Family enterprises are the mainstay of the Canadian economy, representing over 80% of all businesses. Over 55% of all new jobs are created by family-owned businesses. Family businesses in Vancouver face unique challenges that other corporations do not. Adding to the stress of running a successful business, a family enterprise must deal with the challenges presented by close and intimate relationships, differing needs for financial security and wealth, and competing visions of growth and succession planning of everyone in the family tree. Trying to align the core values of the business with the expectations, knowledge, and personal and professional needs of the family members involved can be a continuous challenge.
Obtaining calm, and well-thought-out legal advice from a firm that is familiar with the above concerns helps to alleviate the pressure of running a business. Kerfoot Burroughs has been working with family-owned businesses for decades. Our client-base ranges from existing companies that have experienced one or more generational transitions, to businesses that are just getting off the ground. A common goal of many family-owned businesses is to provide financial security for the next generation. Our family enterprise lawyers have the resources, the knowledge, and the emotional intelligence to deal with these concerns in a way that our clients value and appreciate.
In order to fulfill the needs of a family-owned business, a deeper understanding of the core business, and of the individuals is required. The lawyers at Kerfoot Burroughs spend time assessing and consulting with all the principals who work there, to determine the best possible process, and to define the families desired outcomes. Each individual and generation in a family-owned enterprise wants to feel valued, heard, and respected. Kerfoot Burroughs understands family dynamics and listens closely to what our clients need. On the technical side of things, we provide advice regarding all aspects of corporate governance and commercial agreements as they relate to family-owned businesses. These include:
- Incorporating the business
- Incorporating holding company
- Drafting shareholders’ agreements
- Implementing estate freezes
- Discussing life insurance needs and each parties personal estate plan including wills and powers of attorney
- Initiating or facilitating discussions regarding succession planning
- Assisting in the sale of the family business
- Acquiring other businesses