For a wide range of commercial reasons, or as a result of a change in the personal circumstances of owners, businesses may need from time to time to review the suitability of their business ownership structure. This might be, for example, to assist with exit and succession planning for family-run businesses or restructuring a group to maximise efficiency.
A reorganisation or restructuring can take on various forms including:
- Share for share exchanges to create a group
- Company purchase of own shares to facilitate a shareholder exit
- Management buyouts to implement succession planning
- Demergers to allow shareholders of a family or owner-managed company to run separate parts of the business independently, or to package one or more business activities into separate new companies in anticipation of a future sale
As always, our approach is to fully understand your business and personal objectives first. Any changes to share ownership arrangements may give rise to a range of tax issues that will require careful consideration and planning if tax charges are to be avoided. There are a number of tax reliefs available which can minimise or eliminate tax charges arising as a consequence of a reorganisation. Many of these reliefs have specific rules and conditions attached to them, but often clearance can be obtained from HMRC in advance of the planned transaction to provide certainty of the tax treatment.
Our tax specialists have extensive experience of managing and implementing such changes and we can help you navigate your way through a restructuring, reorganisation, merger or demerger to ensure it is conducted in the most tax-efficient way possible. Getting it wrong can lead to unexpected surprises and tax costs.