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Business Succession Planning

If you own your own business, a lot of your time and energy is spent on the day to day issues you face in making it succeed -- building your client base, managing suppliers, reducing costs.  But you also need to keep an eye on your long-term goals as well. Someday, you will want to move on, either by selling the company or transitioning it to your family or trusted employees. These "life goals" come entangled with many legal issues, and that is where you need a trusted advisor. 

The Business Succession Planning practice of Whiteford works closely with the owners of privately held and family-owned businesses to develop and implement creative solutions to achieve your specific and individual business succession goals, whether they are effecting a transition of leadership, addressing senior generation income needs, providing family continuity within the business, minimizing transfer taxes or a combination of these.   Our practice addresses these goals and objectives through the use of innovative solutions involving sophisticated legal and tax planning techniques but also recognizing and appreciating the human dynamics involved in a smooth transition.

Over the years of representing businesses ranging from sole proprietorships to large regional companies, we have acquired a wealth of knowledge and skill to allow us to provide practical, creative, effective and sound advice to our clients.  Our clients include families who control many of the vibrant businesses, whether large or emerging, of the mid-Atlantic region, and we advise them on the business, legal and tax implications of a full range of issues involving the life cycle of a business such as business formation, corporate governance, stakeholder relationships, ownership and management transitions, executive compensation, retirement and transfer of business interests.  WTP attorneys embrace a multi-disciplinary and coordinated approach to client service that is cost-effective and provides our clients with the most complete service possible.

Samplings of Employed Business Succession Techniques

  • Company recapitalizations to voting and nonvoting classes of stock
  • Stakeholder buy-sell agreements
  • Family member or senior generation compensation policies
  • Advisory boards and family councils
  • Employee equity compensation plans
  • Advanced transfer techniques such as grantor retained annuity trusts, private annuities, self-cancelling installment notes, sales to defective grantor trusts and family limited partnerships
  • Staggered sales to business insiders
  • Employee stock ownership plans
  • Sale, consolidation or merger transactions
  • Stock and unit redemptions
  • Estate planning documents coordinated with succession plan