Family business law

Family business law is not a specific area of law like mergers and acquisitions, trusts and estates or federal tax.  Family business law is also not a body of law built around a specific industry the same way bodies of law have developed around fisheries, restaurants, telecommunications and other specialized industries – although family businesses are a large section of the participates in nearly every industry.

Family business law is the practice of business law, whether through corporate, securities, regulatory, estate planning or other substantive areas, with a unique sensitivity to the challenges, goals and values common to most or all family businesses, and absent in most other businesses.  A family business has different constituents than just shareholders – it has mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, children and, hopefully, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  Even when profitable, it is not successful unless it is transmitting the values of the family behind it and preserving its legacy for the generations to come.

At Wilson & Haubert, PLLC we understand that family business lawyers must understand the family dynamics behind the businesses they are representing.  They must appreciate the core values that the first generation wanted to preserve and that the current generation wants to maintain.  They must understand the importance of community in any family enterprise, appreciating that family businesses are the bedrock of community and local philanthropy.  Finally, just as their clients, they must always be thinking about the future of the business.

In an ordinary businesses, people retire, new people are hired, existing shareholders sell and new owners take over.  This is the natural cycle we can rely on if a company is financially successful.  In a family business, though, this is not what success looks like.  The older generations work hard, not just for financial achievements, but also to see the business they’ve built carry on in the hands of their children and grandchildren.  Wilson & Haubert, PLLC works to ensure our clients family businesses can achieve those goals.