For many of us, the legacy we leave behind includes a profitable business that we wish to leave to the next generation. While a will can certainly bequeath a stake in a company to your heirs, these documents also generally allow those heirs to do what they want with the business.
To retain a greater level of control over what happens when you can no longer run your company, it is necessary to craft a detailed business succession plan. A successful business succession plan can leave instructions to courts, business partners, and family members and include what to do with your company.
A Stuart business succession lawyer can help you identify your goals for your company’s future. An attorney can then draft a business succession plan that can make these goals a reality after you are no longer able to fight for them yourself.
The most frightening thing for all business owners is an unexpected tragedy. If an owner suddenly becomes unable to retain leadership over a company because of death or disability, the future of that company may be at stake.
In the case of family-owned businesses or sole proprietorships, this may mean one’s company must pass through probate. The default stance under Fla. Stat. §732.102 is that one’s spouse will inherit the company, but other situations may see that company’s assets split among children. While this may be an owner’s wish, those heirs then have free reign to do what they want with the company moving forward.
Even larger companies may suffer from a lack of a succession plan. An unplanned succession can lead to boardroom battles over control of a company, debates over whether to sell, or even fundamental disagreements over whether the business should continue operations. Clearly, an unexpected death or incapacity can have a devastating effect on a company’s future. Fortunately, a Stuart business succession lawyer can provide more information about the risks inherent with sudden loss of leadership.
It is important to remember that a stake in a business is an asset in the eyes of the law. This means that a majority owner (or that owner’s estate) retains rights to control the business up to and beyond the time of death. It can be helpful to think of a business succession plan as a testamentary document, much like a will.
In a business succession plan, a company owner states what they want to happen to the company after they are retired or no longer able to run the business. Common topics in these plans include:
There is no exact form that a business succession plan must take, however, the final documents must always display clear intent. A Stuart business succession lawyer can help explain the potential power of a business succession plan and draft these documents in a way that give them legal weight.
A business succession plan should be legally enforceable and can require others to respect your wishes. These can include naming a successor, ordering the sale of your shares, or even directing a board to move forward with a planned merger. However, the best business succession documents contain clear language that display obvious intent.
A Stuart business succession lawyer can help you identify your needs in a business succession plan. There is never a wrong time to protect your company’s future. Contact a Stuart business succession attorney today to get started.