Business Structuring and Succession Planning


For over 25 years, we have represented owners of family businesses, some of which are first-generation businesses where our client is the family’s entrepreneur and others that are in their third or fourth generation of family ownership.

Our business planning services include counseling these clients in structuring new business entities as well as with acquisitions and sales.  As a result, we routinely work with these clients’ other advisors to ensure that tax and estate planning issues in complex corporate or real estate transactions are appropriately addressed and that each transaction is structured in the most tax-advantageous manner.

Business structuring can complement and enhance a client’s gift, estate and income tax planning by using various types of trusts, non-voting interests for non-employee family members and techniques to freeze the value of the client’s interest in the business.  These strategies are best explored when a venture commences, but may be appropriate at other times.

The legal entity selected when forming a company can have a significant impact on its future, not only as to tax matters, but also with respect to liability implications and the number and types of investors that may be willing or eligible to participate.  We advise clients on this critical aspect of business structuring to ensure that each client’s particular circumstances are given careful consideration to assist in the selection of the most advantageous structure for a particular business venture.

Our services also include planning for succession of a business, which is one of the most challenging processes many business owners face.  Yet, such planning also provides opportunities to strategically maximize potential, develop leadership that reflects the owner’s mission and values, and create a multi-generational institution. We strive to add value in their tax planning by understanding their perceptions of and concerns for their businesses, finances and families. Key elements of succession planning can include the negotiation and preparation of buy-sell agreements, sales of such interests to certain trusts and the creation of options, phantom ownership arrangements and other plans to benefit key employees.