Family Limited Partnerships and Family LLCs:
Sheltering Growth From Estate and Gift Taxes
by John V. Ivsan
Shumamker, Loop & Kenkdrick
A problem inherent in most family businesses involves the issues of succession and taxation. As a family business continues to grow, the business becomes an increasingly valuable asset in the hands of the elder family members. If the business remains in a parent’s estate, upon death there may be significant estate taxes, as well as liquidity problems involved with paying those taxes. The parent’s estate may be compelled to sell valuable assets to pay for estate taxes, jeopardizing the family business and leaving heirs with a diminished estate.
Parents are often reluctant to remove a family business from their estates.Typically, a parent does not want to part with management control over the family business, risking the fortunes of a growing enterprise with children who may be less experienced at the business.Additionally, many traditional forms of transferring ownership of the family business from parents to children are subject to high levels of gift tax. More…
When the Business Must Be Sold Outside the Family:
Key Negotiating and Tax Issues
Family Business Quarterly
by Stephen Minson and Gary Hayes
As accountants for closely held businesses, we are normally concerned with the transition of a family business to the next generation. In some cases, however, it may be impossible for the business to be passed on to the next generation. For example, the owner of a closely held business may not have children who are interested or qualified to run the business. In this situation, the owner may have no choice but to plan for the sale of the business.
In this event, a number of important issues should be considered. Once a potential buyer is identified, there is normally a period for due diligence, during which the buyer and seller exchange financial and legal information about the companies. Before this exchange of information, the parties may sign a letter of intent. The letter of intent may require that all information exchanged will remain confidential, and the parties agree not to entertain offers from other parties during the due diligence period. More…