Business Succession Planning

Business succession planning is essential to the future of your life’s work – your business. A business succession plan involves issues of ownership, management, and tax savings to create a smooth transition of your business to future owners. The existence of a succession plan sends the message that you’re committed to your business’ long-term growth and assures the confidence of your customers, lenders, employees, and key suppliers.

The concerns facing business owners are unique – we respond by creating plans that will adapt to the changes you will inevitably encounter. Whether your situation is straightforward or complex, our attorneys are able to implement creative and flexible strategies to fulfill your personal and business needs. We will work closely with you to discover your personal goals and objectives, identify potential pitfalls, and develop innovative solutions.

For over 80 years, our attorneys have counseled business owners and families on various succession strategies designed to maximize business value and minimize state and federal taxes. Specific services include:

  • Buy-sell contracts (cross-purchase or entity repurchase)
  • Employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs)
  • Merger/sales to third parties on a taxable, tax-deferred or tax-free basis through one-on-one negotiations, controlled auction and broader auction
  • Stock option and restrictive stock plans for key employees
  • Gifting and other techniques with family members, including installment sales, grantor retained annuity trusts, redemptions, installment sales to grantor trusts, insurance trusts and other like arrangements
  • Recapitalizations to create preferred or nonvoting stock
  • Recapitalizations to extract value with a simultaneous investment by an investor
  • Long-term employment arrangements
  • Deferred compensation and salary continuation plans
  • Ownership of business assets outside the business entity (e.g., intellectual property or real estate)

Our attorneys encourage a team approach and will work directly with your accountant, financial planner, life insurance agent, and other professional advisors to ensure the various components of your succession plan are properly integrated.

Founded in 1920, Ruder Ware provides business, employment, estate planning, and litigation services through its offices in Wausau, Eau Claire, and Green Bay, Wisconsin.  A full-service law firm, over 40 attorneys provide clients with a one-stop approach to their legal needs. Ruder Ware, Business Attorneys for Business Success.

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