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Tax and Financial Planning for the Closely Held Family Business

Gary A. Zwick and James J. Jurinski

Tax and Financial Planning for the Closely Held Family Business serves as a manual to help business advisers devise strategies for clients dealing with family issues. Guiding family businesses through the complex maze of organizational, tax, financial, governance, estate planning, and personal family issues is a complex, time-consuming, difficult, and sometimes emotional process. This book focuses not only on identifying the problems family businesses face, but on devising solutions and planning opportunities for both family businesses and their owners. Each chapter of this book contains creative planning opportunities that advisers can suggest and help implement in order to solve real problems in the family business.
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Chapter 2: UNDERSTANDING FAMILY BUSINESS

Gary A. Zwick and James J. Jurinski

Extract

This chapter focuses on why family-owned businesses are different. Because the business owners, and managers, are all related family members, family dynamics always impact operating the business. The chapter details the use of two-circle family business analysis, focusing on ownership and family membership, and the three-circle model that focuses on ownership, family membership and also employment (participation). Use of these models can help an adviser predict conflicts in family businesses. Conflicts arise among individuals who work in the business and those who do not. The chapter also explores the differences between “family systems” – which value and reward individuals based on family membership, and “business systems” – that focus on effectiveness, efficiency and merit. In a family business a person’s last name often carries more weight than skills and ability when it comes to compensation and advancement. Finally, the chapter discusses the pros and cons of intervention to solve serious problems.

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