assets. This is also a problem that can be solved with insurance, ensuring you’ll have the money to cover yourself in situations like this. Insuring yourself and your assets via general liability insurance and errors and omissions insurance can go a long way in cases like this. And with insurance, comes the possibility of receiving a payout should something unexpected happen – for example, a fire or theft. This will ensure that the money you worked for is protected and you won’t be in a situation where it’s gone and there’s nothing left to show for it. Of course, there are different types of insurance available and you’ll want to select one that’ll protect your assets well. When it comes to protecting assets, among the more popular insurance types are insurance that protects homes, life insurance, as well as insurance to protect against employees who aren’t loyal.
3. Bankruptcy Exemptions
There are also rules that allow you to choose certain assets that won’t be seized in the case of an eventuality. The most popular exemptions when it comes to asset protection would be the tools necessary to work- such as your car, computer, and even clothes. These things are all exempt from any seizure due to bankruptcy – so it’s important for you to take advantage of these rates. This will ensure that you’re able to keep your assets and won’t lose everything should something unexpected take place. And the best part is bankruptcy exemptions also apply to married couples, so long as they both file for bankruptcy. Of course, this is usually seen as a last resort and your best bet is to take the right precautions. But, if something does happen and you do file for bankruptcy – it’s not the end of the world. Many successful businessmen have declared bankruptcy and then bounced right back on the wave of their ever-present success.
4. Protect Your Intellectual Property
Your business is all about ideas, and what’s yours is yours – no one else should take credit for them. Even if you don’t think someone would be interested in stealing your idea, it still has value to you and you wouldn’t want someone else claiming it as their own. To protect your intellectual property, do not show it to anyone before it’s ready for the public eye – and when you do, make sure that the person or people who see it sign a non-disclosure agreement. This will keep your idea safe from being stolen and reused by others. That said, you can’t really claim every idea as your intellectual property – there are certain conditions that have to be met. For starters, it has to be an original idea. If someone else already had that idea prior to you – even if you were the first person to make money off of it, for example, then you didn’t actually have the intellectual property, to begin with. Additionally, it has to have some kind of value – meaning that someone else could use your idea and make their own money off of it.
5. Retirement Accounts
Retirement accounts are also exempt from seizure in the case of bankruptcy – and if you’re a business owner, this is one of the best places to keep your savings. Not only does an employer usually offer some form of retirement account, such as a 401k or IRA, but it’s also tax-free when you put your money aside. Additionally, it’s not subject to seizure if you file for bankruptcy – which means that it’s one of the best places to put your money, especially if you’re a business owner. So, don’t keep all your assets in checking and savings accounts – split them up among items that are exempt from seizure, won’t lose value over time, have tax benefits, and ensure that your hard-earned money doesn’t go to waste.
In the end, there are a variety of different ways to protect your assets and ensure that you have enough money so that all of your hard work doesn’t go to waste. These tips will help you maintain a strong financial foundation with items that will keep your savings secure and away from any bankruptcy claims.