Business Planning

We discuss and design a business succession plan that ensures your economic security and minimizes taxes on the transfer to successors. We also review and evaluate your current business entities, ownership, capitalization, cash flow, and business succession plan, and then assist you with establishing priorities and setting goals.

While developing a business succession plan is essential for every business, it is often lost in the day to day focus of business operations. Regardless of whether the business is owned by one person, has multiple owners, or is family owned, it is vital for every closely-held business to have a clear, concise and documented succession plan. Family-owned businesses or farming operations pose unique challenges. Who will manage the operation – one of your children, a team of relatives or a non-family member manager? If you have children who are not involved in the business, how can your estate be allocated fairly? Professional service firms also pose unique challenges. The value of such firms comes mainly from personal relations with clients or patients, and their loyalties are not easily transferred to successor owners or partners. For solo practices, have you established enough goodwill to make your business marketable to a third party, or to an associate? For larger firms with partners and associates, a succession plan must be a continuing transaction, with partners retiring and associates ascending to partnership status.

Whether dealing with a family business or farming operation, a non-family business or a professional practice, there is no “one size fits all” plan. Effective business succession planning can be accomplished only after taking into consideration the unique circumstances of the business and its owners. It requires the coordination and review of several things, including:

  • each owner’s will and, if they exist, revocable and irrevocable trusts;
  • entity documents such as articles of incorporation, articles of organization, by-laws, operating agreements, or partnership agreements;
  • buy-sell agreements, or stock transfer restriction agreements; and
  • deferred compensation agreements, retirement plans and any life or disability policies.

A business succession plan should aim to seamlessly transition to the new management or ownership structure, minimize the impact of taxes, protect the business that you have built, provide for you in your retirement and provide for your family in the future.