Our business attorneys work to enhance the opportunities and avoid the obstacles faced by family and closely held businesses.

Ninety-five percent of American businesses are family-owned.  Those family-owned businesses generate 40% of the Gross National Product.  Yet only 57% of owners of family-controlled businesses intend to transfer the business to family members.  Only 30% of family businesses survive into the second generation.  More than 50% of the business owners have more than half of their wealth tied up in their business.

These statistics demonstrate the great business opportunities that can be found in closely held businesses as well as the need for guidance to navigate the inherent pitfalls that can trap the unwary.  Closely held businesses are often small to medium-size business enterprises where all shareholders tend to be active in the management of the business.  The closely held corporate structure can provide advantages such as limited liability for shareholders and S corporation election for tax purposes while retaining many of the simplified, less formal operating procedures of sole proprietorships and partnerships.  Our business attorneys focus on the needs of closely held businesses, including how to avoid legal disputes, how to avoid personal liability, the importance of well drafted buy-sell agreements, the value of thoughtful succession and exit planning, and understanding shareholder disputes or business divorces and how to best resolve them. We bring the expertise of an in-house counsel to our clients; serving as the “outside” general counsel by providing prompt, responsive and cost effective advice on a spectrum of legal needs.

Areas of expertise:

  • Enterprise formation and structure
  • Daily operations and governance
  • Commercial transactions
  • Real estate leasing
  • Real and personal property financing
  • Real estate sales and acquisitions
  • Employee compensation issues
  • Purchase and sale of business organizations
  • Structuring member or shareholder agreements
  • Succession and estate planning with respect to business enterprises
  • International ventures
  • Individual and business income tax planning, tax-free reorganizations, tax-exempt organizations, tax controversy issues before the Internal Revenue Service and state agencies and other tax matters
  • Intellectual property
  • Joint ventures and strategic alliances
  • E-commerce
  • Funding and negotiation of funding
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Shareholder planning and dispute resolution