Whether a family-owned business transitioning to the next generation or a business handing the reins to a team of loyal employees, proper succession planning is crucial to ensuring the founder’s goals are met – be it retirement or future growth. In fact, our clients’ main goal in succession planning is found right there in the phrase itself: success.
Succession planning offers both long-term plans for the business, as well as shorter-term plans to prepare for the unexpected, such as the disability or death of an owner or key leader. From closely held small businesses to the middle market, we serve a broad range of industries and professional services firms, working closely with owners and licensed professionals to ensure their transition goals are realized. In addition, we work alongside our clients’ partners, including financial advisors, accountants, bankers, and others to work through the many scenarios that can impact a business owner and make the transition as smooth and risk-free as possible.
Most succession plans involve an element of estate planning, too; for owners, the business is often a highly valuable asset for the individual’s estate, so we weave in estate plans to ensure the business achieves maximum value in the transition. Family-run businesses are also unique and bring with them sometimes challenging dynamics (and personalities). Our team is able to mediate sometimes difficult conversations around next steps for such companies to allow them to successfully evolve.
If the plan for the business is to continue, either through new ownership or acquisition, we help clients work through issues surrounding management, tax structures, contracts, and more. We believe in leading conversations beyond merely the legal aspects, and instead offer practical, real-world advice to make informed decisions.
Our Business Succession Planning practice includes:
- Planning for new management or change of ownership, including transfer of ownership to heirs, co-owners, employees, or an outside party
- Guidance on business structure and leadership positions
- Advising on distribution of shares
- Integration of personal estate planning for business owners
- Advising on local, state, and federal taxes
- Advising, guidance, and referrals on additional services, such as tax planning and insurance
The Basics of Business Succession Planning: Understanding the Process, Key Elements, and Importance