Family Business Solicitors & Lawyers for Advising Business Families
A family business is a complex creature. People say do not put all your eggs in one basket but that is exactly what your founder did when they turned the dining room table into a boardroom table, and you began making other sacrifices so that your family business could become a success.
Now it is your most precious asset, often representing the majority of your wealth, a legacy for your family. Our specialist family business solicitors will help to ensure it is protected long into the future.
At Lupton Fawcett, we understand the unique dynamics of family businesses. We have been advising entrepreneurs, family businesses, and their owners across the generations for over 120 years. 80% of our clients have started off as business families.
So, whether you are a First Generation Family Business, or a second, third or fourth generation business with a number of shareholders, we have the knowledge and experience to help you.
To speak to a solicitor, get in touch by calling the number at the top of this page or request a call back by filling in the online enquiry form.
How We Can Help
Owning a family business is a major responsibility, with lots of moving parts. With the experienced Family Business Lawyers at Lupton Fawcett on your side you’ll be able to make clear, strategic decisions that address the unique challenges you, your family and your business face both now and in the future.
We have hand-picked a team of family business advisers, drawn from across our specialist practice areas who are exceptionally experienced in advising families and business people like you.
The purpose of our cross-departmental team is not to over-lawyer a transaction; rather, we recognise that as you wear many hats (as a director, shareholder, manager and parent or child) you need a team of experts who can work together to provide joined-up advice across all your business, family and personal matters.
We put you and your family at the centre and build the right team and advice around you.
Our multi-disciplinary team helps family business owners find answers to key questions, such as:
- What will your family’s legacy be?
- Who needs income after you die and how should that income be provided?
- Should the family own the underlying capital that generates the income or is a trust structure a better option?
- Who should own shares and when should they receive them?
- What are the tax implications?
- How do you treat all your family fairly, especially if not all of them work in the family business?
- What if you, or they, fall ill, lose capacity or divorce?
To speak to an expert Family Business Lawyer get in touch by calling the number at the top of this page or request a call back by filling in the online enquiry form.
Family Business Disputes.
Conflict is a natural part of any long-term relationship and is not necessarily a bad thing.
A healthy dose of moderate disagreement can be the catalyst for change, allowing people to learn and grow.
However, unless disputes within a family business are properly managed, they can have a significant impact on the long-term success of the business and damage important family relationships.
The complex emotional relationships between family members can make business disputes difficult to manage. To address this, it is important to establish formal structures and processes for resolving disagreements before they arise, so everyone has a clear understanding of how to approach the issues. This also helps create some separation between business decisions and family dynamics.
Disputes in family businesses typically arise due to:
- the future direction of the family business.
- the performance of family members employed in the business.
- remuneration packages for family members actively involved in the business.
- conflicts between generations about the direction of the company.
- family, shareholder and land disputes.
Our Family Business Lawyers can help steer you through the disputes using alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation. We can also help you establish formal processes for managing disputes to help maintain business prosperity and family harmony.
Estate Administration for Business Families
Our team of family business solicitors have extensive experience in estate administration for family-owned businesses and can advise you on:
- Drafting a Will
- Inheritance tax liabilities
- Capital gains tax
- Business disposal
- Balancing the interests of those working in the business with family members who are no
- Business wills, trusts and lasting powers of attorney for shareholdings
Estate planning can ensure that a family-run business and the assets within that business are transferred to the intended people at the appropriate time.
These considerations may raise questions about the commercial difficulties of leaving the business to a person without the necessary skills and experience to do so, prompting further action to be taken over succession planning or an alternative exit strategy.
Effective estate planning for a family business ensures that the transfer and control of assets is managed when the owner passes away to maximise the benefit to the deceased’s estate and beneficiaries.
Whether you have a specific question or just need advice on how you deal with the perennial question of your own mortality then please contact Amanda Simmonds.
Employment law for family businesses
It is important to remember that there are numerous laws and regulations that govern the employer/employee relationship which apply equally to those who are also members of your family.
For the benefit of the business, it is important to hire the most qualified individuals for every position, and not succumb to pressure to hire a family member who does not have the experience or qualifications required. Otherwise, you may find it hard to attract or retain non-family members as employees.
If a family member is underperforming, dealing with it quickly will help to avoid resentment from other family members, employees, and non-family shareholders. It should be clear to everyone that family members will be treated in the same way as everyone else when it comes to being demoted, dismissed, or made redundant.
Family members should have a clear understanding of their tasks and responsibilities, and these should be clear to the rest of the workforce too. Well drafted and regularly updated job descriptions can help here.
Lupton Fawcett has been advising family businesses throughout the UK on HR and employment law for many years. We will help you put everything in place to support and grow your workforce for generations.
Succession Planning for Family Businesses.
Succession planning can be a challenge for family businesses because it is tied up with the emotional realisation that the owner is going to retire.
The vast majority of family business owners plan to pass the business on to the next generation, but over 40% of them don’t have a succession plan in place.
If you’re a family business owner who expects that one or more of your children will take over at some point, the earlier you can start planning for that transition, the better.
There are a lot of things to consider including power of attorney, making a Will, an efficient tax strategy, the transfer of shares, and voting rights.
Getting matters in order early will help make a smooth transition through the generations and ensure the continuity of the business into the future.
Contact our Family Business Lawyers today for further advice about succession planning for your business.
Family Business Agreements
A Family Business Agreement (FBA) is a non-legally binding document that sets out your family business’ goals, roles, structure, policies, and protocols. By aligning objectives and expectations, and establishing formal processes before you need them, you can minimise conflicts and better handle them when they do arise.
The Family Business Lawyers at Lupton Fawcett can help you create an FBA that is tailored to the unique needs of your family. The process of creating the agreement itself can be extremely beneficial as it provides an opportunity for honest communication and sets the scene for business prosperity and family harmony.
Other documents that help provide structure and future proofing in family business include:
- Family governance and shareholder agreements
- Family constitutions
Family business agreements and family constitutions help give the business direction over time and can reduce the risk of conflict or disagreement. For expert advice on these and other family business legal issues, contact Lupton Fawcett today.
Get in Touch
We provide a personalised service, with sector specialists and extensive resources to ensure we are giving you the best solutions to your problems.
Our Family Business Lawyers act regularly for clients across the United Kingdom including Bradford, Birmingham, Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Sheffield, York and Nottingham.
As recognised Corporate Law Solicitors we can support your needs wherever you live in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Ireland.