A proper buy-sell agreement should always have provisions that assume the future needs of a small business. Although most buy-sell agreements arrange for the death of a small business owner, many buy-sell documents are quiet when it comes to the disability of a business owner. The truth is that a business owner is a lot more likely to end up disabled – than to die – when leading a business organization.

Key Article Takeaways

The serious effects of a small business owner’s disability are extensive: in addition to the business owner’s own health and well-being, an injury or unforeseen illness threatens the source of income of the small business owners’ families, the business itself, and the employees. The remedy to this scenario is smart, simple, and sound: Disability Buy-Out Insurance.

The Disability Buy-Out Should be Mandatory

If an accidental injury or illness hinders a small business owner from going back to work, Disability Buy-Out insurance will help fund a buy-sell agreement. It makes it possible for the remaining owners, or the entity itself, to buy out the disabled owner’s portion of the small business.

The disability buy-out arrangement in a buy-sell agreement will guide the disabled small business owner, after a specified period of total disability (generally 12 months), to sell his/her share of the small business to the remaining owners or to the business organization itself. The remaining business owners (or the business entity) receive the funds from the disability buy-out insurance to complete the buyout.

Disability buy-out insurance is a cost-effective and well-thought-out strategy for carrying out the disability buyout. It is the better business strategy in contrast to the uncertainty of other choices such as exhausting savings, taking from future earnings, or taking out small business loans.

Disability buy-out insurance premiums are certain, predictable, and anticipated. At this crucial time in the life of the small business and its proprietors, disability buy-out insurance moves the burden of financing the buyout from the individual small business owners and the business to the insurance company.

One Product with Many Solutions

In addition to providing financial security to the owners and the small business, disability buy-out insurance resolves various conflicting issues that will confront the remaining business owners and the disabled owner in the circumstance of an owner’s disability:

  • Where will the business owners get the money to buy out the disabled owner?
  • Will the disabled business owner sell their interest in the business to a competitor?
  • How long can the business continue to operate with the disabled business owner?

In addition to the security of protecting vital financial resources for health-related or other expenses, disability buy-out insurance funds give the disabled owner peace of mind that his or her investment in the small business will be reclaimed:

  • Where is my ROI for founding and growing the business?
  • Why would I let the remaining business owners run the business using my money?
  • How can I recover my investment capital?


Incorporating the Disability Buy-Out into the Buy-Sell Agreement

In the entity purchase buy-sell agreement, all business stakeholders enter into an arrangement with the small business, providing that the small business will purchase, and the disabled owner will sell, their stake in the small business to the business entity in the event of their total disability. The business will own and will be the loss payee of the disability buy-out insurance policy for each business owner.

Tax Implications to Consider

Irrespective of the type of buy-sell agreement, the insurance premiums paid for the disability buy-out insurance by the small business owner or by the business itself are not deductible, although the disability benefits are collected tax-free.

Although unique to the cross-purchase agreement and the trustee cross-purchase agreement, if the small business bonuses the premium amount to the business owners as extra compensation, the premiums paid are deductible to the business as compensation expenses, but the insurance premiums must be incorporated in the business owner’s income.

The disabled owner may then acknowledge a capital gain on the difference between his/her basis in the small business and the amount he/she is compensated upon the sale of his/her stake.

Given that tax considerations are an essential part of solid business and personal planning, small business owners are recommended to check with their individual tax and legal experts to fully comprehend their disability coverage needs and tax status.

Consider the Options

Small business owners have the opportunity to customize the disability buy-out insurance policy to accommodate their personal and business needs. After a business owner’s total disability, the disability buy-out insurance policy may address expenses related to plans for occupational rehabilitation or the costs of adjustments or other access benefits (i.e., the installation of a wheelchair ramp) that help the business owner’s return to regular employment in his/her own occupation.

Small business owners have the freedom to choose the method in which the insurance premiums will be paid: Annually, semi-annually, quarterly, or monthly. And also to decide between three separate funding methods for accepting Disability Buy-Out Insurance proceeds (1) Lump Sum; (2) Monthly payment; or (3) Down Payment.

As a small business owner, you most likely already have a buy-sell agreement. Check with your business advisors and evaluate the agreement to confirm that it incorporates a disability buy-out and that your agreement is effectively funded with disability buy-out insurance.

For more information concerning the funding of your Disability Buy-Out Agreement and to obtain a free and confidential quote on long-term disability insurance, contact the insurance professionals at Protect Your Income through our website or https://www.lifeinsure.com/you can call us during normal business hours at (866) 868-0099.

How much Disability Buy-Out Insurance do I Need?

Determining the right amount of disability buyout insurance coverage requires careful consideration of several factors. One of the most important factors is the value of the business, as this will determine the amount of money that will need to be paid to the disabled owner in the event of a buyout. Other factors to consider include the percentage of ownership held by each owner, the age and health of the owners, and the likelihood of a disability occurring.

Typically, the best way to determine the right amount of coverage is to conduct a business valuation. This will help you understand the current value of your business and provide a basis for calculating the amount of coverage you need. You can also work with a financial advisor to calculate the projected cost of a buyout and determine the amount of coverage needed that is sufficient to cover these costs.

It’s important to keep in mind that the amount of coverage needed may change over time as the value of the business changes or as the ownership structure of the business evolves. Therefore, it’s a good idea to review your coverage periodically and make adjustments as necessary.

Another important consideration when determining the right amount of coverage is the type of disability that would trigger the buyout. Some disability buyout insurance policies only cover certain types of disabilities, such as those that result in the permanent loss of a limb or the loss of speech or hearing. Other policies may cover a broader range of disabilities, such as those that result in the inability to perform the duties of your occupation.

Ultimately, the goal of disability buyout insurance is to provide peace of mind and financial security for business owners in the event of a disability. By carefully considering the factors involved and working with a qualified financial advisor, you can ensure that you have the right amount of coverage to protect your business and your financial future.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is disability buyout insurance?

Disability buyout insurance is a type of insurance policy that provides a lump sum payment to a business owner in the event that they become permanently disabled and are forced to sell their share of the business to the remaining owner(s).

Who needs disability buyout insurance?

Disability buyout insurance is particularly important for businesses that have multiple owners or partners, as it can help ensure that the business can continue to operate smoothly if one of the owners becomes permanently disabled.

How does disability buyout insurance work?

If one of the business owners becomes permanently disabled and needs to sell their share of the business to the remaining owner(s), the disability buyout insurance policy will provide a lump sum payment to the disabled owner. This lump sum payment can be used to purchase the disabled owner’s share of the business.

How much disability buyout insurance coverage do I need?

The amount of disability buyout insurance coverage you need will depend on a number of factors, such as the value of your business and the percentage of ownership held by each owner. A financial advisor can help you determine the appropriate amount of coverage for your specific situation.

Is disability buyout insurance tax deductible?

The premiums for disability buyout insurance are typically tax-deductible as a business expense, while the lump sum payment received in the event of a disability is generally tax-free. However, it’s important to consult with a tax professional to ensure that you are properly complying with tax laws and regulations.

Richard Reich
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