Disputes over compensation and shareholder or owner control are common in family-owned and closely held businesses.
Rosenn Jenkins & Greenwald, LLP attorneys recognize that the need for legal assistance is most important when internal company disputes arise among family members or stakeholders in the company.
For nearly 60 years, our attorneys have been guiding companies and businesses throughout northeastern Pennsylvania when issues arise that threaten to destroy closely held or family-owned businesses.
Our experience has been that the most common issue with family-owned and closely held businesses is the failure of the stakeholders or family members to work with a lawyer to craft formal business documents. Without a formal business agreement, any disputes are governed by the Pennsylvania Corporations Code — and the potentially biased memory of each family member or stakeholder. We’ve found that working with a Rosenn Jenkins & Greenwald, LLP attorney on proper documentation can protect the business from devastating disagreements and set forth guidelines on management of assets, control of assets, succession plans, distributions of funds and even the proper wind-down of the business.
Other major issues that often arise in family-owned and closely held businesses include:
- Neglecting finances: If family members or stakeholders are neglecting their financial responsibilities, they may be unpleasantly surprised. All owners in these businesses are required to follow certain rules governing financial responsibilities, and the punishment can be severe if those rules are not followed.
- Poor succession planning: Not planning for the death of a stakeholder or family member — or a divorce — can seriously injure or bankrupt a family-owned or closely held business.
- Commingling business and personal life: It’s best not to mix personal matters with business relationships and operations. Personal disputes can easily become business disputes, creating mistrust, damage to the company and bad decision-making.
The legal team at Rosenn Jenkins & Greenwald, LLP assists clients with disputes arising from numerous other closely held or family-owned company issues, including:
- Buy-sell agreements
- Partnership agreements
- Operating agreements
- Shareholder documents
- Personal and private issues
- Business dissolution
- Business succession