Representing the owners of closely held businesses spanning a multitude of industries has been a pillar of Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella's practice since our inception and an important contributor to our growth. When the business is family-owned, Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella professionals have the experience and understanding that family enterprises require to address their unique challenges and take advantage of their unique opportunities.
Burke Warren's strong commitment to serving the needs of family business is exemplified by its long-standing sponsorship of the Chicago Family Business Council at DePaul University, a not-for-profit organization comprised of a diverse group of family-owned and closely held businesses. As a Strategic Partner, Burke Warren provides educational and financial support to the Council's mission of helping its members achieve growth and sustainability in the face of challenges that are different from and more complicated than those experienced in nonfamily-owned or managed companies.
Burke Warren attorneys in multiple practice groups apply an interdisciplinary approach in dealing with issues of ownership and management transition and legacy planning of closely held businesses, such as:
- Creating a viable succession plan to provide for the financial independence of the current owners while positioning the business for continued success and growth
- Formulating buy/sell agreements to address sales and other transfers of ownership triggered by death, disability, disagreement, or divorce
- Designing and implementing sophisticated techniques in order to minimize income, estate, gift, and other taxes and addressing related tax compliance
- Coordinating owner estate planning with business succession planning and buy-sell agreements taking multigenerational concerns and goals into account
- Structuring family limited partnerships, limited liability companies, and trusts to hold businesses and other assets
- Establishing private foundations and addressing related tax compliance
- Assisting family offices with strategies and structures for continuity for future generations
Burke Warren understands that family businesses have a different perspective and measure success differently than other closely held companies. The desire of current ownership to preserve and grow an enterprise for the benefit of the next generation calls for a more nuanced and often more creative approach, combined with the use of different legal tools, in the planning and implementation process. This is where the experience and perspective of Burke Warren's attorneys can make the difference.
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