Most investors and business owners focus on one thing – MONEY! But what essential foundation do you need in place so you don’t lose everything?
Tommy Thornburgh, President of Prime Corporate Services, joins us today to share the 4 foundational pieces you need in place to ensure you keep the money you work so hard for. Here’s what you need to know and do!
For more info, visit https://primepartner.info/moneyripples
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The 4 Pillars Every Investor Or Business Owner Needs With Tommy Thornburgh
This show is for you, those that work so hard for your money and now you’re ready for your money to start working harder for you right now. You want that freedom in cashflow today, not 30 or 40 years from now but you want it now to live that life you love with those that you love. Most importantly, it’s not just about getting you rich and financially free. It’s about creating a rich life.
As you are blessed financially, you now have a greater capacity to bless the lives of those around you. That is a ripple effect I want you to create and the ripple effect I’m here to create in your life as well. Thank you for reading, binging on these episodes, and sharing them with other people as well. You are seriously the best people ever, as I loved it. You are truly ripplers in my life and the lives of those around you so thank you so much.
If you haven’t done this already, remember that our YouTube channel is now combined. We now put all our episodes onto the Money Ripples channel on YouTube. If you haven’t subscribed to that, please go and do that today. If you think this show is awesome, give us a great review. If you think it sucks, then don’t say anything. Go on and find some other show to go poo-poo all over but please give us a great review. Thanks.
In this episode, I’ve got a special guest that I’m excited about. This is a group that we’re even having involved in our Wealth Accelerator Academy, even with our VIP clients. This is a group that has been an answer to our prayers in some way, shape, or form. How many of you, as you’re starting to look at this path, whether you’re on a path of financial freedom or looking to invest? More investments mean there’s more accounting.
You are worried about the corporate structures to protect yourself. You protect the wealth that you’re building. Otherwise, it’s taken away all at once. If you have a business, how do you help build that? Do you have the structure for that to protect you there? How do you even make sure you can have the right tax benefits and you’re taking advantage of all the tax rights possible with your business? If you need funding, how do you get that? That’s all in one freaking place.
That’s why I brought Tommy Thornburgh here with us with Prime Corporate Services. They offer it all. This is a cool partnership that we’ve aligned with them on. I’m excited to talk to Tommy about some of the things you should be looking out for, not only if you’re a business owner but if you’re someone who needs additional streams of income, whether it’s passively or actively where you need a side hustle. This is the show that you need to be reading. Tommy, welcome to our show.
Thank you. I appreciate it, Chris. I love your comment about the anti-financial planner. I often times say, “No one cares about your money more than you do. There are people that’ll tell you they do but that usually is not the case.” Thank you for having me. I’m excited to be here.No one cares about your money more than you do. Click To Tweet
We have to be against the grain. That’s how we align as well because we’re not all about the status quo and doing the same old same old that keeps people trapped and in bondage. Tommy, you’re the President of Prime Corporate Services but give us more of your background. Tell us more about you.
It goes back to childhood. My mom was a real estate agent and my dad owned a real estate brokerage. Little did I know how impactful that was to be until later in life. I joke that the only thing they had in common was they wanted my sister and me to be self-employed. For that, I am forever grateful. I was eighteen years old with my first self-employed gig. I moved from Salt Lake City to Raleigh, North Carolina. I knocked door-to-door selling pest control. It’s a super sexy start.
That’s funny. That’s a college thing to do. If you want to make some quick money to pay for college or not pay for college at all, that’s the thing. It’s good to sell pest control.
Alarms, pest control, door-to-door, or anything. I was there for about four months and it was one of the greatest things I ever did. I made about $40,000 in 3 or 4 months. I was eighteen. I thought I was the smartest human in the world. It was until tax time rolled around and Uncle Sam wanted $10,000. That money was already gone.
We’ve been in business for eleven years. When we first started Prime Corporate, we did it with the goal in mind of helping startup entrepreneurs. I truly believe that everyone in the US should be self-employed to some extent, whether it is a side hustle, a side business, or full-time self-employment because there are so many benefits from a tax standpoint.
A lot of what we’ve done here at Prime is trying to help startup entrepreneurs or business owners get information that is beneficial from both a legal and a financial standpoint and how to save money in taxes. It’s one of the largest expenses you have as an entrepreneur. One of our main models here is, “It’s not about how much money you make. It’s all about how much you’re able to keep in your corner and give yourself the ability to reinvest.” Here we are, eleven years later. We’ve helped over 150,000 businesses structure themselves as a business. It’s been a fun ride.
I’ve never asked you about that little slogan that you have there. The one thing I said on this show as well as in our coaching programs all the time is to say, “It’s not about how much you make. It’s how much you keep and then make on top of it.” That makes all the difference. It’s true. That’s exactly it. Every time I talk about trying to keep it, sometimes we get into that scarcity conservation, ultra-saver, and scarcity-driven saver mode but you’re talking about how we not only save but have more capital. We can then redeploy it whether it is a business, investment, or whatever it might be so that we can then generate more income as time progresses.
If I came on this show, I say this often, “Anyone that’s reading this, I’m going to give you $10,000.” I would very quickly become the most popular guest that you’ve had. I apologize but I’m not going to do that. If I said, “Here’s a way to save $10,000 in taxes,” for whatever reason, it isn’t as exciting. If you can create the compound effect of making the additional revenues while understanding how to play the game of taxes and save that additional money from a tax-saving standpoint, that’s how you start to compound wealth and create additional opportunities for passive income long-term. I have been passionate about it. It’s been a fun thing to continue and enjoy. I’ve got an awesome team surrounding me that makes it happen day to day.
Let’s talk about taxes a little bit deeper on this because I know it from my experience. Even if we have some of these smart business owners and they have a great accountant, somehow, we always seem to find another $5,000 plus a year to save. What’s been your experience with your company? You have tons of CPAs that you work with. What have you seen in your experience?
Last year, the average client, we saved about $9,000 a year. That range is tremendous. Here’s what I’ll tell people from a tax standpoint. If you can break the year up into calendar quarters, January February, and March are quarter one, and so on and so forth, for profitable businesses, the fourth quarter of the year should feel like a business shopping spree in a lot of ways. The way the tax code is set up is to use it or lose it. If I were to say to you, “Chris, you’re going have a great job this year. You’re going to pay X amount of dollars in taxes,” and I tell you that in January, February, and March or September, October, if you file an extension, it’s too late.
If we have that conversation in October, November, or December and you purchase another investment property, cameras, lighting, marketing, or whatever the needs are for your business to grow and scale into the following year, that’s a great way to not only understand your true profit and loss but also give yourself the ability to scale for years moving forward. Here are two pieces of advice. Have a way to track your expenses, like Excel, spreadsheet, QuickBooks, or one designated credit card. Hire a bookkeeper or a professional to give you a second look. Have some strategy throughout the course of the year. It’s too late once you get to January.
That’s one thing I’ve noticed. Most people, when they have accountants, it’s usually somebody who’s the number cruncher. They crunch your numbers after the fact or the years are already over and then tell you what taxable is versus being proactive and telling you, “Here’s what you can do and how you can strategize during the year while you’re still in it so you can make adjustments.”
The worst time to talk to your accountant is December 30th after Christmas time, which most of the time, they don’t want to work anyway. It’s probably December 15th and even then, you’re too late. If you do this sooner than later, that’s a very important thing. That’s where we are. For many people, this is the use it or lose it. It’s an opportunity cost that may never come back again.
A lot of the reason I found so much joy in doing what I do here at Prime Corporate is I have the opportunity of being an investor and an entrepreneur but I get the resources of, “I am not a CPA or an attorney. However, I have a full team of attorneys who help with all the entity structuring and do all the estate planning. I have a full team of accountants, bookkeepers, and all that as well.” One thing that I’ve noticed, and a lot of you have probably experienced this, is you ask 10 attorneys the same question and you oftentimes get 15 different variations of an answer. You take that same question to 10 different accountants, now you have 20 or 30 different opinions that you have to try and deal with.
Oftentimes, they’re somewhere in the middle which makes a lot of sense for the investor. The attorneys should be protecting your assets. The accountant oftentimes wants to file the taxes. We’re somewhere in the middle where you feel comfortable about what your risk tolerance is and making sure that you’re making decisions that are beneficial to you as a business owner while saving money in taxes. Everyone is different. Some people are super conservative. Other people are higher risk-takers. That’s going to change that answer and that’s okay but knowing the pros and cons is one of the most important aspects for any entrepreneur.
The trickiest part is getting those two areas of accounting and legal to work together because they all have their opinions. Accountants always want to save tax even if it means that you don’t save tax sometimes. On the flip side, you have attorneys that want to protect you, which is good. You want to be protected but they may not always address the tax side. Maybe they might know each other a little bit about what they do but sometimes, it doesn’t always mesh. I’ll give an example.
I remember there’s a guy. He was a dentist. I was talking to his daughter who worked in his office and she said, “His accountant said that he doesn’t need a corporation yet.” I imagine his collections are probably well into the seven figures. He was bringing home $300,000 a year of income personally. He was told not to have any corporation because he wasn’t making enough money. I call it bull on that. I said, “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.”
1) That’s a legal potential nightmare because if he gets sued in his practice, or he might have malpractice and anything spills over, it goes to him personally. He can bankrupt the entire family. That in of itself is a bad enough risk. 2) I said, “Even if he says that he has $300,000 or $200,00, he takes his owner draws versus taking a self-employed wage there for Social Security tax, he’ll save himself $30,000 a year at least.”
With income taxes, it only be more than that. It’ll probably be close to $40,000 or $50,000 plus a year, especially with different deductions I’m sure he’s not being taught. For decades, this guy has been listening to this crappy accountant telling him to keep doing it and be like, “I know better. You don’t even need a corporation yet. You’re too small.” If you’re making a few thousand dollars a year, you have some corporation at least.
One thing that I’ll add to that is there is no tax code that says you have to be good at business. No one would be in business. It’s hard. Everyone’s got problems and struggles but there is a tax code that says if you show the intent to generate income, intent is the keyword there, then you have the ability to take business-related deductions.
After years and hundreds of attorneys, hundreds of hours of YouTube, and everything research-wise, what I’ve done is I’ve broken it up into what everyone should take into consideration when setting up a business entity. As soon as you have the intent, legitimize yourself by showing its intent with a business entity. Even if you haven’t made money, it’s valuable. The three things that I have found are most important to take into consideration.
1) Privacy and protection. How much privacy do you want? Do you want your name listed and address listed? How much protection do you need? That’s going to change as you build more wealth. 2) Tax benefits, profit or loss. Good or bad, profit or loss, how do you put yourself in a better position when you’re investing in yourself, your future business, or your current business? I’ve made bad investments but a lot of times, I’ve done it calculated to where it’s saving me enough in taxes that it’s not the end of the world. Only you will understand that profit loss for your business.
3) Credibility. Show yourself as a legitimate business, not only to clientele but to your psychology. There are a lot of benefits. Show banks and lenders that you’re a legitimate business so that you can build up additional credit lines on your business. I’ve never met an entrepreneur who says, “I wish I had less money.” Having additional funding options in the form of business credit as opposed to personal credit is also of tremendous value.
You guys do all three. One thing I’ll address on the corporate entity side is you’re trying to become a legitimate business. I’ve learned from my experience not to do it myself. I can go on the state website and try to file an LLC or something like that. However, almost every time, it’s been a pain in the butt not having an attorney to put their eyes on it and make sure that they even set up the right way.
I’ll give you an example. My wife and I were buying an investment property. We’re in a particular state where we didn’t know at that time. My wife was excited and she was like, “I want to get this name and get it done.” She didn’t want to wait for an attorney so she went and did it on her own. It’s in Utah and our property was based in Tennessee.
The problem is that Tennessee has its laws that if you’re not domiciled in that state, the renters don’t have to pay you. We had to go through and spend all this extra money and time creating this domicile residents there and everything else to try to make it look like we have a Tennessee type of residence or presence there if we don’t have a Tennessee corporation.
It’s a pain in the butt, not to mention you have to go through a third mail courier and everything else. It’s ridiculous. Had we done it right the first time, which is when we talked to the attorney afterward, he said, “You wouldn’t want to do that if you want to set up in Tennessee,” it’s done. With your group, you charge a lot less in the attorneys I’ve hired where you might charge a matter of a few hundred bucks or so to be able to set up a corporation like that.
A lot of the reason that we’ve done that is because we know the value of having a business entity. Not only are we able to offer registered agents where you don’t have to use your address or already own the address that you were purchasing but it gives you a little bit of that privacy. The registered agent, the entity structuring, and the tax filing, being able to do that in all 50 states is very valuable. We work with a lot of real estate investors who purchase properties in multiple states. There are endless stories. I could tell you a personal story. I’ve purchased some property in Missouri. Getting a loan and getting it in my business is different than it’s been for the properties that I’ve owned here in Utah.
There are always differences and changes. It’s constantly evolving. Knowing what you’re getting into and taking those three things that I recommended earlier into account, I don’t think you can go wrong. I have some clients that will do a different LLC for every property. I have other clients that will put multiple properties in one LLC. The risk tolerance is higher. We have a lot of clients who have one business and that’s their baby.
I have a lot of clients that have multiple businesses and they truly need to understand the profit and loss for each one of them. If you don’t have profit and losses or separation, a joke is that you have a hobby, not a business. I’m sure everyone has enough hobbies that cost them money. Why not legitimize yourself as a business so that you can reap the rewards of what business truly has to offer?
The trifecta is we got tax savings, which is always sexy, corporate structures, which isn’t sexy but we know we need it but the third thing is business funding. You mentioned that as well as the trifecta here. How important is that? The stats say that most businesses fail in the first few years and a lot of it is because they run out of capital. Tell me more about the importance of what you’ve seen in your experience and with your clients getting this business funding, credit, and that thing.
To paint the picture here and give everyone a good visual, everyone has a legal name, a Social Security number or an ITIN, and a personal FICO credit score. That personal FICO credit score, 1) Don’t miss a payment or it’s going to hurt your credit. 2) How long have you had these open lines of credit? On the business side, we try and help people do the same thing.
Let’s get that legitimate business name and EIN or Employer Identification Number but you can build and develop a separate credit profile for your business that allows you the ability to get business credit or eventually, over time, business loans. Having more funding options is a major benefit. I heard someone say once, “The opportunity of a lifetime only crosses your desk twice a year. Make sure you’re ready for it.” A lot of that is due to financial restraints.
We had a client about seven years ago. He came to us and was very limited financially. He built up business credit over a 3 to 6-month period and purchased a cool Mercedes Sprinter van. With business credit, he remodeled it into a camper van. It has beautiful wood slots and a nice design. It was good-looking. He ended up selling it for a $20,000 profit, paid the debts back, and did it again. Long story short, he ended up on Shark Tank. He has a multimillion-dollar business off of a great idea, an awesome work ethic, and some business credit.
Who knows what it’s going to be used for? I’ve been building my business credit for about 8 years and purchased 7.5 acres and 2 mobile homes in Missouri a couple of months ago. If you told me I was going to do that, I would have called you crazy eight years ago but it’s not about where you are now. It’s where you’re going to be in 1, 3, 5, or 10 years. Business credit is not a necessity. It’s a want and a future benefit for a lot of business owners that we work with.It's not about where you are right now. It's where you're going to be in one year three years, five years, or ten years. Click To Tweet
Having been in business for over twenty years myself, I’ll attest to that. The one thing you don’t want to have to commingle as much is your personal credit score. It is all tied up and everything. Many people think it’s your FICO score but it’s not. If banks look at the FICO score, that’s cool. For the most part, they’re looking to see what’s your debt-to-income ratios. If you have all this business debt showing up on your personal side and you’re trying to minimize your taxes by showing less income, it’s going to make it look like you’re over-leveraged and the banks are going to tell you no.
They’re going to say, “No, you’ve got too much debt compared to your income. It won’t work.” If you got business credit that’s built up all based on your business numbers, gross revenue, gross profits, and things like that, and you got your personal credit and it is unencumbered, you got an ability to finance things in two places at once getting the best terms. That’s what you want.
I bet anyone reading this who’s been self-employed for several years struck home because that’s the Catch-22 of being self-employed. If you have more deductions, you show us income and qualify for less. If you have fewer deductions, you pay more in taxes. A lot of that comes down to planning. What’s your future look like? What are you going to do over the next several years? How can you plan accordingly to build additional revenue streams while separating the liability? Personal is personal. Business is business. The more you can separate those liabilities, the easier it is to not deal with exactly what you mentioned.
The nice thing is you do it all in one house, which is one of the things I love. Rather than trying to hodgepodge and put together your seat, accountant, and attorneys over here and you’ve got maybe a business credit specialist over here, you have got all of that in-house, don’t you?
It’s four primary services that we offer. Its entity structure, LLCs, corporations, registered agents, a business credit development service, tax planning, and tax preparation. We also do estate planning like trust, wills, living wills, and power of attorneys there. One of the offerings that we talked about was a free consultation to walk through either what you already have or what you feel like you need. The more you can put that blueprint together on where you’re going and know where you are now, it makes it a whole lot easier to get there. That’s for sure.
Believe it or not, if you don’t have an estate plan in place, pretty much the government does. It sucks. You don’t want it. It’s expensive. Your family and heirs will not get access to money for a while. It’s a horrible place to be in. To get some set up for a very reasonable cost, I know that you offer that as well. That’s tremendous.
We talked about on the show a lot about the offense. How do we create more wealth and income, specifically passive income? You can’t have a good offense without a good defense. Bear Bryant has said that offense sells tickets but defense wins championships. That’s exactly what we’re talking about here. Tommy, I appreciate your time here. It’s very generous.
This is so fun. I’m happy to go into greater detail or anything else. Take advantage of the consultation for the audience. Hopefully, this was valuable to everyone and you have some takeaways that will benefit your business for years to come. Thank you, Chris, for having me. I appreciate it.
They’ll often send me back a referral. They’ll take me out to McDonald’s or something like that for the referral but I’m telling you that this is something that we’ve been telling our clients. Start looking at it as well as an option. Having that under one roof, you’ll address all these things like estate planning, entity structure, accounting, and even business funding. It fits about every one of you reading. Especially if you want to make sure you have those things in place and done well and done right, it’s very important to do so.
Check that out. Look and book your appointment today. You can be a hero of the word while reading the show but those who are the doers of the word are the ones who get the results and the ones that end up creating the freedom that we always talk about on the show. It is built in a place where you work. You want to know because you have to. Go and make it a wonderful and prosperous week. Take action today. We’ll talk to you later.
About Tommy Thornburgh
Tommy Thornburgh is the president of Prime Corporate Services. PCS has been in business for over 10 Years. They have structured over 150K businesses, help clients build and develop business credit, file taxes and protect legacy in the form of Tax planning.
Tommy is a real estate investor, business owner and has been passionate on understanding how to utilize the complex tax code for his clients to be able to save thousands of dollars in taxes. Tommy has an amazing wife, 2 beautiful girls and use to enjoy golfing before having kids haha.