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Business Tax Services

Succession Planning

Planning a graceful, profitable exit


Does your succession plan safeguard future growth, transfer wealth in a tax-smart way, and leave you feeling confident and in control? It is our role to help business owners develop succession plans that integrate these key outcomes.

We listen to the concerns of those who are transitioning from the business to understand what’s important to them. How you define success drives the approach, ensuring the results satisfy your personal and business goals.

While taxes should not be the primary purpose of succession planning, tax ramifications can have a material impact on the ultimate success of your plan. This is why it is vital to incorporate tax planning into the structure and approach to your succession plan.

The Smith + Howard tax team is attentive and leverages every available opportunity to ensure your business is set up for a successful transition.

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Transitioning for Continuity and Change

Businesses must have a succession plan to survive. The right succession plan maximizes wealth transfer and enables business continuity, goals that can best be achieved through the right structures and tax strategies.

We work with you to evaluate strategic opportunities and, with tax in our DNA, we stay attentive to tax considerations and ensure they do not interfere with the ultimate objectives of the plan.

We help business owners in any and every scenario, including:

Selling or Transferring to Family

Keeping the business in the family and leaving a legacy are top of mind for some business owners. If you want to sell or gift your business to family members as a means of succession, you must consider many things. For starters you must understand how it fits within your estate plan, how it affects all the members of your family and who will run the business. With transfers to family members, tax minimization is often the key to a successful plan. We work with multi-generational, family-owned businesses and bring insights on the plan, the tax implications and the navigation of family relationships to a successful process.


Selling or Transferring to Management

Successful businesses are built by teams. You may wish to sell or transfer your business to the team that helped you along the way. Structuring a deal with your management team can involve bringing in a financial sponsor, such as a PE firm, or it can be a direct sale up- front or over time. The plan may also use compensatory arrangements such as restricted shares, options or phantom stock. All of these options are affected by tax rules. Let us shed light on the options, the intricacies involved and the tax implications. We will guide you through the process.


Selling to a Third Party

Your succession plan may include a merger with or sale to a strategic buyer, an investment by a private equity fund, a public offering or a partnership with other financial backers. There are important factors to address in each of these scenarios, many of which have tax ramifications. We are there every step of the way to help with structure, evaluation of options and due diligence to guide you toward favorable tax outcomes.

Succession Planning Tax Experts

We are experts in succession planning because of our work with a diverse range of business owners and industries over five decades. We’ve also very successfully navigated succession planning and execution as a business ourselves. Now in our third generation, we’ve learned a lot about the value of early planning, consistent revisiting of plans (people and taxes change) and the development of future leaders. These real life lessons are useful in any size business, in any industry and we bring this knowledge to the table when we work with you.

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A Firm of Distinction

Serving clients in all 50 states
4,000 +
Tax clients globally served
Consecutive years recognized as Forbes Best Tax and Accounting Firm in America

The Right Course of Action

It is never too early to actively prepare for succession. The considerations and tasks are many and may include valuations, operational improvements, coaching/mentorship, and more. With the right process and structure in place, you will be on your way to achieving a tax-efficient succession plan that meets your goals..

We are here to ensure you take the necessary steps to safeguard future growth, transfer wealth in a tax-smart way, and to feel confident and in control.

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What clients are saying
Abatement Technologies Client Testimonial

“In recent years, Smith + Howard has been invaluable in keeping us abreast of changes to the tax code and wider environment. They’ve guided us through complex issues we had no knowledge of, and time and time again, it’s proved to be invaluable for us.”

Tom Nahigian, retired CFO of Abatement Technologies

“We use Smith + Howard for our audit, tax and special project work. Their advice and counsel is exceptional. Most recently, without Smith + Howard’s advice, we would have missed out on a $4M refund from a tax incentive program.”

David Seem, CFO, Miller-Zell

“Their mindset is different. They’re constantly looking to see what our objectives are and they’re giving us the best possible advice and keeping up with all the rules and regulations. It’s like having an expert looking over your shoulder with what you’re doing.”

Raj Anand, CEO, Southern States, LLC

How We Help

We can also assist with:

  • Business tax planning
  • Entity selection
  • Accounting for income taxes
  • Tax accounting method selection and planning
  • Transaction advisory tax services
  • International tax services
  • Tax credits and incentives
  • Tax controversy
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Explore our other tax services:

Private Client Services

As a high-net-worth individual, you need a partner working as hard to protect and grow your wealth as you did to accumulate it – a partner who is on the same page as you about how your life, family and goals evolve over time and commits to preserving what you’ve built.

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Business Tax

Our roots going back over half a century were grounded in tax. Today, while we can serve every aspect of your business’ financial life, we still stand on a strong tax foundation.

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Indirect Tax

When consumers purchase goods and services, they pay indirect taxes.

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Let’s talk about how you’re looking to grow your business

At each step of the way, we will work with you to maintain compliance and minimize your taxes, while establishing a long-term relationship built on quality counsel and efficient, responsive service.