Best Business Law Firms in Greensboro

We work with many attorneys and law firms throughout Greensboro and the state of North Carolina. Through referrals and working on joint projects, we have found 5 law firms that are especially great to work with.

The 5 best business law firms in Greensboro (in no particular order):
Carruthers & Roth

Carruthers & Roth was founded in 1937 and is located in the heart of Greensboro. They are a mid sized law firm offering big-firm capabilities delivered with the personal attention and responsiveness expected from a small town practice. Their clients include large multinational corporations, closely-held businesses, individuals, and entrepreneurs. To see a full list of their practice areas, click here!

Contact Info:

Phone: 336-379-8651 | Website: www.crlaw.com

Brooks Pierce

Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard, LLP is a business law firm providing comprehensive strategic counsel and innovative solutions. Their clients include: businesses, individuals, government, and non-profit institutions. The firm’s expertise extends to every aspect of business law (antitrust, mergers and acquisitions, start-up and publicly traded companies, trusts & estates, and many more).

Contact Info:

Phone: 336-373-8850 | Website: www.brookspierce.com

Womble Carlyle

Womble Carlyle is one of the largest and most technologically advanced business law firms in the Southeast. They have been serving the Greensboro region since 2001 after realizing Greensboro to be a key business center in North Carolina. The office includes 15 lawyers whose practices include: specialty areas of capital markets, corporate and securities, health care, intellectual property, and business litigation. The office is also home to several lawyers of the Firm’s Supply Chain Management practice group which provides supply chain solutions to businesses. While the firm was originally established in 1876 in Winston-Salem, it now comprises more than 550 lawyers in fourteen offices across the state of North Carolina.

Contact Info:

Phone: 336-574-8030 | Website: www.wcsr.com

Tuggle Duggins P.A.

Since 1974, Tuggle Duggins P.A. has been serving businesses and business owners with interests in the Carolinas. Tuggle Duggins is a multi-specialty, multi-disciplinary law firm focused on the needs of closely held businesses and business owners. They provide representation in legal matters ranging from conventional, personal, and business issues to complex legal matters. Their goal is to provide long-term client relationships and delivering exceptional services and results to their clients.

Contact Info:

Phone: 336-378-1431 | Website: www.tuggleduggins.com

Hagan Davis

Hagan, Davis, Mangum, Barrett & Langley, PLLC is a well established and trusted group of attorneys in Greensboro, NC. Dedicated to helping their clients achieve their business objectives effectively and efficiently. Hagan Davis has a proven track record for success, particularly in complex legal matters. There is no typical client of the firm, however most of their clients are influential in business, philanthropy, education, and sports. They deliver results to entrepreneurs and high-income individuals alike.

Contact Info:

Phone: 336-232-0650 | Website: www.hagandavis.com

If you need a business law firm in Greensboro, NC, these five law firms are the best place to begin your journey. Each firm comes highly recommended by the Principal Members at LBA Haynes Strand. If you would like a specific attorney’s information, please contact us.

Fraud Alert: Rise in Imposter Fraud

Imposter fraud is the most recent attempt of fraudsters to trick businesses out of money. Imposter fraud is when a fraudster poses as a person or an entity that you know. They could pose as an executive of your company, a vendor, or even the IRS! 

In these instances the fraudster will most likely contact you by email. The only problem is, the email looks exactly like the one you receive from the person you know, even down to the email signature. When the fraudster is posing as an executive at your company, they will attach an invoice and instruct you to make payments, usually by wire transfer. Most employees would take an email from their CFO or Controller as a direct order and would pay the invoice without any hesitation. This is exactly what these fraudsters want. We have heard from numerous companies in North Carolina that have seen this attempt at fraud. Some have caught on to this fraud before sending money, others unfortunately have not.

When the fraudster is acting as a vendor they will most likely send you a similar email as your vendor would. However, they will request that you change the original vendor’s payment instructions and that you pay the account of their choice. In addition, they may also hack into your email account and find trends of who you do business with. This allows the fraudsters to create fraudulent invoices or payment requests with very subtle differences than the original invoices.

So, how can you reduce this risk?

First of all, you need to alert your employees and tell them to be aware of scams such as these. No payments should leave your office without being approved by multiple people in your office. If something seems odd or off about a request for payment, be sure to discuss the matter first hand with the executive or the vendor in question. This could alleviate any concerns you had and could protect your company against this fraud.

Education is truly the best way to prevent fraud. We must learn from what others have seen in the marketplace in order to create best practices in these kinds of situations. We challenge you to discuss openly any external attempts at fraud that you have seen. Discuss these cases with your friends, at networking events, at chamber meetings, on social media, etc.

To learn more best practices and speak to a team of CPAs that understand how to safeguard your business against fraud. Contact us for your no-cost consultation.

NC House Budget Bill 117: Proposed Changes to Sales Tax, Corporate Tax, and More!

On Thursday June 11th, the North Carolina Senate version of the NC House Budget Bill (HB 117) was filed and included a number of changes from the original bill proposed by the NC House or Representatives. Among the changes are: lower personal income tax rates, a change in corporate taxes, a new formula for distributing sales tax revenue among counties, and a retooled jobs incentive program.

Remember, as of right now, all the changes are only proposed. You should, however, be aware of these changes and how they could affect you and/or your business.

New Sales Tax On Services:

The bill would broaden the sales tax base in order to help pay for new income tax cuts. Among the purchases facing sales taxes are: advertising, veterinary and pet care services, and repairs an maintenance work on personal property such as cars. Also this would mean that large non-profit organizations, such as hospitals, would lose a sales tax exemption.

Personal Income Tax Cuts:

The personal income tax rate would be cut from 5.75% to 5.5% beginning in 2016. The standard deduction would increase gradually over a four year period, meaning a married couple filing jointly wouldn’t owe taxes on the first $18,500 of income by 2020. A single person on the other hand wouldn’t owe taxes on the first $9,250 in income.

Corporate Taxes:

The bill proposes that over the next three years, the state would begin using the “single sales factor” formula for calculating corporate taxes. This means calculating the companies’ tax liability based entirely on sales instead of factoring in their payroll and property value.

Sales Tax Redistribution:

Included in the bill is a new distribution formula for allocating sales tax revenue among counties. Basically the state would distribute 20% of revenue based on where sales occur, and 80% would be based on the population of the county. This new version would allow counties to decide how to allocate revenue between their city and town governments.

Job Incentives:

The Job Development Investment Grant incentives would be capped under the new bill. This has been the state’s main job incentive program which has been out of money for months. The state could then offer up to $15 million each year and up to $30 million during a year in which the state lends a “high-yield project” bringing thousands of jobs.

Because House Bill 117 has already cleared the House, changes can no longer be made in public meetings. Instead members of the House can only approve the version passed by the Senate OR vote it down. In the event that it is voted down, legislators from both chambers would work out a compromise.

If you have strong feelings about this bill, you are encouraged to contact your senators. The Senate is expected to begin voting on this bill this week! To find contact info for your local representatives, please click here!

If you have questions about how budget bill 117 will affect you – reach out to LBA Haynes Strand today. Our team will be happy to walk you through the proposed changes and how they will affect you!

Greensboro Named A Best Place To Live

According to Livability.com, Greensboro is one of the best places to live in the United States. Greensboro came in at #91 on the list, just ahead of Charleston, SC! Reasons for the ranking included Greensboro’s high quality of health care and education and a continuously improving downtown area. 

As far as education goes, Greensboro is home to the third largest North Carolina Community College institution in the state, Guilford Technical Community College. The city is also the home of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Guilford College. In addition to college education, the Guilford County Public School District is highly respected in the area. The plethora of quality educational institutions makes for a great place to raise a family.

You also cannot overlook the health care in Greensboro. According to the survey results, Greensboro ranks 14th in North Carolina out of 100 counties in terms of longevity and quality of life. There are 30 hospitals located within 60 miles of Greensboro and nearly 2,200 doctors within the city limits.

Furthermore, downtown Greensboro has been transformed into a vibrant and lively area that serves as the main center for the area’s commerce and culture. The area is boasting with shoppingdiningentertainment, offices, and neighborhoods – the feel of downtown can best be described as “cool.” In a recent interview Greensboro’s Mayor, John Perkins, was asked to describe his city. He had this to say, “We’re trying to make the town cool.  We have 47,000 college students at seven colleges and universities that are here. We want to leverage off that and keep some of that talent here after they graduate. And the best way to do that is to make your city cool.”

Other Accolades:

This is hardly the first time Greensboro has shown up on a “Best” List. Earlier this year Greensboro made appearances on a number of Forbes lists, including:

Slowly but surely Greensboro has grown to become a very important city in North Carolina. As the 3rd largest city in terms of population in North Carolina, expect great things from “The Gate City”. This nickname comes from the fact that In 1891 the city would see the arrival and departure of 60 trains per day. It became an important transportation hub for manufacturers and people alike.

If you are a business owner in the Triad region and would like a no-cost consultation with an established certified public accounting firm in Greensboro, contact us.  Our team is ready to work with your team and provide you with the  services and benefits you expect.

How To Find A Company To Buy

Our firm receives many questions on M&A, but by far the most common question is: “How do I find a company to buy?” The answer is a simple one… start with Google and search for companies that are currently for sale. The search will most likely lead you to brokers. Within each industry, there lies a group of brokers who focus on mergers and acquisitions.

One very popular business broker firm in the Charlotte area is Viking Mergers and Acquisitions. On Viking’s website, there is a section for people looking to buy a business and another for people looking to sell their business. Under the “Buying A Business” tab, there is a business listing of all their clients who are looking to sell their business. There you go – you have your answer. It’s that simple!

What else can you do besides searching online?

I recommend trying a direct mail piece. To quote Wayne Gretzky, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”  You may never know that a company is interested in selling if you don’t ask them! Do some market research and look for companies that can add value to your business. 

What else should you look for in a business to buy?
  • Location – Do you want to enter a certain city or geographical area?
  • Lack of a Succession Plan – This one is hard to tell unless you have a dialogue with the owners.
  • Specialized Service/Product – Do you want to offer a new service or a product?
  • Culture – A similar work culture will help the merger or acquisition succeed.

Find a list of companies that fit the profile you are looking for and send them a letter or a postcard. This mailing should address your intentions, show off your background, gauge the interest of the business owner to sell, and be short and to the point. After that, it is up  to you to either follow up or foster the relationship. If you hear back from a business owner, you can fine tune your approach and learn what worked in your mailing or what you should change in order to make it more effective the next time around. You also might learn more about what kind of business owners are interested in selling and you can target similar business owners with your next correspondence.

Interested in learning more about how to find a company to buy?  We will release more blogs on this topic in the near future so stay tuned! In the meantime, feel free to reach out to the team at LBA Haynes Strand for your no cost consultation!

Top Ways To Spend The 4th of July in Charlotte

If you are new to Charlotte or just simply want to find an exciting new way to spend your 4th of July, the events listed below are some of the top ways to spend your holiday! Since the holiday falls on a weekend this year, you will find great events on both Friday, July 3rd and on Saturday, July 4th.

Friday, July 3rd

Charlotte Symphony Orchestra Celebrate America

Where: Symphony Park at Southpark

Time: 5:00pm – 10:00pm

Description: Enjoy a picnic with your friends and family, listen to the Charlotte Orchestra play patriotic favorites, and top it all off with a top notch firework show following the concert! Buy Tickets Now

Saturday, July 4th

US National Whitewater 4th of July Festival

Where: US National Whitewater Center

Time: All Day Event

Description: Enjoy the outdoor adventure and ambiance of the US Whitewater Center, while enjoying live music followed by a spectacular firework display!  Bring your lawn chairs and blankets as seating is limited! View Details Here

SkyShow 2015 July 4th Spectacular

Where: BB&T Ballpark

Time: Gates Open at 5pm

Description: Watch as Team USA takes on Team Cuba at BB&T Ballpark in uptown Charlotte.  There will be pregame festivities including live music, food, and games that are fun for the whole family.  After the game you will be treated to one of the very best firework shows in the Carolinas.  Buy Tickets Now

These are some of the most popular events in the Charlotte area.  However, there are other events that are highly recommended as well, including:

Matthews, NC: July 4th – People’s Parade and Concert from 5pm – 9pm

Mint Hill, NC: July 3rd – Queen City Brass Band Concert – starts at 7pm

Waxhaw, NC: Waxhaw’s July 4th Celebration – Festivities begin at 10am and finish with fireworks at 9:15

Enjoy your 4th of July weekend with your family and friends and remember to stay safe!  If you are handling fireworks, click here for important safety tips!

Celebrate July 4th In The Piedmont Triad

We are giving you some new and exciting ways to spend the 4th of July holiday in Greensboro and around the Piedmont Triad area! Check out the events below for suggestions on how you can make the most of your holiday weekend!

Friday July 3rd & Saturday July 4th
Fun Fourth Festival

Where: Downtown Greensboro – S. Green, S. Elm, Washington, & McGee Streets (click here for a PDF map)

Time:

  •  Friday: Kickoff Block Party: 7-11pm
  •  Saturday: Freedom Run & Walk: 8am
  •  Parade & Street Festival: 9:30am – 6:30pm
  •  Pops Concert & Fireworks: 7:30pm – 10pm

Description: The Fun Fourth Festival has been presented annually since 1975 as a community celebration of Independence Day for Guilford County and the greater Piedmont Triad Area. This year, over 90,000 people are expected to attend! Fun Fourth events include a Freedom Run, a Kickoff Block Party, a Parade and Street Festival, a Pops Concert, and of course, Fun Fourth Fireworks Finale. Fun Fourth maintains all of the favorite American Independence Day traditions and offers great entertainment and exhibits, many of which are free! For more information, click here.

Saturday July 4th
Uncle Sam Jam

Where: High Point; Oak Hollow Festival Park

Time: 4:30pm – Gates Open; 9:45pm – Fireworks

Description: Celebrate the 4th of July with outdoor live music, food vendors, children’s crafts, entertainment, activities, and fireworks! Parking will be available at the park and in surrounding lots. Come out and enjoy an event that is great for the whole family! **Fee is $10 per car load.

Independence Day Celebration

Where: Winston-Salem; Old Salem Historic District

Time: 9:30am – 4:30pm

Description: Join Old Salem Museum & Gardens for a special Independence Day celebration! Enjoy hands-on activities, demonstrations, music, games and more, including a moving naturalization ceremony at 10am, throughout the historic district. Historic Buildings will close at 4pm for all guests to join together in the Square for a 4:15pm re-enactment of the 1783 celebration of July 4th by the Moravians in Salem! Click here to find out more about this spectacular event!

Winston-Salem Dash Baseball Game & Fireworks

Where: Winston-Salem; BB&T Ballpark

Time: 6:30pm

Description: Spend your Saturday evening at the BB&T Ballpark cheering on the Winston-Salem Dash as they take on the Wilmington Blue Rocks! Youngsters can run the bases after the game, and be sure to sick around for the postgame fireworks show! Click here to purchase tickets.

Stars and Stripes Spectacular

Where: Greensboro; Newbridge Bank Park

Time: 6:30pm

Description: Cheer on the Greensboro Grasshoppers as they take on the Hickory Crawdads! Celebrate July 4th after the game with the Stars and Stripes Spectacular fireworks show, presented by Tanger Outlets. Get your tickets here!

These are some of the most popular events in the surrounding Piedmont Triad area:
  • Greensboro, NC: Wet ‘n Wild Emerald Pointe’s Sky Scream Fireworks Show – Extended park hours are 10am – 9pm, Fireworks at 9:15pm – emeraldpointe.com
  • Kernersville, NC: 4th of July Fireworks and Splash B4 the Blast – Swimming & Giveaways at the Kernersville YMCA, Live Music & Fireworks starting at 6:30 pm at the Kernersville Raiders football field – toknc.com
  • Lexington, NC: Fantastic Fourth Celebration – A great family event for children & kids of all ages; Fireworks begin between 9pm and 9:30pm – visitlexingtonnc.com/fantastic-fourth-of-july-festival

We hope you enjoy your 4th of July! Remember to stay safe! If you’re going to be handling fireworks, please click HERE  for important safety tips! Happy Independence Day!

Stock vs. Asset Purchase: How About The Best Of Both?

Most buyers want to buy assets and most sellers want to sell stock. However for our buyers, sometimes the internal contracts of customers and vendors and the ease of buying stock is something they prefer. So, how do we get the accelerated tax benefits of an asset purchase?  Here’s one option called a 338(h)(10) election:

According to the IRS, Section 338(h)(10) permits the buyer and seller of corporations to elect jointly to treat the target corporation as deemed to sell all of its assets and distribute the proceeds in complete liquidation.

To qualify for the 338(h)(10) election, the seller must be either:
  1. A US corporate subsidiary of a selling consolidated group or a parent company.
  2. An S corporation on the acquisition date

When buying a corporation, one of the very first issues that needs to be addressed is whether a section 338(h)(10) election will be made.  This election is made to step-up the tax basis in all of the seller’s assets when the benefit of the step-up to the buyer exceeds the tax cost to the seller.  When the tax cost to the seller exceeds the tax benefit to the buyer, the election is not made.

So what benefits come from a 338(h)(10) election?
  • The taxable gain on the deemed sale of the target subsidiary’s assets may be offset by any losses in or tax attributes of other subsidiaries of the selling group.
  • The proceeds from the liquidation of a subsidiary are tax-free to the subsidiary’s shareholders under IRC Section 332, resulting in a single level of tax.
  • Advantageous in the acquisition of S Corporations because S-Corps are not subject to corporate level tax.

To learn more about this election and other tax benefits that could assist in an M&A transaction contact us for a no-cost consultation!

What’s In a CPA Firm Name?

Accounting firm names are usually long names… lots of names… lots of letters! Why are our firm names made up of all these names and letters? Accounting firms, like other professional service firms, face many challenges in naming their company – including state regulations that require the use of the the name or initials of any partner or shareholder in the firm name. A CPA firm may also use the name or initials of a retired or deceased partner or shareholder in the firm name as long as the name is not deceptive. It is up to the CPA firm to decide the order of the names and come up with the brand that will best serve the firm going forward.

How did LBA Haynes Strand, PLLC come to be?

In 2014, when LB&A, Certified Public Accountants merged with Haynes Strand and Company, PLLC, we knew one certainty of the name… the “PLLC” would remain.  PLLC stands for Professional Limited Liability Company, which both firms were operating as already. We checked that part off the list and then moved towards the task of combining the names to retain market share and the brand in our established markets. With LB&A serving the Charlotte market, we saw this as an important must in the name. We removed the “&” to make it a more streamlined LBA. What does the LBA stand for you might ask? Firm Members last names: LaLone, Bly, Ayers. Now that we simplified one of the firm names, we moved to preserving the market share that Haynes Strand and Company had created in Mount Airy, Greensboro, and the rest of the Triad.  Haynes Strand had a large presence in the Triad, so we focused on honoring the history and the brand that had been created. We simplified and agreed to use  “Haynes Strand” from the previous firm name. “Haynes” in remembrance of John B. Haynes, who was a founder of the firm in Mount Airy and “Strand” in remembrance of Austin Strand who was also a founder of the firm and led the firm’s efforts in Greensboro.

So now we knew we were going to use “LBA”, “Haynes Strand”, and “PLLC” in the name…but the order was unclear.  We did extensive research and asked peers which name sounded best.  Our options were basically “LBA Haynes Strand, PLLC” or “Haynes Strand LBA, PLLC” – both choices properly honored our firm founders, and both created a memorable name.  During the great name debate, one of our principal members pointed out that, “Haynes Strand LBA, PLLC looks like alphabet soup!”  At that point we decided to move forward as LBA Haynes Strand, PLLC.  We honored the history and tradition of Haynes Strand and Company who had served the Triad since 1987, and we honored the culture of growth and forward thinking that LB&A had created as a firm in Charlotte.

So what’s in a name? History. Tradition. Excellence. Culture.

At this point if we have not been properly introduced, we welcome you to LBA Haynes Strand, PLLC.  We are a CPA firm that is proactively growing our practice to offer our clients a one-stop shop for all their accounting needs. With 3 full-service offices in Charlotte/Matthews, Greensboro, and Mount Airy, we are centrally located in the state of North Carolina and are looking to cement our firm as the go-to Accounting Firm for middle market companies. To learn more contact us for a no-cost consultation.

How Much Should You Save For Retirement?

It’s never too early to save for retirement! While it may sound a bit cliche, it’s true! No matter how long you’ve been in the workforce, determining a retirement plan and regularly reviewing your strategies is of vital importance.

Deciding how much you should be saving for retirement each month can be confusing. Check out the savings plan below for a helpful guide on how much to set aside for retirement. Keep in mind that your plan should offer immediate tax benefits as well.

How Much Should You Save?

Number Of Years Until RetirementEstimated Monthly Savings Needed Per $1,000 Desired (assumes 10% return)
15$ 239.23
16$ 210.97
17$ 186.22
18$ 165.02
19$ 146.63
20$ 130.55
21$ 116.41
22$ 104.06
23$   98.11
24$   83.33
25$   74.74
26$   67.07
27$   60.28
28$   54.17
29$   48.73
30$   43.88
31$   39.51
32$   35.61
33$   32.10
34$   28.95
35$   26.12

The sheer number of retirement plans that are available can be overwhelming. How do you select a plan that will best provide for you at the time when you need it most? Is a combination of plans more suitable?

Are you ready to save for retirement? The partners and staff at LBA Haynes Strand are eager to help you choose the retirement plan that makes sense for you. Our team can also advise you on how changing tax laws will impact your current plans. Ready to discuss your future? Call or email us today for a FREE consultation!

LBA Haynes Strand Attends NC Charter School Conference

Each year, the North Carolina Public Charter Schools Association organizes a conference for educators, administrators, parents, vendors, board members, and supporters of the NC Charter Schools System. LBA Haynes Strand has attended this event for the last several years, and we are grateful for the opportunity!

The NC Public Charter Schools Association was established in December of 2011. Their mission is to grow and sustain high quality public charter schools that nourish North Carolina’s children and enrich their families. Our Firm is proud to support the Association, and provide full-service accounting, payroll and CPA audit services for prospective and established North Carolina Public Charter Schools. We understand the unique needs of charter schools, which is why we’ve structured our Charter School Accounting Division to accommodate your most common concerns.

We look forward to attending the Charter Schools Conference each year and to furthering our knowledge so that we may better serve our clients. If you are interested in discussing our charter school accounting services, set up a no-cost consultation today! We are proud of our partnership with the NC Public Charter Schools Association and are excited to see it thrive!

John Bly Interview – Cracking The Code To Mergers & Acquisitions

John Bly recently sat down with ExitCoachRadio.com for an interview with host Bill Black. During the interview John discusses three important aspects of the M&A marketplace:

  1. What does the current M&A environment look like?
  2. Where is the funding for deals coming from today?
  3. Why would a small business want to acquire other companies?

To listen to the interview from ExitCoachRadio.com, CLICK HERE! Do you have more questions about mergers and acquisitions? Contact John Bly today!