Family Businesses

News & Analysis as of

If You Think Your Family Business’s Service Contracts Limit Your Liability In All Situations, Think Again!

Family-owned businesses in the services industry in Washington (and beyond) should be paying attention to a recent Washington Supreme Court case addressing the “Independent Duty Doctrine” (also referred to as the “economic...more

Partial Ownership Redemption Plans in Family Businesses

The ability of a minority owner in a closely held family business to obtain liquidity for her interest in the company is often very limited. There is not a great market to buy small holdings in such companies. There are also...more

Serving as a Non-family Board Member of a Family Business

You have been approached by a long-time friend, the CFO of a family-owned business who is herself a member of the family. She asks if you might be interested in serving on the board of her family’s company. You are honored,...more

Keeping Ownership in the Family

As a family enterprise, your business runs best if it is owned and managed by the family. So it is in everyone’s interest to make sure no family member can transfer ownership outside of the family. To do this (and do it...more

California Court Issues Non-Competition Order

Covenants not to compete have been in legislative disfavor in California since 1872. This animus is currently codified at Section 16600 of the Business and Professions Code which provides that with certain statutory...more

Leading the Family

Selling or transitioning a family business can be a daunting task – especially for those individuals trying to lead the process on behalf of their family. The challenges can result from the multiple owners and stake-holders...more

Family Businesses and Environmental Liability

We all know that environmental laws impose heavy liability on businesses that release environmental contaminants into the air, soil or water. The family business is not immune to such liability. In fact, many...more

Transition Planning: Key Steps for a Successful Exit From a Closely Held Business

Executives of closely held and family-owned businesses are often so focused on running their businesses that they do not plan for the inevitable — the transition of ownership and/or leadership. It is not a question of “if ”...more

"Key Man Discount" Factors Critical in Fair Value Business Disputes

Family business disputes oftentimes uncover who is actually calling the shots and making a big difference in the profitability of a company. As described in previous Shareholder Rights blogs, the Wisniewski shareholder...more

Email Users Beware: Companies and Corporate Officers Should Evaluate Email Practices in Light of Delaware Chancery Court Decision

On September 5, 2013, the Delaware Chancery Court ruled that the attorney-client privilege does not protect from disclosure emails sent by corporate officers to their personal attorneys using the company’s email account. In...more

Recent Shareholder Oppression Case Uncovers Family Business Disputes

Wisniewski v. Walsh, an interesting unpublished decision by a New Jersey appellate court, involves more than 10 years of a family dispute over a business. The litigation covers a wide range of issues, including how siblings,...more

Friction in the Family Business: When Fiduciary Duties Become Compromised

Many people ask, "What duties are owed to a family member who has an interest in the business?" Before getting into this important topic, it is critical to understand the legal nuances of a particular jurisdiction. A wide...more

Sweeping Changes to the Pennsylvania Tax Code - The Passage of Pa. House Bill 465

House Bill 465, also known as Act 52, was signed into law by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett on July 9, 2013. The Bill makes substantial changes to the Pennsylvania tax code as an integral part of the 2013–2014 budget....more

Trustees Holding Interests in the Family Business: Intersection of Shareholder and Member Rights and Fiduciary Duties

Trustees holding interests in family enterprises may have conflicting duties to the beneficiaries as well as unrelated shareholders and members of the business. ...more

"The Estate Planner" – September/October 2013

In this issue: - The GRAT: A limited time offer? - International relations: Estate planning for noncitizens - Avoid probate to keep your estate private - Estate Planning Red Flag – You Don’t Have...more

Qualified Family Business Exemption for Inheritance Tax

The Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax Act was amended recently to exempt interests in a “qualified family-owned business” from the Inheritance Tax. The goal of this exemption is to preserve certain family-owned business...more

FHFA Input on Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae Multifamily Businesses

On August 9, the FHFA announced that it is seeking public input on strategies to reduce Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac‘s presence in the multifamily housing market and is seeking input on various proposed alternatives....more

Orrick's Financial Industry Week in Review - August 12, 2013

FHFA Input on Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae Multifamily Businesses - On August 9, the FHFA announced that it is seeking public input on strategies to reduce Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's presence in the multifamily housing...more

A Smooth Transition of the Family Business Requires a Solid Plan

On your last birthday you hit the half-century mark, and that milestone made you think about the future of the family business you run. You inherited it from your father and worked hard to expand it and make it successful....more

How Do I Prepare to Sell My Business? [Video]

Beth Cohn, a business transactions attorney at the Phoenix law firm Jaburg & Wilk, P.C. discusses what business owners should do when selling their business. She discusses what people can do if they cannot find a buyer and...more

Pennsylvania exempts qualified family-owned businesses from inheritance tax

Pennsylvania has enacted legislation that exempts certain family-owned business interests from its Inheritance Tax....more

Dealing with Estate Planning When You Own a Business - BB&K's Craig Marshall Offers Insight On Dealing with Sticky Situations

Creating a will or living trust can raise complicated and thorny family issues when figuring out how to divvy up assets at death. Toss a family-owned business into the mix, and it ramps up those and other planning issues to...more

Now is the Time for Business Succession Planning

Toward the end of 2012, many families with wealth tied to a family business were faced with a choice: 1) avail themselves of the expiring $5.12 million estate and gift tax exemption by gifting interests in their family...more

The Business Skills Trust: Helping Younger Generations To Take A Leadership Role In The Family Business

In high-net-worth estate planning, trusts are commonly used to transfer wealth from generation to generation. The rationale for using trusts is often tax savings, coupled with protection from creditors and claims of a...more

Succession Planning: A Rare Tale of Family Business Survival

In a recent article in The Globe and Mail, Beverley Smith recounts a rare tale of family business survival in which a Halifax seed company is still operating in the fourth generation....more

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