Why Business Privacy Should Matter

(This article was originally published in Forbes by Jimmy Sexton. Link to the article here.

Privacy has become a growing concern for many as technology advances. Many are starting to appreciate how vulnerable they have become by sharing information online.

Unfortunately, a considerable number of people fail to appreciate the importance of privacy, online and elsewhere. They frequently resort to the tired argument, “If you have nothing to hide, then why do you care?” (Of course, these same people would probably have a meltdown if the contents of their phone became available to the public.) You don’t need to be doing anything illegal or immoral to benefit from privacy.

Instead, the default position should be privacy. Only under strict circumstances, with clear and abundant evidence of wrongdoing, should privacy be revoked. I believe that current and potential business owners who are against privacy might want to reconsider their position.

Like most things in life, money plays a large role in your experience. Privacy is no different. If you’re living in the dorms and surviving on the ramen-noodle diet while getting your business off the ground, then your options are very limited. Keep fighting for every penny, and I wish you the best of luck.

Thankfully, free markets allow for upward mobility, and technology allows for it to occur rapidly. Once you gain a certain level of success, some very exciting options become available. Many business owners and entrepreneurs waste a ton of cash because they are unaware of the many advantages that come with the privacy afforded by a custom corporate structuring plan, for example.

Are you considering a vertical integration play?

Thinking about opening a new retail location or manufacturing facility? Looking to buy out the competition? With a few smart moves, you can save a boatload on the price.

If you have gone on a beach vacation and ventured outside of the all-inclusive resorts, then you’ve probably noticed that everything has two prices: beers, meals, taxi rides, jet ski rentals — it doesn’t matter. There is one price for locals and another for tourists. You pay more because they know you can afford it — simple as that.

Be prepared to pay top dollar on a deal if somebody can do a little research and discover a bunch of information about you and your company. People are much more willing to negotiate when your identity is a mystery. For example, they might believe you’re really stretching your budget to meet at a certain price, but in reality, you’re more than happy to pay it.

Thankfully, it is still possible to disguise your identity when making deals —  100% legally.

You can negotiate a deal with varying levels of pseudonymity through a special purpose vehicle. It can be a local company or a foreign one — whatever makes the most sense to get you the best price possible. You can even acquire an existing entity that has existed for years to further protect your identity.

Do it right,

and the savings are not limited to a one-time deal; privacy can help you grow exponentially. Have you been thinking about launching a few different advertising campaigns? What could you do with some extra money for research and development? Every dollar saved on a deal can be funneled toward other avenues that can help grow your business. Find something that works, and your competition will be scratching their heads regarding your sudden boost in market share.

Growing a business can be very rewarding. But let’s be real: It’s pretty great to grow your personal wealth, too.

Finally treating yourself to that dream home? You might pay a premium if the seller knows your identity. But make an offer through a special purpose company, and you may quickly learn just how eager the seller is to unload the property.

Saving money on things like homes and private planes is great. But there are more important things in life. While corporate structuring can help your business grow, a custom wealth structuring plan can help ensure that your wealth will remain in the family for generations to come.

Various methods can be used to protect your wealth from bad-faith actors and overreaching bureaucrats. Family governance and succession planning can guide your heirs so that the wealth you’ve accumulated is properly managed in the future.

But please be careful.

No plan is better than a bad one.

Try it yourself or go with some fly-by-night operation, and you could face massive penalties and even prison. For example, individuals subject to U.S. tax and reporting laws can be penalized 50% of the peak value of bank accounts that go unreported.

Lately, I’ve seen many high net worth individuals ditching the more well-known service providers for boutique outfits that deliver more individualized attention and customized solutions. Larger operations have been known to push clients into solutions they’ve mastered, but these aren’t necessarily the best ones for the client. Think of it like this: If you’ve seen a brochure for a particular structure, then it isn’t custom.

My international tax services clients are increasingly demanding flexibility to account for evolving personal circumstances and preferences and for rapidly shifting political climates, as well. It takes a delicate touch from someone that understands the importance of a client’s unique position and desires to achieve the results they’re looking for.

In today’s environment, cookie cutter will not work. There are no guarantees. Several countries and jurisdictions have gained a reputation as being “the best” for this kind of solution or that, but everything depends on the client. One solution could be a no-brainer for one client and a lousy option for another.

Don’t let Hollywood form your ideas about what countries might be involved in your plan. I’ve seen stuff in movies that is out of date by three decades. There are some well-known jurisdictions when it comes to this kind of stuff. Maybe they are right for you; maybe not.

Find a service provider who understands the importance of your unique situation and desires, and your heirs will expand on your legacy.

The information provided here is not investment, tax or financial advice. You should consult with a licensed professional for advice concerning your specific situation.

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