Many studies have shown that less than one in three family businesses succeed into the third generation. Occasionally, due to various circumstances, the sale of the business by the founder makes most sense, even for the sons and daughters. More often than not, however, the first and second generations work together to keep the family business intact, providing employment and other opportunities for grandchildren and future generations, as well as giving some legacy to the family name for years to come.
While being successful in keeping the family business alive involves many legal and tax issues, it also requires family members to work together in a spirit of fairness and equity. The founder must have some degree of security for retirement years. However, talent, business skills and specialized education of the younger generations must also be rewarded. A cooperative environment is hard to achieve, but it can be accomplished through appropriate agreements and documentation. Wills, trusts, pre-nuptial agreements, shareholder buy-sell agreements, and employment agreements are but a few of the documents that can solidify the family business for years to come.
Attorney McLaughlin has been intimately involved in real-life situations with family business and can bring his counseling abilities and transactional experience to accomplish the objectives of his clients.