Difficult as it may be for entrepreneurs to envision a time when they will no longer be running their businesses, timely business succession planning can help ease the transition, protect the future of the business and maximize value for the entrepreneur and the family. At Harrison & Held, we recognize that this process requires the experienced legal advisors who can provide special skills and focused attention. We consider business succession planning to be an integral part of estate planning.
A good business succession plan involves careful attention to the transfer of ownership and control to the next leaders of the business in a way consistent with the client’s other plans. Special skill and experience are required if the attorney is to help the client pass through the complex maze of state, federal and international laws that may apply. Such a plan can involve varied strategies, including:
- Shareholders' Agreements governing buy-outs at death, disability or retirement.
- Trusts to put control of the business into the right hands while permitting the sharing of the income of the business.
- Compensation packages for retiring and incoming management employees.
- Creation of an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) to give employees an equity interest in the company while providing current shareholders with an opportunity to diversify their holdings.
- Income, gift and estate tax saving strategies for a sale of the business
We have significant experience and expertise in all of these techniques. We listen to our clients and help identify goals and objectives, avoid potential pitfalls and develop an innovative and tailor-made succession plan.