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Family Business & Succession Planning

Hodgson Russ assists numerous closely held and family businesses at all stages of growth and development. We have guided hundreds of family owned business entities through successful business transitions. Family businesses present unique legal needs and Hodgson Russ provides comprehensive legal services responsive to those unique needs. Legal services often include advice about regulatory compliance, compensation and equity incentives for family owners and non-family employees, disability and retirement planning, and dispute resolution.

We focus our efforts on maintaining stability and unity among family members because our goal is to assure the ongoing vitality of the family as well as the continued viability of the enterprise. Our attorneys achieve favorable conclusions by developing appropriate succession strategies, managing execution of the plan, and devising methods to address challenges effectively.

Our approach to family businesses and succession planning includes identifying the most efficient means to transfer ownership, ascertaining appropriate successors, and determining the optimal timing of the transition. Tax and estate planning strategies are reviewed and assessed in order to minimize the income and estate tax consequences of the transfer.

Hodgson Russ offers advice and guidance on several issues which may arise in the context of family owned businesses and succession planning:

  • Business and tax planning
  • Business counseling
  • Company structures
  • Compensation and benefits for non-family employees
  • Compensation and equity incentives for family owners
  • Disability and retirement planning
  • Dispute resolution
  • Interfamily/owner relations and governance
  • Leadership transition and succession
  • Minority shareholders
  • Non-active family owners
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Sale of business interests to family members
  • Sale of business interests to non-family members
  • Sale of business to employees
  • Shareholder agreements
  • Shareholder liquidity