Suppose you were asked to design the most taxpayer-friendly retirement plan possible. If given a choice, you would want a plan that allows for generous annual contributions. The contributions would be tax-deductible, regardless of whether or not you itemize deductions and regardless of your earnings or taxable income.
California’s sales rep protection statute, among the nation’s strongest, mandates an award of treble damages to a rep who does not receive commissions as provided in the contract.
“They will be surprised to learn that, under the default rule the Court adopts today, an at-will salesperson is entitled to commissions for any sale – here, perhaps hundreds of thousands of sales – a jury determines the salesperson ‘set in motion.’ And they will be stunned to learn that, under the default rule, the entitlement to commissions may extend years after their employment relationship ended.”
The ownership of life insurance is a much-needed component of business succession and personal financial plans. Life insurance needs vary from funding needed to purchase the ownership interest of a business partner upon death, creating liquidity for the family of a decedent for the payment of estate taxes, or providing cash for surviving family members. In many cases, the purchase of permanent insurance is needed rather than term insurance where the coverage will lapse after some period of time.
Some sales rep cases turn on persnickety contract language or ambiguous terms. Other rep cases involve arcane questions of law. Then there’s the case brought by sales rep Lindsie Williamson that worked its way up to the Supreme Court of Utah in November 2022.
“Effective sales reps are the lifeblood of this market.”
U.S. District Judge R. Brooks Jackson was describing how medical implants manufacturers deploy sales reps with not only the character traits to develop relationships with surgeons, but also the medical knowledge necessary to help the surgeons use their products in the operating room.
The determination is significant because different tax treatment results from the classification of the representatives.
For many small business owners, the key retirement plan decision is not what type of plan to adopt, but where the 401(k) plan funds should be invested. While 401(k) plans are the overwhelmingly popular plan of choice for employers, consider that alternative plan design options are available to maximize benefits for company owners with both 401(k) plans and other types of qualified retirement plans.
In the course of selecting noteworthy judicial decisions involving independent reps to feature in this column, some stand out as significant rep wins with legal principles worth sharing, some comprise notable losses from which lessons can be learned, and some, like the subject of this article, involve haphazard judicial rulings that can devolve into a hot mess.
Many sales representative organizations, like other businesses, are structured as limited liability companies (“LLCs”). The preponderance of LLCs with more than one member are treated as partnerships for tax purposes.