Family-owned business

We understand the unique challenges that family businesses face

Family-owned businesses face unique challenges and opportunities. Business and legal decisions are often intertwined with family relationships. Cook Little is experienced in assisting clients in meeting business objectives and needs while respecting family relationships.

The owner of a family-owned business must ensure that the business prospers even when family dynamics threaten to interfere. We work with family-owned businesses to address these issues and to create and execute a business succession plan to transfer control to the next generation. We coordinate with other professional advisors, such as estate planning attorneys, accountants, and consultants, to create a comprehensive, integrated, and effective plan that satisfies family, organizational, and business goals. We understand that organizational structure, estate planning, tax considerations, and other issues are all essential to current success and to effective succession planning.

We have considerable experience in counseling family businesses in these areas and others. A few recent examples of services we have provided include:

  • Assisted multi-generation family business owners in devising and implementing an organizational and ownership succession plan that ensured continuity and resolved estate tax issues
  • Coordinated restructuring of a large family-owned business by working with family owners, non-family executives, management consultants and compensation consultants to make company decision-making smoother and provide family owners with greater autonomy from the business
  • Assisted a family-owned manufacturer with corporate structuring for a new line of business, the benefits of which will be realized primarily by the next generation
  • Helped a client engaged in a high-risk business “sleep better at night” by identifying and reducing exposure to potential liability, and designing a risk management and crisis response program
  • Worked with compensation and insurance consultants to structure, negotiate and implement employment agreements for non-family executives who were essential to bridging a generational management transition.

Contact Scott Ellison at 603.621.7122 or

Cook Little & Sheehan Phinney

Cook Little is pleased to announce that we have joined the business law firm, Sheehan Phinney.