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How the ROBS Setup Process Works

In this chapter, you’ll learn how a Rollovers for Business Start-ups (ROBS) provider sets up your structure. This guide covers Guidant’s process — other companies may operate differently.

Become Qualified with a Coordinator

Your first interaction with a Guidant team member comes after you’ve indicated you’d like to be contacted, usually through a referral or online form. Our team member will learn about your situation and whether you qualify for ROBS or another form of business financing. They’ll ask you basic questions like what type of business you’re interested in, the amount of eligible retirement funds you have, your age, and whether you have a business partner or spouse you’ll be working with. These questions help us determine what the best next step is for you.

Once our team member has determined you likely qualify for ROBS, they’ll schedule a call with one of our expert financial consultants for you.

Go In-Depth with a Financial Consultant

A member of our financial consultant team will call you at a pre-arranged time. Everyone on our Financial Consulting Team is a ROBS expert — they know the ins, outs, and everything in-between for this complex product. Before your call, the consultant will have read the detailed notes from your first meeting, so they’re familiar with your situation. Our consultant will ask a few clarifying questions before walking you through how ROBS works. You get to decide how high-level or detailed this conversation is — we’re here to help you. If you decide ROBS isn’t right for you, no worries! Our financial consultant can also cover the other financing options Guidant offers, like business loans.

This conversation is also your opportunity to ask anything you want to know. How does your specific situation work with ROBS? What about the spouse/family member/child you’re going into business with? How does ROBS work with your industry? Every question you have, they’ll answer.

Our consultant will also explain how pricing works, including the one-time ROBS setup cost and the monthly fee for compliance upkeep, continuous audit protection, and support for your new 401(k) plan. In the next chapter, we’ll discuss the annual requirements of ROBS and the value of an experienced plan administration team.

When you’re confident that ROBS is how you want to finance your business, our consultant will send a contract. The contract outlines what each party is responsible for throughout the rollover process. You’ll enter your payment information for your rollover fee, then sign and return the secured electronic document.

Legal Team Review

Next, our financial consultant will send your contract directly to a member of our experienced legal team. Our legal team will go page-by-page through your contract and any notes to ensure your transaction meets each of the compliance requirements we discussed in Chapter 1. This is a level of due diligence that we use to maintain the highest quality in our ROBS transactions.

Finance Team Set-Up and Payment

Once our legal team has completed the compliance review, they’ll send your contract to a member of our finance team. The finance team will use the information in your contract to set up your account. They’ll add your payment information and charge your one-time setup fee. You’ll immediately receive an email receipt letting you know the amount we’ve charged and the payment information used. Don’t worry — we never charge your credit card without your explicit authorization.

Setting Up Your Corporation with the ROBS Onboarding Team

While the finance team sets up your account, a member of our ROBS Onboarding team will walk you through the process of setting up your corporation. This can be a complex process with a lot of variables, but our ROBS Onboarding team members are absolute experts.

The first step to setting up your corporation is to log into our Client Portal, where you’ll provide the information we need to get started. You’ll then be assigned to an Outside Legal Counsel.

Your account has already been reviewed by Guidant’s legal team, so why another legal review? Because we pay for you to meet a non-Guidant attorney to represent you and your company’s best interests. This is an extra layer of security to ensure your ROBS funding is completed in compliance with IRS regulations.

Simultaneously, we’ll move forward with the incorporation process. Your ROBS Onboarding team member will create the Articles of Incorporation and Resident Agent Consent forms, if required by your state. After you sign these forms in the Client Portal, your ROBS Onboarding team member will then create the two tax ID application forms your corporation and 401(k) plans will need. You’ll sign and submit these in the Client Portal as well.

After this step, your ROBS Onboarding team member will go over your plan options with you and organize your selections. They’ll then prepare your 401(k) Plan Adoption Agreement and Plan Administration Agreement. The 401(k) Plan Adoption Agreement (PAA) finalizes the setup of your 401(k) plan. The Plan Administration Agreement is the contract that outlines the services we provide that keep your 401(k) plan in compliance with the IRS. In other words, the agreement that makes you a Guidant 401(k) Plan Administration client. (We’ll cover what exactly “plan administration” entails in the next chapter.) The PAA also has a section to enter payment information for your monthly fee. You’ll be automatically enrolled in auto-pay, but you can elect to submit monthly one-time payments or mail a check, instead. If you have any questions, your ROBS Onboarding team member will be happy to take you through each section of the contract.

Now that your corporation is established, your ROBS Onboarding team member will send you the appropriate documents and instructions for opening your new 401(k) plan and corporate bank accounts. They’ll refer you to banks that are experts in opening these accounts in the appropriate way. You’ll then reach out to your original retirement plan custodian and request the movement of your funds to your new 401(k) account. We have you handle this step because it’s more secure for you that no outside company, including Guidant, has access to your retirement funds at any time during the rollover process.

When your ROBS Onboarding team member receives the signed agreements, she’ll email you your finalized corporate and 401(k) plan documents. At this point, you’ll complete the transfer from your 401(k) plan’s bank account into your corporate bank account to purchase stock in your new company. You’ll also complete the Corporate Resolutions and Stock Transfer Ledger in the Client Portal. These sections document the transactions.

You’ll then send us completed copies of the Stock Transfer Ledger, 401(k) Plan bank account statements showing the rollover transaction, and corporate bank account statements showing the stock purchase deposit. Now your funds are rolled over, and your business is funded!

Finally, our Client Success team will transfer you from your ROBS Onboarding team member and the “ROBS Onboarding” process to our 401(k) Plan Administration team. This team works to keep your 401(k) plan in compliance with the IRS and DOL through the life of your business.

Next chapter, we’ll cover why IRS and DOL compliance and 401(k) Plan Administration is so important

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