Structuring is a core area of the work at Steps Law.
When creating a client structure, the underlying entities used are the building blocks for the structure.
We can assist in the development of all forms of structures:
- Private companies
- Companies limited by guarantee
- Discretionary/family trusts
- Fixed Unit Trusts
- Hybrid Unit Trusts
- Joint ventures
- Self managed superannuation funds
- Testamentary trusts
- Protective trusts (safe haven) to protect the underlying value assets of the trust and restrict the distribution of capital/assets of the trust
- Child Maintenance Trusts
- Estate Proceeds Trusts
- Super Proceeds Trusts
- Other forms of trust for particular purposes.
Points to consider in selecting the appropriate structure
A suitable structure is often decided in a simple fashion – a company, a trust, I want to own the asset in my personal name.
A preferable structure should take into account the following factors:
- Tax – allows the splitting of income among family members where this is allowed;
- Tax Rate – minimise the family tax payable on profit from the business or investment;
- Flexibility – provide flexibility that allows changes without incurring restructure costs- for example, changes in the share of income among family members from year to year, transferring control to other family members without tax, impost;
- Realisation – maximise the after-tax gain on realisation of the business or investment;
- Asset Protection – protect the group profit and wealth from loss in the event of bankruptcy of any of the family members or exposure to litigation or other claims against any of the family members;
- Access – Allow access to group profit and accumulated wealth.
The importance of each factor will vary with the client’s circumstances.
At Steps Law we aim to provide you with the optimum structure for the operation of your business or the holding of investments.
During your lifetime, at some stage will be necessary to make changes to your structure for one or more of the following reasons:
- growth in your business creating new objectives (for example, the need to protect valuable business assets against claims, the desire to introduce equity participants such as key employees);
- changes in the law;
- changes in your circumstances (for example, approaching retirement and wish to restructure ownership of the business to the next generation);
- Inappropriate structuring by another adviser.
A significant impediment to any restructure is the tax, stamp duty and other government imposts that can be incurred.
As the Principal of Steps Law is dual qualified as a Chartered Accountant and solicitor, we are uniquely positioned to provide the most effective restructuring solution. We can often provide a solution that allows a restructure without triggering a liability for capital gains tax or stamp duty.