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How can I keep my business in the family?

There are several ways to keep your business in the family. The method you choose will depend on whether you wish to keep ownership and control of the business until your death, or begin transferring ownership (and possibly control) to your family during your lifetime. In addition, your options will be affected by the business entity itself. A sole proprietorship, for example, may have different options than a partnership or a corporation. The presence of a buy-sell agreement or another restrictive agreement between current owners may also impact your options. Each of the options for keeping your business in the family bears its own tax consequences and can be affected by your overall estate planning goals.

If you wish to maintain ownership until your death, you can transfer your business to family members using your will. Depending on the value of your estate and the year in which you die, your business interest may be included in your estate and subject to estate taxes under this method. However, under certain circumstances, valuation discounts may be available to lower the taxable value of your business interest. See a tax attorney for more information.

If you want to begin transferring ownership of the business during your lifetime, you can structure the transfers to occur in such a manner that you retain the controlling interest until you are ready to fully remove yourself from the business. You can make lifetime gifts of interests in your business to your family members. Depending on the amount of the gift and to whom the gift is made, lifetime transfers of your business interest may be subject to federal and/or state gift tax. (See a tax attorney for more information.) Or, you can combine lifetime gifting with an outright sale of your interest. The sale can occur either during your lifetime or after your death. You may want to use a trust to facilitate the transfer of your business, or transfer ownership through the use of another entity, such as a family limited partnership.

A buy-sell agreement can be established now to provide for the future sale of your business to one or more family members. Buy-sell agreements are legal agreements that establish a buyer for your business, the price or pricing mechanism to be used, and the events (such as retirement, death, or disability) that will trigger the sale. Be aware that once you are bound under such an agreement, you may not be allowed to make gifts of your business interest or sell to anyone other than the buyer named in the agreement, depending on the terms of the agreement. There are costs associated with the creation and maintenance of these legal agreements.

There are no warranties implied. White Aspen Capital is a registered investment adviser located in Henderson, Nevada. White Aspen Capital may only transact business in those states in which it is registered, or qualifies for an exemption or exclusion from registration requirements. is limited to the dissemination of general information pertaining to its advisory services, together with access to additional investment-related information, publications, and links. Accordingly, the publication of White Aspen Capital web site on the Internet should not be construed by any consumer and/or prospective client as White Aspen Capital solicitation to effect, or attempt to effect transactions in securities, or the rendering of personalized investment advice for compensation, over the Internet. Any subsequent, direct communication by White Aspen Capital with a prospective client shall be conducted by a representative that is either registered or qualifies for an exemption or exclusion from registration in the state where the prospective client resides. For information pertaining to the registration status of White Aspen Capital, please contact the state securities regulators for those states in which White Aspen Capital maintains a registration filing. A copy of White Aspen Capital’s current written disclosure statement discussing White Aspen Capital’s business operations, services, and fees is available at the SEC’s investment adviser public information website – or from White Aspen Capital upon written request. This newsletter and information are provided for guidance and information purposes only. Investments involve risk and unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy. This website and information are not intended to provide investment, tax, or legal advice.  Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2022

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