For commercial reasons, the group is made up of a number of single companies, separate from each other, some of which own trading property. In an ideal situation the client wanted to sell some of the businesses, banking some cash personally and retaining the properties and the balance of cash within a corporate structure. This can then be invested to support his retirement if required and to pass down to his family.
We helped him reorganise his affairs, creating holding companies and group structures for his business interests. This allows him to transfer the properties and cash from retained profits to the holding companies. Doing this ringfences any risks associated with the trading business, but also has the following benefits:
Our client now has separate structures giving two options.
It is likely that our client will extract from one company and retain the other – with the hope of enjoying the best of both worlds.
The brothers took over the family business some time ago, diversifying its trade, and each having control over a separate arm. In order to improve visibility of individual trade performance, each trade is now being carried out by a separate subsidiary company.
As with all families, there has been some sibling rivalry with discussions around sale, exit and separation of the business with potentially each wanting to go their separate ways.
Whilst matters have not yet come to a head, the fact that the trades are in separate subsidiaries is helpful for a number of reasons:
As with many family business issues the structure needs to be adaptable as circumstances change as part of ongoing conversations.
Particularly today agility is a key factor in a successful business. One of the benefits of a group structure is that it can create an ability to move assets between companies quickly and efficiently where standalone businesses cannot. This can be critical in a situation where, for example, a prospective purchaser makes an unexpected offer to buy part of your business. A successful sale can be achieved more easily when a group structure is already in place.
Is it that easy? It can be with the right advice. Reorganisation of groups are typically tax neutral so the cost can be minimised. That said, there are tax and commercial pros and cons to making these changes which should be fully understood. Tax clearances are strongly recommended as HMRC are becoming much stricter about the commercial rationale required for a reorganisation. Specific circumstances and plans should be explored with your tax advisor and disclosed to HMRC.
With good advice from Crowe you could find a structure to suit you and your business, now and for the future.
For more information contact your usual contact partner, or Rebecca Durrant, National Head of Private Clients.
Keeping it in the family
Plugging into electric cars: calculating the cost
Starting, growing or selling
Navigating family business politics