Our commercial and corporate team continue to advise an increasing number of family businesses through their periods of growth and development, in their contractual relationships, the introduction of external investment, changes in the business strategy and ultimately in the transition to new management and ownership.
The team also work in tandem our private client team in Trusts & Estates and our colleagues in Property, Dispute Resolution and Family, in advising businesses and the families involved in those businesses in the broad and complex world of the ownership of a family business.
This may take the form of advice on the structure and ownership of the business and the issues that arise between the family members and the business in terms of ownership, management, succession, exit strategy and inheritance tax planning. It may also lead to a possible exploration of family trusts, lifetime giving, Business Property Relief and other tax planning arrangements, wills, probate, powers of attorney and declarations of trust.
One area of particular importance in the structure of a family business is to address the possibility of the beneficiaries of a deceased stakeholder taking a continuing interest in the business or an inability for a continuing stakeholder to raise the finances to buy out a departing stakeholder or their beneficiary. In such circumstances the team will look to arrange suitable life assurance policies for the stakeholders in the business combined with an appropriately worded agreement that identifies the procedures to be followed in the event of the death or long term disability of a stakeholder. This then maps out the path whereby the beneficiaries of the deceased stakeholder receive payment for the deceased’s interest in the business whilst the surviving stakeholders retain ownership and control of the business.
If you would like to explore any of the areas covered above please contact one of our Commercial & Corporate team or your usual contact at Hart Brown.