A family business founder once asked me: “what was I thinking, wanting to build a family business?” Here is what immediately flooded my mind, almost too quickly to get it…
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Meeting the needs of all family members, whether involved in the family business or not, is a key concern for many entrepreneurs. How do family members get treated at the office? Does an absentee child have birth rights to ownership in the family business, or do only those involved in the day-to-day operations merit such a claim? Our role is to facilitate meetings and conflicts, with the use of outside counsel as these issues arise.
Policies and procedures may have little value to the business founder but a potential buyer will want to acquire a company with solid operational policies. Formalizing the unwritten rules in a family business brings the company to a more attractive level for a buyer. As a CPA firm with a strong history in audit and audit related procedures, FL Fuller Landau is a natural choice for working with these entrepreneurial issues.
The goal of a proactive family business succession plan, which should be put in place before making the sale, is to ensure maximum valuation while retaining family integration and family wealth. Whether it is tax planning, estate planning or corporate governance, our team develops a plan with both the seller and buyer, and guides all parties to ensure a fruitful transition.
Administering an estate after death is cumbersome and complex. When it comes to the financials, families are often lost after a death and this is where our team can assist, lead and consult providing sound guidance and judgment in a time of need.
Buy-sell agreements are drafted and legally structured by lawyers but FL Fuller Landau plays the vital role in ensuring that the deal is beneficial to our client. Our team will advise on any letter of intent (LOI), due diligence process and/or negotiation between the parties. Many entrepreneurs do not bring their professionals in at the right level in these three facets of a buy/sell. Our role is to identify, help draft and represent our clients in these processes.
Knowing where you are at today and determining where you should be tomorrow are vital to the long-term success of any organization’s existence and maximum valuation. All businesses should have an exit strategy, be it selling to family or a 3rd party, a management buy-out, or even wind-up and dissolution. Each of these exit strategies may require a different approach, and each will surely have a different effect on the family unit – financially or otherwise.
What drives Generation Y is vastly different than what drove the baby-boomers to succeed. Understanding this distinction may make the difference between transitioning the business to a family member or having to sell to a 3rd party – and knowing when to prune the family tree is the hardest decision an entrepreneur may ever make. Our clients turn to us to assist in understanding these differences and to help make those tough decisions.
Valuating the family business is a challenge for any entrepreneur. Over-price your business, and you may never get anyone to ever look at it. Under value it and you may leave family wealth (and all your hard work) on the table. While FL Fuller Landau does not do the actual valuations, we associate with reputable firms who do – and we ensure that, as part of our on-going consultation, you ask the right questions and are lead in the proper direction.
How do you ensure that your key asset – your team – stays with you for the long-haul? Do you compensate them through straight salary? Profit-share? Stock options? Phantom stock plans? Long-term employee loyalty not only helps a business grow, but can also be a key selling point for potential buyers. Our consultants use their extensive experience in helping family business owners formulate and build compensation plans that work for them.
FL Fuller Landau provides a range of services for our company and for our staff. Their efficiency and accuracy are second to none, and our business has benefited enormously from the advice of FL Fuller Landau’s business advisors. We rely on them completely and have never been anything but totally satisfied with both the results and the personalized attention that we receive. FL Fuller Landau sets the gold standard and delivers every time.