In a closely-held business, eventually issues will arise in the relationships among the owners. Management disputes or personality conflicts may develop, a shareholder-employee may pass away unexpectedly or become disabled, an owner may wish to retire and liquidate his holdings, or the owners’ economic needs and desires may become incompatible. Other than death and taxes, nothing is more certain than that the relationships in a closely-held business will change over time.
The time to plan for those and other events that could disrupt the ownership group and the business is at the creation of the company and before those problems arise, while the parties share the same goals and aspirations. We can help the shareholders or members set out their rights and obligations and select in advance the solutions to these issues, to help with their smooth resolution later. No multi-owner business should be without a shareholders’ or members’ operating agreement that confronts these issues in advance.
You’ve worked hard for decades growing your business. Now it’s time to transfer your business to the next generation, and your succession needs are unique. We can help. Our business succession practice is focused on working with you and your tax and estate-planning advisors to structure that transfer in an efficient, tax-favored manner.
Many businesses have key employees who are not owners. We help businesses devise compensation plans, such as bonus, stock option or stock purchase plans, that help to keep key employees with the company for years. We can also devise plans to allow them to eventually take over the business. (The carrot.) We also help businesses draft and obtain from employees non-competition and confidentiality agreements, to protect the business’s investment in its employees and its clients. (The stick.)