Primary Practice Contact: John E. Gates
We help our family-business clients create a plan that balances family and business
A family-owned business is one in which two or more family members are involved and the majority of ownership or control lies within the family. Ninety percent of United States businesses are family owned or controlled.
A family business operates at the intersection of business law and family law. Accordingly, 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 also 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, and should be updated as business or family circumstances change.
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 plan for such possibilities and help ownership structures to minimize these possibilities from occurring.
Seeking Amicable Resolution of Disputes
When business and family needs conflict, disputes arise. Often, these disputes are more emotionally fraught than other business disputes. We work 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.