Family-Owned Businesses

Protecting your heritage

Starting, running and perpetuating a family business poses additional challenges to any other business.

The frequent informality of family-owned businesses, the diffuse limits between the family, the company and the property of the goods, the lack of professionalism, the lack of succession planning, among other things, cause weaknesses that must be addressed to avoid problems and conflicts that at some point destroy wealth.

But the adequate use of the tools the law provides can help reduce the risk of things going sideways, and help create a better future for you, your family and business

The key to running a family business successfully is to agree in advance on sensitive issues, implementing boundaries and a balanced relation between the interests of the business and the family.

As the business environment and the family members’ wishes, needs and circumstances change regularly, organizing the family business is an ongoing process that should be regularly evaluated and reviewed, and must be based on solid tenets and shared-values that must be crystal-cleared stated and communicated.

Castro Sammartino & Pierini can help you out with all of the legal family business issues, including:

  1. Drafting a family protocol to which family members can refer to, addressing among others some of these issues:
  • Access to the family business ownership, and planning the best structure for commercial, tax and succession purposes;
  • Recruiting of family members and their compensations;
  • Funding the family business;
  • Dividend policies;
  • Family members leaving the business, becoming incapacitated, passing away, divorcing, separating, etc.;
  • Buying and selling options of family members´ shares (puts and calls);
  • Selling the family business to third parties and tag along and drag along rights;
  • Business succession and continuance;
  • Establishing of the Family Council
  • Raising and discussion of new ideas and changes;
  • Handling disputes through mentors (i.e. trusted outsiders); independent non-executive board members for impartial advice and experience; independent professional advisors; mediators; arbitrators, etc.
  1. Amendments to your company’s articles to suit your circumstances;
  2. Shareholders´ agreements;
  3. Restrictions on share assignments and preemptive rights;
  4. Marriage´s estate regime, asset separation;
  5. Restraints to heirs and in-laws joining the family business,
  6. Divorce assistance;
  7. Trusts for administration purposes or asset protection;
  8. Donations, wills, bequests, and future inheritance covenants assigning the family business to those business committed heirs;
  9. Employment agreements with relatives.

  Castro Sammartino & Pierini with you to be better, always.

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