Is Your Business Partnership Prepared for Succession?

By Nina Kaufman, Esq.

Who said partnerships were easy?  Part of the challenge is structuring your company so that it can function well in your absence — especially if that absence is a prolonged one . . . like, because of your death.  What happens to the employees?  What happens to your clients?

As Jason Knott points out in his article, “Are You Prepared for Business Succession?”, there are a number of issues to think through such as:

  • Estate taxes
  • How business is generated (if it’s a result of your contacts and you’re no longer around, what are the likely fortunes of the company?).
  • Employee and vendor loyalty

And don’t forget having a clear plan for who will own the business and in which proportions when you’re gone.

All of these issues are challenging — they’re heavy with emotion, potentially unpleasant, and not always simple to work through.  But you needn’t go it alone.  Your succession planning team — your attorney, accountant, business partners, and (if appropriate) consultants — all can help you figure it out.