Landowning Family Businesses

Many estates, farms and forests are family businesses which just happen to involve land, albeit land which may have been in the family for generations. Land-based businesses are not immune to the challenges faced by all family businesses, the most challenging of which is “who, if anyone, in the next generation will take over?”

Even in the closest of families who own or manage land, relationships within the family can become strained when succession within the business, and to the land, become an issue. Most families in business together recognise this issue; some choose to ignore it in the hope that all be fine “come the day”. More realistic families plan well ahead: making sure there is a willing, well-trained and knowledgeable next generation primed to take over when the older generation wants to retire.

WJM has a specialist Family Business service which has worked with many families who own or manage land, to help them resolve the tricky and delicate issue of succession. Our view is that you cannot take the family out of the business – there are far too many emotions and complex relationships bound up in the family and the business to ever separate them.

In partnership with WJM’s Family Business team, our Agricultural & Rural sector team works with rural family businesses advising on how best to structure their business and personal affairs with an eye to the future, and for the benefit of current and future generations. Starting the succession conversation is never an easy matter; we can guide you on starting the conversation and advising you on the subsequent choices and challenges you may face.

In addition, WJM has established an independent specialist family business consultancy, Family Business Solutions, which works with families across the UK. Read more about FBS here.