Privately‐owned Business Planning

Business owners have unique needs.  Your business is your largest asset, your “baby,” your maximum area of exposure, and at times your biggest headache.  Your business is integrally woven into your personal wealth. Our attorneys are intimately familiar with personal and business planning issues.  We use our knowledge of both aspects of your life to create a single plan to maximize your wealth and reduce your exposure to liabilities.

Maximizing the Value of Your Business

If you are no longer working in your business (sale, retirement, death) how do you get the most value out of it?  You may be your business’s most valuable employee – is there value without you?  What does your business look like on paper to a third party evaluating it for purchase or investment?

Any person looking to buy or invest in your business will want to know the transferable infrastructure that they can leverage to maximize the value of the business.  Much of this infrastructure depends on how you have “papered” the business.  Critical documents might include: 

  • Buy-sell agreements to liquidate your interest in the future
  • Documentation of obligations including private loans, equipment financing and bank financing
  • Employment law compliance
  • Intellectual property protection
  • Leases and contracts, including between interrelated parties
  • Liability segregation into separate entities
  • Operating agreements, partnership agreements and shareholder agreements
  • Tax and financial statements
  • Trade secret protection via non-disclosure and non-compete agreements
  • Well written contracts with your customers that put you in the best position to get paid for your goods and services, and limit your exposure to problems in the transaction
Full Service Legal Counsel

Porzio’s legal services extend well beyond the attorneys in our Wealth Preservation Practice Area.  We are proud of our culture, which focuses on the “best interests of our clients.” As a result, we regularly meet and talk with our partners in other practice areas to discuss how best to service business owners with questions about: 

  • Contract enforcement and defense
  • Employment issues
  • Financing
  • Real estate purchases, sales, leasing and financing
  • Intellectual property protection
  • Shareholder disputes
  • Taxation 
Exit Strategies

Your “someday in the future” goal is to exit your business.  This may be from a sale to a third party, to partners, to your employees or even to your children.  None of these will happen without a plan.  The plan may require years of advance work to position you for a smooth transition.  Again, the documents you have in place, and the procedures and systems you create, will smooth the path to liquidation or transition, and maximize the value of your business. 

At Porzio we bring significant experience with exit strategies – successful and not so successful – to your business.  We offer business owners practical solutions to derive the most from their business during a transition.  We are business owners ourselves, so our advice is tempered by the reality of being an entrepreneur.  Our goal is to partner with you so the legal framework becomes part of your decision-making process. 

Estate Planning

Sometimes a business owner’s exit strategy is not voluntary.  As a business owner, your estate is infinitely more complicated than most.  How are your employees going to get paid?  Can your partner and spouse work together?  Who will take over your personal liabilities? 

You have a responsibility to your family, partners, customers and employees to make these decisions about how the business will operate without you.  You also need to put plans into place now to document your decisions and empower others to carry them out. 

At Porzio we draw on our experience with business planning and estate planning to create a cohesive picture of your finances and offer comprehensive solutions to preserve your wealth and protect your assets from creditors. 

Taxes

As a business owner, the government is your partner.  However, the tax code is built upon the knowledge that closely held businesses employ the majority of Americans and produce almost half of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  This knowledge is the key to myriad tax breaks and deferrals that you as a business owner can use to reduce the government’s share of your business.  These include: 

  • Deferred compensation
  • Estate tax deferral
  • Estate tax value reduction
  • Income tax deferral
  • Qualified retirement plans
  • Trust ownership 

Business owners need business advisors who understand business operations and taxes – the two cannot be divided as the government has an interest in every dollar you earn and spend.  Our attorneys hold advanced masters of law degrees in taxation (LL.M) and, while inactive now, qualified as Certified Public Accountants.