Ownership & Leadership Transition

Shirtsleeves to Shirtsleeves in 6 Generations

The Stroh family was successful by many measures. A German immigrant founded the brewery business in the 1850s, which survived Prohibition by expanding into ice cream and grew to be the third-largest beer business in America by the 1980s. Yet by 1999, Stroh Brewery was sold off and the family business ended. Frances Stroh, part of the fifth generation, has written a memoir about the unraveling of the family business titled, “Beer Money: A Memoir of Privilege ...Continue Reading

Success Requires Buy-In From The Incumbent Generation

Leadership Transition in Prominent Seattle Family Business

How Do You Run Your Family Business?: Choosing the Right Model of Ownership and Control

Family Business Succession Planning: Learning from the New York Times

Washington’s New Trustee Delegation Law: Allowing Fiduciaries to More Easily Keep Businesses in the Family

Governance & Business Operations

hands holding money sky

Paying your children to work in the family business? How much pay is too much?

It’s important to remember that when your family business sets compensation for family members, the IRS may be looking over your shoulders.  Why?  The IRS may disallow the deductibility of salaries and other compensation if it determines that the compensation is higher than “reasonable.”  The family business discussed in this article by Michael P. Connolly from the National Law Review recently learned a hard lesson in the U.S. Tax Court.  ...Continue Reading

Consider The Risks Before Electing S Status For Your LLC

Success in Succession: Using Strategic Planning to Address the “Missing Middle”

Three Governance Myths at the Family Farm

The Importance of Leadership Training Outside the Family Business

Perils in Family Business Succession: Dynasty or Meritocracy?

Growth & Exit Strategies

Funnel flow flat line style concept illustration

Event Recap: The 12 Most Common Mistakes to Avoid in Selling Your Business

DWT recently hosted “The 12 Most Common Mistakes to Avoid in Selling Your Business,” a seminar examining the common challenges affecting owners of family and closely held businesses on the subject of succession and estate planning. The seminar was led by a team of panelists, including DWT attorneys Keith Baldwin and Matt Loftin, Kristofer Gray with Integrity Financial, Dan Gaffney with Moss Adams LLP, Leif Johnson with Exvere, and Lisa ...Continue Reading

Lessons Learned in Selling the Family Business

Selling Your Family Business: Is 2017 the Year?

Top Ten Seller Mistakes

The Difficulty of Succession Planning

What’s Next: After the Sale of a Family Business

Estate Planning


Be Careful with Living Trusts that Own S Corporation Stock

In many states, Living Trusts are a person’s key estate planning document.  Living Trusts are created to hold assets during life and then dispose of those assets at death according to the person’s directions (here, we will call the person making the Living Trust the “Grantor.”  Living Trusts thus operate much like a Will, but, unlike a Will, Living Trusts have the benefit of avoiding probate.  This makes them common ...Continue Reading

Succession & Estate Planning Fundamentals for Business Owners

Plan to Communicate

Preserving Your Family Business (or Sale Proceeds) for Generations

Effectively Utilize Your Combined Federal Gift and Estate Tax Exemption

Your Estate Plan – Four Documents You Should Be Considering


Social Media Likes

Social media research reveals insights for retaining top talent.

Successful companies depend on finding and retaining talented employees. Attrition, on the other hand, is expensive. A constantly revolving door means more money and time spent training new employees, makes it hard to build effective teams and can undermine company morale. Family businesses may have a particularly difficult to path to tread in this regard: retaining non-family member employees is a constant issue in family businesses. Even beyond the family/non-family concerns, ...Continue Reading

Harder to Let Go?

The Cowles Company

Does “Hobby Lobby” Apply to My Family Business?

Simple Cafeteria Plans – Key to Keeping Key Employees

Essential Employment Policies for Family Businesses, Part II

Beyond Business

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Top Highlights from PwC Family Business Survey

PwC, one of the “Big Four” accounting firms and a consulting titan, released its latest periodic survey of United States family businesses.  PwC performs this survey every two years and has been doing it for ten years now.  Because of its size and scope, PwC has the perspective to touch more United States family businesses than most organizations conducting similar surveys.  Those of us in the family business community should ...Continue Reading

The Best of 2016: Quotes on Family Business

Should a Family Business Owner Make a Charitable Gift of Her S Corporation Stock?

Innovation in Family Business?

Family Business Report Highlights Successful Northwest Family Businesses

Leupold & Stevens, Inc: Five Generations of Governance