Growing your family business – The Four Pillars

Protecting your business

You want your business affairs to be in safe hands. Would it reassure you to know that we are one of only six firms in Scotland to have an in-house tax group ranked by Chambers and Legal 500 (the legal industry’s guides to the best law firms and lawyers)? The tax aspects for family businesses are unique. Income tax, corporation tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax and stamp duty land tax preparation can all be required, sometimes in one go! We can help with all of these and provide advice on the tax consequences, should the family business be sold. We can also help with trusts and the unique employment issues that can arise in a family business.

Safeguarding your family

No one enters into marriage or co-habitation with the intention of divorcing or separating, but these things do happen. Major shareholders or partners in the business may want to consider a pre-nuptial agreement to protect the assets of the family business that were in place before marriage. We can help with that.

Equally, if someone is reorganising the business, they should consider not only the tax implications of this, but also the family law issues that could arise in the event of a divorce. We can help with that too.

Shielding your estate

Property is often one of a family business’s key assets. In many cases, the property is being used as a home, business accommodation or it might be generating rental income, each of which bring different legal requirements. Issues can arise during succession planning, reorganisations or sale of the family business. We can help guide you through this sensitively as emotional attachments can be strong if the property has been in the family for generations. Our team has vast experience in the property cycle from start to finish, including freeholds, acquiring and terminating leases and the buying and selling process.

Securing your assets

One of the most sensitive times for a family business can be during a generation change. Many questions can arise such as ‘How will we fund the retirement of the previous generation?’ and ‘Will the previous ownership structure still suit?’. We have vast experience in succession planning, funding and corporate governance to help preserve the wealth of the family during all situations. We believe the best way to avoid family conflict is to have the right structure in place. To achieve this, we can help create a governance and constitutional framework that balances effective management with the right level of family involvement. Creating family charters and agreements also ensures people can have their say and that there are guidelines in place, should disputes arise. And, should discussions get tough, we have a team who specialise in dealing with and preventing conflicts.


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