From the category archives: Business

Business

Before Employees Leave, Protect Your Assets

A review of most construction companies’ financial records reveals their primary value is their owners and employees. Thus, firms have a compelling interest in attracting and retaining skilled and professional labor, as well as avoiding the devastating loss of talent and know-how when they leave or engage in competing businesses. Construction companies that cater to the demands unique to each type of employee will find an edge in the employment marketplace. For instance, to attract older employees, construction companies could consider offering a wide array of tax-advantaged savings and retirement incentives, including health savings accounts, college savings accounts, 401(k) accounts, simplified employee pensions, IRAs and qualified and non-qualified deferred compensation plans. 

Survey Finds Growing Appetite for P3 Projects

  In the next three years, 85 percent of public sector respondents to Husch Blackwell’s third annual Public-Private Partnership (P3) Conference Survey stated they are planning for multiple P3 projects. On the private side, 93 percent of respondents from AEC and financial firms affirmed the same.

Majority of Florida Contractors Plan to Hire in 2017

  Eighty-eight percent of Florida construction firms plan to increase hiring during the next six months and 84 percent anticipate experiencing more difficulty finding appropriately skilled labor, according to a report released by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Florida. The inaugural Florida Contractor Confidence Index (CCI) showed a statewide reading of 81 for improving sales, indicating the typical Florida contractor expects to be much busier in 2017.

Avoiding the Big Spend: Tracking and Caring for Rental Equipment

Sometimes, renting equipment makes perfect sense. In this still-tight credit environment, some lenders aren't willing to finance a large piece of equipment, or an outright purchase might not add up financially if the equipment is only needed for a short duration. For contractors on a budget, rental companies usually have the latest models in their inventories, a luxury that is out of reach for many smaller firms. Plus, renting equipment is convenient, with the duty of maintenance, set up and transportation being someone else's problem. 

Nevertheless, there are still ways contractors can end up paying more than they planned for that rented backhoe or core driller. The good news is that there are strategies to prevent that extra spend. 

Qualifying for and Pursuing The R&D Tax Credit

When the topic of research and development (R&D) tax credits is discussed, chemists with lab beakers typically come to mind. In reality, it’s more accurate to envision construction superintendents and engineers in hardhats on a jobsite. More construction companies are taking advantage of the credit than ever before and are realizing substantial savings in the process. 

Recent changes in applicable law have allowed construction companies, engineering firms and architectural firms to reap the benefits of R&D incentives that come in the form of a federal tax credit to offset tax liabilities dollar for dollar. In addition to the federal credit, most states have R&D tax credits of their own. The combination of these incentives can provide major savings for qualifying companies.

Reduce Lien Exposure With Anti-Assignment Clauses

Property owners, general contractors, subcontractors and materials providers must understand their rights and obligations with respect to construction liens in order to avoid delays in finalizing a project (from the perspective of the property owner) or to avoid forfeiting lien rights (from the perspective of the subcontractor).

Find the Hidden Equity in Heavy Equipment

To have long-term success in the construction business, a company needs to ride the ups and the downs and navigate the surprises that present themselves on an all-too-regular basis. The business cycle can be “feast or famine,” and neither is good. So how does one stay financially prepared for every bump in the road? 

Three Ways After-Sales Service Aids Construction Efficiency and Profitability

  Time is money in the construction business. Any equipment downtime can be troublesome and costly. Plus, projects can take a serious hit for each day that a revenue-generating piece of machinery is out of service waiting for a replacement part. 

As such, construction equipment manufacturers must find new ways to optimize their businesses and avoid downtime, especially as competition grows from third-party parts vendors such as Amazon. After-sales service (i.e., the service delivered
after the initial sale of a new product) is often viewed as a margin and revenue opportunity, but having a well-oiled after-sales service operation—especially for heavy equipment manufacturers—can have a real impact on productivity and be a differentiator for brands and dealers in the space.

Capital Infusion: How to Optimize Forthcoming Construction Lending

Many areas of the United States are seeing a resurgence in construction starts, but the question remains whether any restart of the economy will be sustainable. The lending industry has been heavily regulated since the Great Recession, and construction loans are not exempt from the regulation and oversight, which tends to chill enthusiasm for new lending. 

Although residential construction enjoys the relative availability of new construction funding, commercial and industrial lending is still hampered by an industry-wide fear of failure. 

A Contractor’s State Tax Planning Checklist

Between federal laws, the taxing jurisdictions of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, and countless local jurisdictions, contractors and construction companies face unique tax challenges. However, with minimal planning and a proactive approach, unwanted tax consequences can be avoided. 

Considering that tax reform was a priority of the new administration’s campaign, economists believe substantial changes will be made this year to corporate and personal income tax rates. Given the likelihood of reform, it is important to consider the potential tax changes in relation to the business’ legal formation (e.g., Corporation, LLC, etc.), which could yield benefits given the expected decreases to the corporate and individual tax rates. 

 

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