Business Succession Planning


Only about 30% of family businesses transition successfully to a second generation. Of those that fail to do so, there are a number of reasons why, including communication and trust issues, and a lack of preparation on the part of the individuals taking over the business.

If you are a business owner, you’ve probably put your heart and soul into building your business, perhaps with the intention that it could sustain your family and employees long after you’re gone. Reeder Murphy can help increase the chances of a successful transition.

In order for a business to successfully transition to new ownership, whether within or outside of the family, there are several steps that must be taken. With decades of experience in business law and estate planningReeder Murphy will help you through every step of the business succession process.

Successfully Transition Your Business to New Ownership

The first step is to identify your goals for your business. Is it important to keep the business in the family? Will you need income from the business to support your retirement? Have you identified a key employee or preferred successor? Is that successor willing and prepared to take over the business? We will help you answer these questions and consider issues such as:

  • Developing a retention plan allowing family members to retain control of business assets;
  • Determining whether vital employees or shareholders should be offered a greater stake in the company;
  • Assuring appropriate valuation of the company and its assets;
  • Coordinating your business succession plan with your estate plan, including planning to minimize estate taxes;
  • Preserving the company’s “institutional memory” when current owners and managers are no longer at the helm of the business;
  • Taking measures to ensure the business has sufficient cash flow for operating expenses, payment of taxes, or buyout a deceased owner.

Your business is your life’s work. It’s unique, and so must be the plan to help it successfully carry on after you’re no longer steering the ship. At Reeder Murphy we care about more than the legal details of your business. We’re committed to serving the needs of the people for which it was built.

Dedicated Grand Rapids Business Succession Attorneys

Reeder Murphy is a full-service law firm, able to address all of your business and personal legal matters so that you can concentrate on the needs of your business. We look forward to partnering with you to plan for the success of your business for years to come.

Business & Corporate Law Team: Bryan D. ReederJeffrey M. Black, Richard A. Conklin