Florida Business Succession Planning Lawyers
You may have spent decades building a business to support your family and create a lasting legacy, but all private business owners eventually face a tough decision: either transition ownership and control to the next familial generation, or sell the interest in the company outright. Silverman Schermer has guided numerous family businesses through this complicated and emotional process, and understands the nuances involved in navigating the collision of business and family interests.
Each succession plan is unique and requires creativity, and an understanding of the unique needs of both the business and family. Silverman Schermer has a long history of designing successful succession plans by being proactive and anticipating potential risks and concerns before the arise.When clients decide to sell, our experienced lawyers work with the owners, executives, advisors, accountants and investments bankers as a team to achieve the best results.
When our clients elect to transition ownership to the next generation of family, we provide both the pragmatic legal advice and emotional support that is required for a successful transition.Our succession planning frequently incorporates restructuring of voting rights to allow business decisions to be made by family members that are active in the business, without creating unintended disparities in wealth and other inequities that can disrupt family harmony.
Taking Into Account Your Objectives and Wishes in Designing the Best Possible Plan
Whether our clients want to transition their business to heirs or transfer their interest to a partner or buyer, a well-structured business plan can ensure that the businesses next chapter is in line with the client’s wishes. Even a small business may have a variety of stakeholders, including partners, long-time employees and, of course, family members. Exiting a business for whatever reason requires careful thought and the advice and counsel of a qualified, experienced business attorney. Silverman Schermer takes care to analyze all facets of the business and the client's needs and goals, then crafts a corporate succession plan unique to each client to ensure its objectives are met.
Strategies That Work
Coming up with the best strategy depends on your individual circumstances, needs, and what kind of legacy you want to leave behind. Ways to exit your business may include:
- Selling the Business: If you have a business partner, you may wish to sell your share to him or her. Many owners with a partner or co-owner have agreements in which the remaining partner will purchase the business interest from the next of kin. A buy-sell agreement between partners provides assurance that the beneficiary will be properly compensated. One of the most common ways to provide compensation is by requiring life insurance in the plan, which will ensure that funds are available. If you don’t have a business partner or an interested successor, you may also choose to sell the business to an outside party. If your business is successful and turn-key, this may be relatively easy. However, in many cases the owner is the brand or the key employee, which will make selling the business more challenging.
- Sales and Gifts to Family Members: Keeping a business “all in the family” implicates family dynamics that, in a business setting, occasionally give rise to disagreement and conflict. Silverman Schermer is experienced in exploring creative options that simultaneously achieve business continuity objectives while maintaining family harmony. These may include gifting or selling all or part of a business to relatives or trusts that can maximize long term tax planning benefits together with successful business succession strategies.
- Winding Down the Business: Occasionally the appropriate course of action is to wind down the business altogether. Closing operations is nuanced and can be complicated, particularly in a partnership family enterprise. Careful and contemplative planning in advance is key to effectuating smooth resolution. Silverman Schermer can assist in developing a termination plan, including filing dissolution documents, canceling registrations, licenses and business names, resolving outstanding financial obligations, submitting final tax returns and undertaking all aspects of properly winding down the operation.
Find the Exit Strategy that Works for You, Your Business and Your Heirs
You’ve spent a long time building your business – make sure you take the time to ensure a sound business succession plan is in place. Call us at 954-314-4000 or contact us online to schedule a consultation to discuss your needs and goals.