Family business and succession

"Knowledge may give weight, but accomplishments give lustre, and many more people see than weigh" - Herodotus

Family businesses have an interesting dynamic between company, family, and capital. This dynamic must be clearly mapped out in order to answer the really big questions such as succession, exit, generations, governance, and wealth planning. Only then is it possible to make the right tax-legal decisions to maintain and grow the family capital that is embedded in the business and beyond.

Our integrated expertise in tax law, estate law and corporate law enables family businesses to benefit from a customized application of the tax facilities for business succession to the situation at hand.

"Ineke Koele provides highly competent and professional service for family businesses and is always personally engaged". Dr. F. Schonewille, Schonewille & Schonewille Family & Business mediation

Broad perspective

Koele Tax & Legal Perspecta advises on the main transition processes in a family business from a broad perspective in order to reach tailored tax-legal solutions that are generally unique to each family. 

International research has revealed over the years that only 30% of all business transfers to the next generation are succesful. This means that more than two-thirds of all business successions fail and in 90% of the cases the company, i.e. its capitalized assets, are generally depleted within three generations (and hence two successions). This applies in all parts of the world independent of the political or economic system. Research conducted has revealed that almost all family business leaders are not or not sufficiently aware of the underlying causes. The causes do not lie, as most family business leaders believe, in the rational world of taxation, economy, or market trends but rather in the more intangible world of trust, family cohesion, communication and preparation of the NextGen.

Where legal-technical advice alone is applied “top down” in family businesses and not embedded in a familial and business accord, the probability of disappointments, incomprehension, mistrust and even conflict is real. Instead, we can only speak of a "success" if a business transfer creates a lasting legacy.

Process-oriented approach 

Koele Tax & Legal Perspecta approaches the main issues family businesses find themselves dealing with as a process rather than a transaction. This approach has produced some of the best solutions. The legal design follows the function that the family appoints to the (business) capital, and not the other way around. We will help you structure the process and add new roles and positions. Together with your advisors and other professionals, if and to the extent desired.

 See also: Family Business and Lasting Legacy Planning, Feb/March 2015

Advice, guidance and implementation

We advise on different kinds of solutions, process planning and partial subjects that are subservient to the process of transformation. We have an engaged, but also critical sounding board function and may even operate temporarily in a trust office foundation, supervisory board, or advisory board or give indicative suggestions to steer the different stakeholders in a certain direction. In the final phase, we make sure that a tax-efficient structure is put in place and thoroughly documented. We are more than happy to work with your steady team of advisors. Experience shows that our clients’ advisors experience the collaboration as enriching.

Dutch Bill on Transparency Civil Society Organizations

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Dutch foundations - ANBI or not ANBI With Brexit on the agenda, there is increased attention for the use of charitable organizations in the Netherlands.

Tax issues of public interest generosity In the annual book 2016/2017 of 'De Dikke Blauwe' in relation to Philanthropy, Major Donors and Social Enterprises, Ineke Koele has written an analysis (in Dutch) of the tax issues of public interest generosity.

Quote interview Family Wars As a specialist on Tax and Wealth Disputes, Ineke Koele has been interviewed by Sander Schimmelpenninck for the November issue of 'Quote'  on Family Wars.

The Dutch Private Foundation in comparison with trusts: for the same purpose but rather different Trusts & Trustees, Oxford University Press, February 2016, p. 140-145.  The Dutch Private Foundation provides an alternative paradigm for sustainable asset protection purposes.

Family Business Lasting Legacy Planning On Family Businesses and succcesful transitions to the NextGen through Lasting Legacy planning, Philanthropy Impact issue 7 2015

Mistake in Dutch Private Clients practice: the autonomy of parties revealed On the meaning of 'Mistake' in the Dutch estate planning practice in comparison with the Anglo American practice, Trusts & Trustees, July 2014

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International Charitable Giving Oxford University Press, 2012, author Chapter: the Netherlands

Ten Things on Philanthropy in the Netherlands Ten Things You (probably) didn't know about Philanthropy in the Netherlands, column by Ineke A. Koele in Philanthropy Impact Winter 2013/14