Closely-Held Businesses

Many small businesses are a key component in the family’s wealth. Succession is an issue that many small business owners do not like to think about–they assume they will just figure it out “someday.” The problem is that “someday” may never come, and a small business owner’s untimely death may be devastating to the business.

Individualized plans for business owners

If what happens to your business after you die is not clearly defined, you will be decreasing the value of your business, simply because it is going to cost money for attorneys, accountants, and others to get involved and work things out. In addition, unplanned transfers can lead to management and ownership disputes and cash-flow crises that can cripple a company’s ability to operate. Unless you have made a workable plan for the transfer of the business during your lifetime, it is possible that your executor will not be able to do anything other than liquidate it – perhaps on unfavorable terms.

We create individualized plans for business owners tailored to their needs and the needs of their business. At Trust Counsel, P.L., we use creative, yet tried and true, legal and tax planning techniques to help guide our clients in making prudent business, financial, and personal decisions. We can help you at start-up, succession, and every stage in between. In short, we can help you obtain the greatest possible return on your investment of money, time and “sweat.” Given adequate time and proper planning, a business succession plan can be implemented successfully and profitably.

We will help you:
  • Map an exit strategy based on specific events in your or your business’s life
  • Determine and provide for the right ownership after your departure
  • Determine a fair market value for your business and the value of your ownership interest
  • Develop a plan to ensure a proper buy-out of your ownership interest
  • Draft and implement shareholder agreements to ensure ownership stays with select individuals
  • Identify cost-effective life insurance policies to assist with buy-outs
  • Structure the sale or gifting of business interests
  • Minimize taxes from the transfer of business ownership

The manner and timing of your exit from your business are every bit as important as your formation plan in terms of how much you ultimately earn from your business, and how well they ensure your “success” in succession. If you want to pass your business on to members of your family, you have to be sure that they are capable of running the business and genuinely want to do so. Or perhaps you want to sell your business to your employees or an outside party? There are various Business Succession Strategies that can be put into place to accomplish your goals and here are just some structuring strategies provided by Trust Counsel, P.L.:

  • Individualized Buy-Sell Agreements
  • Structuring Redemption Agreements, Option Contracts, & Shareholder Agreements
  • Employee Ownership Structures
  • Private Split-Dollar Arrangements and other Advanced Funding Mechanisms
  • Board Structure and Governance Issues, before, during and after Intergenerational Transfers
  • Phantom Stock Plans, Deferred Compensation and Golden Parachute Plans
  • Business Trusts and Real Estate Trusts

We can work closely with your accountants, financial planners, insurance professionals and other professional advisors to achieve each client’s goals efficiently, with a focus on practical strategies and long-term benefits. Contact us today for an initial Business Succession consultation. We have helped numerous entrepreneurs build a successful business and profitably transition out of them. We welcome the opportunity to do the same for you. Call us today and ask to speak with our Client Services Director to help you get started.

The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask any of the Attorneys at Trust Counsel to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience. The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

Trust Counsel, PL

201 Alhambra Circle, Suite 802
Coral Gables, FL 33134
Phone: (305) 707-7126
Fax: 305-397-2277
Hours: Monday-Friday 9am - 6pm

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