Business Succession Planning

Business succession planning is unique in that it involves not only elements of estate planning, but also general business law and taxation. For that reason and because of a lack of proper planning, most businesses fail when the time comes for a transfer of the business from one generation to the next or from one owner to a successor owner. The reasons for a failed transfer of a business include, the imposition of estate taxes and/or income taxes which may force an unintended sale at the death of an owner, a lack of understanding of the business by those picked to succeed in the management of the business, a lack of a desire to continue in the senior family members' footsteps with respect to the business, or such failure of a business can even be due to a loss of client/customer base as a result of a rocky transition.

It is critical in business succession that steps are taken well in advance of a foreseen/intended transition (due to retirement) or an unforeseen/unintended transition (due to an untimely death, disability, personal bankruptcy, or even divorce) to ensure that whatever transition may take place is properly planned including, but not limited to, attention given to proper tax analysis, financial analysis, operational transition analysis, key employee considerations, potential creditor considerations, and finally, comparisons of alternative solutions such as the sale of the business.

At Salvatori, Wood, Buckel, Carmichael & Lottes, our extensive legal knowledge of estate planning, taxation, business entity planning and other related issues are a vital resource for our clients when assisting them with business succession planning issues. Whether properly structuring buyouts through shareholder/member agreements, sales to 3rd parties, or planning one's estate to properly transfer the family business from one generation to the next with minimal tax implications, we can assist you in maximizing your business value in the event of a sale or help you to keep the family business running from one generation to the next.


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