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Transfer of a Family Business

Ireland is undoubtedly a nation of family businesses, with 75% of private businesses being family owned.  Lavelle Partners have been at the heart of the business community within Dublin and Ireland for over 30 years.  During that time, we have been proud to advise and represent many family-owned businesses through each stage of their development, including when transferring through inheritance and lifetime transfers.  We understand the importance of clearly explaining the process, options and implications of transferring a business to the transferor and the transferee. 

Transferring a family business to the next generation is an important step in our lives and in the life of the business.  Whether the entity in question has been in existence or one or multiple family generations, the hard work and determination that has led to its success cannot be underestimated.  And to then be able to pass it on to our children or other family members is a great honour, both for us in assisting the process, and for the parties to the transfer.  The new business may then take a new direction under fresh management, reflecting modern societal changes and business realities.

In many cases, however, business succession planning is not undertaken early enough, perhaps due to the many issues that must be considered when doing so.  This is where Lavelle Partners can assist.  We can drive the process of your family business succession planning, initiating each step of the process, taking the time to understand the details of your family, the structure of the business, and the goals for the future.  By entrusting the process to our specialist team of estate planning Solicitors, you can relax in the knowledge that every aspect of the transfer has been considered and formalised with everyone’s best interests in mind.

What must be considered when transferring a family business in Ireland?

There are several key considerations when planning the transfer of a family business, hence why it is important to plan effectively and to do so as early as possible.  Some of the primary considerations include:

  • Agreeing to whom the family business assets will be transferred – it is important that the whole family understand this in good time to avoid any potential disputes.
  • How and when will the transfer occur – gift now or inherit later?
  • What is the best business structure – family partnerships, share freezing
  • How will the new owners learn about the business?  Will they join the business prior to the transfer to learn the ropes?
  • Tax considerations – Capital Gains Tax (CGT), Capital Assets Tax and Stamp Duty – note for example that Young Trained Farmers Relief scheme provides an exemption from Stamp duty on the transfer of farm assets.  You can also take advantage of ‘entrepreneur relief’ and ‘retirement relief’ on CGT.

Why choose Lavelle Partners to assist you with the transfer of a family business?

  • We are a partner-led firm, meaning the partner you meet will manage your case and be available to you if you have any questions.
  • Our solicitors are approachable, intelligent, and pragmatic. 
  • Our clients remain with us long-term and most of our new clients come to us via referrals.  In addition, most team members have been with the firm for 15-30 years.  We know our clients, their families, and their businesses inside out and this helps us provide exceptional service and gives people confidence in the quality of the advice and representation they receive.
  • Our advice is to the point; we will not ask you to choose between five different options, we will advise which one will protect and promote your best interests.
  • When it comes to inheritance matters, we are sensitive and compassionate in all our dealings.
  • Nicola Walsh holds a Diploma in Trust and Estate Planning (Law Society and STEP) 2004.

For further information regarding the Transfer of a Family Business in Ireland, please contact Lavelle Partners in confidence on (01) 644 5800.

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