Tips For Small Business

Small business owners ignore workers at peril

December 30, 2007|By STEPHEN ROSENSTEIN

If you are a small business owner, chances are you dream about the future. You may think of yourself networking with industry leaders, cornering the market with an innovative service or directing hundreds of employees.

Entrepreneurs often fail to consider a less cheerful scenario: What happens to their business if they die suddenly? Would their business close? Would it be clear who controls the assets? Would your family assets be protected?

The best way to avoid this uncertainty is to have business life insurance.

Life insurance can provide for the successful liquidation of your financial interest in the business, thereby protecting your heirs. If the business is to be sold outright after your death, the insurance policy will provide working capital for the transition period. A related type of insurance is "key person or key man" insurance, which compensates your company for the loss of any employee who is vital to the business. If a business has multiple owners, each partner could have a life insurance policy to trigger an automatic buyout of the deceased partner's interest.

You should consult with your family, attorney and insurance agent about a life insurance program. Chances are your business or professional association has a program that offers affordable insurance.

Stephen L. Rosenstein is co-chairman of Greater Baltimore, SCORE Chapter No. 3. Call 410-962-2233 to speak to a SCORE counselor or visit To send a question to SCORE representatives, e-mail

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