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Owner Managed & Family Businesses

Family businesses are unique in the business model, often placing longevity and the value of the family as a whole ahead of short term profit or risk taking.

There are many factors that need to be taken into account when running an owner managed business, such as succession planning, which might involve those working outside the business or not yet of working age.  These complexities mean that you need a specialist team to work within you and your business, to ensure your business and your personal affairs remain on track.

Keeping it in the family

Our owner manager and family business group understands this and brings together lawyers across a variety of disciplines to provide advice unique to the family business and/or owner manager.  This means that our corporate lawyers will introduce one of our expert wills, trusts and probate solicitors, at the appropriate time to ensure you are planning for every aspect of your future – taking into account the complexities of business ownership.

Estate and wealth planning form an important part of our services to family businesses, including a family constitution which can include wider obligations than  those on shareholders and directors in non family businesses. Existing shareholders and directors can be required to consider the interests of other members of the wider family.

[supertagline]We place the welfare of our clients, as a family group, as our highest priority for fulfilling our commitments and providing accurate and relevant information to facilitate informed choices. [/supertagline]

So, what should you be thinking about?

Family businesses have a different dynamic compared to any other business as family members can also be stakeholders in the business.

The main areas needing attention, particularly if you have family members within the business are:

  • Corporate structure and incorporation
  • Succession
  • Governance
  • Reorganisation
  • Sale of your Business
  • Family Agreements
  • Family Constitution
  • Share Options
  • Family Trusts
  • Employment
  • Disputes
  • Property acquisition and disposal
  • Commercial debt recovery
  • Inheritance tax and financial, investment and retirement advice

In most cases a lot of family run businesses don’t have any clear succession plans in place. This could purely be because:

  • No one has has given it much thought until they want to retire
  • There is no family member who wants to or is able to take over the family business
  • There is a unwillingness to let go and hand over the business to someone else

Our commercial solicitors can help you:

  • Face the issues above
  • Find solutions to the emotional and family bonds that prove hard to break
  • Find the right legal and commercial solutions to meet your family needs
  • Put solid succession plans and structures in place

We have a dedicated page which provides guidance around succession planning which you can read here.  Or why not contact us on 0161 926 9969 to arrange a coffee and a discussion about your business.  Alternatively email us on and one of our commercial lawyers will contact you.

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