Business & Tax Planning
Business Formation, including Corporations, LLCs, and Partnerships
There are four main types of business formations, and each one has its own advantages and disadvantages. Some provide you limited liability protection that protects your personal assets from creditor claims and lawsuits stemming from your business operations. Some business owners start off using one type of business formation and then change to a different form as their businesses grow. We can help you evaluate each of your options so you can plan for the future of your business.
- Buy-Sell Agreements
A buy-sell agreement is essential for any business owner. Small business owners should consider entering into buy-sell agreements to assure that the business remains in the hands of the current owners or that a ready market exists for a departing owner’s interest in the event of certain triggering events. A properly drafted Agreement will ensure that control of the company stays with those who are qualified and have the best interests of the company in mind.
- Family Limited Partnerships
A family limited partnership is a tool that can be used to lower or eliminate estate taxes, to reduce income taxes, and to provide a smooth succession of the business. One of the greatest benefits of the family limited partnership is to allow founding family members, the general partners, to retain control of the business and its assets while the younger family members, the limited partners, learn the business so that they can eventually run it themselves. Including a family limited partnership in your estate planning can offer favorable protection for family assets.
- Non-Profit Organization Formation and Charitable Tax Planning
Philanthropy through charitable contributions generates not only goodwill, but also may help to reduce federal estate and gift taxes significantly. Individuals who desire to play an active role in philanthropy might also consider establishing a private foundation. Foundation managers retain control over the investment of their foundation assets, as well as deciding which charities will receive grants from the foundation. Whether you choose to give during your lifetime or in your will, there are many great options that allow you to give charitably, maximize your income tax situation and meet the needs of the causes that are meaningful to you.
- Succession Planning
For most family and closely held businesses, planning for succession is the toughest and most critical challenge. It is important that the next generation have enough to do anything, but not so much they do nothing. Succession planning is a great opportunity to create a multi-generational institution that embodies the family’s values for generations to come.
- Estate Tax and Gift Tax
Thoughtful estate and gift planning helps you preserve your wealth and pass it to your designated beneficiaries in the manner you choose. There are many potential objectives, both financial and nonfinancial, to consider in the estate planning process. Because these are likely to evolve over time and due to changes in the estate tax law, it makes sense to review your estate plan periodically.