Choice Of Entity For The Family Business

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Martin A. Goldberg

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Abstract

Choice of entity has long been one of the central issues in applied business planning.  The family business often has special characteristics and needs that may differ from other businesses.  These different characteristics and needs will affect the determination of which entity is best for a particular business enterprise. To give some examples, the owners of a family business may want to maintain long-term control in the hands of one or two family members while still providing fairness for minority owners, may need to deal with attribution rules and other statutory provisions that make income tax planning more complicated, and may have the desire to take estate taxes into account as well as income taxes.  Tax legislation enacted in the years 2003 through 2006, as well as evolving case law, have made choice of entity for the family business more complicated than before, warranting a new look at this special topic.

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