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How to buy a small business

Aspiring entrepreneurs in North Carolina and elsewhere may not have the money or creativity to start their own companies. However, it may be possible to buy an existing company that already has an established brand and track record of profitability. In some cases, it may be possible to acquire an existing company without paying for it upfront. Generally speaking, those who are looking to buy a business will want to look for organizations that generate between $1 million and $10 million in annual revenue.

A buyer may be able to gain leverage to negotiate a favorable deal by working with an eager seller. For example, someone who is older and getting closer to retirement may be willing to part with the company for less than full market value. Those who are looking to buy existing companies are encouraged to create a relationship with the owner.

What to think about when investing in a business

Buying a franchise may be an effective way for an entrepreneur to maximize his or her chances of being a successful business owner. There are roughly 4,000 franchise opportunities available in North Carolina and throughout the country. Ideally, individuals will buy companies in sectors that they are interested in and know a lot about. This is because owning a business requires both a financial and time commitment.

It will typically be easier for a person to make that commitment when he or she is passionate about the company's success. Individuals who are looking to buy a franchise should also consider what they can afford to spend to make the acquisition. While it may be possible to borrow money to purchase a franchise, there may be limits as to how much money can come from outside sources.

What to know about wrongful death lawsuits

When a person dies, another person could potentially file a wrongful death lawsuit on his or her behalf. This is generally true if the death is the result of another party's negligence. In some cases, the family of a victim can pursue both criminal and civil penalties against a defendant. Prior to filing a suit in North Carolina, an individual needs to determine if he or she has the standing to take legal action.

In some cases, only the executor or personal representative of the deceased person's estate can file a wrongful death lawsuit. The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit is generally two to three years from the date the victim died. However, the statute of limitations clock may not start to run until the discovery of harm occurs.

Steps to take when starting a business

Small businesses in North Carolina and around the country provide jobs for about 120 million people, and many of these companies grew from very humble beginnings. Turning a business idea into a thriving commercial venture takes vision, determination and effort, and the first step for most entrepreneurs is assessing the resources they have available and developing a plan. Purchasing a franchise allows entrepreneurs with cash in the bank to avoid the teething pains that nascent businesses usually endure, but the most common path to self-employment in the United States is purchasing an existing commercial venture or starting from scratch.

Entrepreneurs who achieve success usually perform thorough due diligence before taking action, and this is especially important when purchasing an existing business. Thriving companies are sometimes offered for sale when their owners pass away or wish to retire, but many businesses are put on the market because sales have been disappointing. This is why it is crucial for entrepreneurs to have the financial records of business for sale scrutinized by an experienced accountant before putting in an offer.

Truck crashes pose threat on the roads

Truck accidents can cause serious damage to people in North Carolina and throughout the country. These crashes can be especially harmful to individuals in passenger vehicles due to the size and weight of large trucks. An 18-wheel truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, which is 20 times as much as a passenger car. There are several common causes of serious collisions involving trucks. Driver error is one such cause. Truckers, like all other drivers, make mistakes behind the wheel. Some kinds of errors are particularly dangerous for the truckers themselves. Truck drivers are limited to specific hours of service, but some face pressure to drive beyond those restrictions.

However, a violation can bring serious consequences. truck driver fatigue can be fatal. Drunk or drugged driving can also pose a serious risk. While statistics show that passenger car driver error is more common than trucker error, the size of these trucks can mean that others on the road are also injured in a crash. Another major threat is posed by poorly maintained vehicles. These trucks travel thousands of miles on a daily basis, and there are strong maintenance requirements for commercial trucks. Poor braking, damaged steering or other maintenance issues can easily lead to a catastrophic truck crash that causes serious injuries or even fatalities.

Helping autonomous vehicles navigate the road with motorcycles

It is likely that North Carolina residents may soon have the experience of sharing the road with autonomous vehicles. Right now, autonomous vehicle companies are testing their vehicles on the road. They need their autonomous driving systems to be able to safely interact with numerous things on the road. This could include bicycles, pedestrians, other passenger cars, delivery vans and trucks, stray animals and motorcycles. The data that these companies are gathering now will prepare their autopilot systems to navigate the roads in the future.

It can be challenging for human drivers to accurately navigate the road with motorcycles. One could imagine the challenges that an autonomous vehicle might have. To this end, an autonomous vehicle developer worked with a motorcycle club to spend the entire day helping the software become more familiar with having bikes on the road.

Learn about capital assets and the sale of a business

North Carolina business owners may be interested in learning about how capital gains are handled when a business is sold. Taxes on capital gains will come into play when a capital asset is sold; when a business is sold, capital assets are usually part of the sale.

Businesses use capital assets in order to make a profit. These assets can be held by a business in order to make investments or to use them for other purposes that will prove profitable to the business. It is common for property that the business owns to be considered capital assets.

What to know about selling a business

Business owners in North Carolina and throughout the country may have a financial incentive to sell their companies. While selling a company could be an emotional event, it can also help lock in profits earned throughout the years. It can also be ideal for those who are interested in doing something else with their lives. Older business owners may be interested in selling their companies and using the money to fund their retirement.

It is generally a good idea to have a team of professionals to assist with the sale of a business. These professionals may help handle the expected and unexpected challenges that can arise during the sale process. For example, a business broker can help to find multiple buyers, which may improve a company's chances of being sold. Working with a business broker may also make it easier to negotiate a deal with a potential buyer.

Fatal truck crashes rise, but no solution is in sight

There were 4,102 large truck crash fatalities in 2017. This represents a 28% increase from 2009. Of those fatalities, 17% were truck occupants while 68% were occupants of passenger vehicles and 14% were pedestrians, cyclists and other road users. North Carolina motorists should know that this rise in fatalities has led many safety groups to advocate the use of collision avoidance technology.

New cars, after all, are coming equipped with features like automatic emergency braking and forward collision warning systems. In fact, all new vehicles sold in the U.S. are expected to have these features by 2022. There is no reason, then, why commercial trucks cannot be equipped with the same things.

Why employers may want to consider selling to employees

A business owner who is thinking about selling their company at some point might want to consider setting up an employee stock option program (ESOP). While many small businesses have ESOPs, it may work just as well for companies with more than 100 employees. This makes it possible to spread the cost of the program among a wider pool of individuals. Furthermore, companies will generally go into debt to create the ESOP, which means that they will need to be able to handle the additional liability.

An ESOP may be best for owners who aren't planning on leaving the company for about five years. In some cases, it can take 10 years or more for employees to obtain full ownership of the business. However, owners may be able to sell a portion of their businesses right away to help them lock in some of their gains.

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