Family Businesses

Primary Practice Contact: John E. Gates

We help our family-business clients create a plan that balances the business and family goals and needs

A family-owned business is one in which two or more family members are involved and the majority of ownership or control lies within a family.  Ninety percent of U.S. businesses are family owned or controlled.

A family business operates at the intersection of business law and family law. We help our family-business clients devise a strategic plan that allows for balance between family and business goals and needs.

Addressing Ownership and Succession Planning

A family business plan must address in detail ownership and operation of the business. A family business plan must address succession planning – who will lead the company in the next generation. Less than one-third of family-owned businesses survive this transition.

In addition, estate planning involves the financial and tax aspects of transferring ownership of a family business to the next generation. An estate plan should be established as soon as a business becomes successful. It should be updated as business or family circumstances change.

Divorce Considerations

Divorce and the resulting division of the marital estate can also threaten a family business. Our risk-management approach to family businesses protects assets and mitigates risk.  Without proper planning, a former son or daughter-in-law can succeed to ownership in a family business. We help clients consider such possibilities and help create ownership structures to minimize these possibilities from occurring.

Seeking Amicable Resolution of Disputes Develop

When business and family needs conflict, disputes arise. Often, these disputes are more emotionally fraught than other business disputes. We working closely with our clients to resolve these disputes early on. If they continue, we assist with skilled representation in mediation, arbitration and when needed, litigation.

We look forward to learning about your family business

Our family business attorneys are ready to help.  For more information please contact John E. Gates or our Salt Lake office, or Steven W. Beckstrom in our St. George office.

Practice Contacts

John E. Gates

Dennis V. Dahle

Jonathan G. Miller