As the age of farm operators increases, transferring the ownership and management of the family business to the next generation will become one of the most important issues farm families will face. No two succession plans are alike. Given the complexity of individual farm businesses and the unique personalities and characteristics of family members, a cookie-cutter plan, which families can adopt, does not exist. Legal issues, tax laws, and personal differences between family members are some of the issues families must confront when deciding how to transfer the managerial and asset control of a family business.
To help families address their future, OSU Extension has developed a variety of resources. A fact sheet series is available for quick reading on business succession. These 3-4 page fact sheets address specific topics and can be accessed at: http://ohioline.osu.edu/bst-fact/index.html or can be received by calling your local OSU Extension office. The current fact sheets are: A Comparison of Business Entities, Conducting a SWOT Analysis, Conducting Successful Family Business Transition Meetings, Developing a Useful Mission Statement, Developing Goals, Developing the Next Generation of Managers, Planning for the Successful Transition of Your Agricultural Business, Starting an LLC for a Farm Business, Tax Characteristics of Business Entities, Using LLC to Manage Liability Exposure, Whole Farm Planning Model and Is a Prenuptial Agreement Right for Your Farm Business.
The OSU Extension transition team is also pleased to announce the newly revised Bulletin 862 titled, Transferring Your Farm Business to the Next Generation is now available as a resource for families to use as they plan for the future. This 89 page bulletin helps families plan for he future of their business by examining the following questions:
1) Do I want to pass my farm operation to my heirs as an ongoing business or do I want to pass it on as a group of assets?
2) How can you tell if the business is profitable enough to provide for the next generation?
3) Are there enough income and assets to provide for the older generation’s wants and needs?
4) How can you help the two generations get along?
5)What should you transfer and in what order?
6) How can you avoid paying too much income, gift and estate taxes?
This bulletin is one which each generation should read. This bulletin can be purchased at your local county Extension office for $9.25 or can be accessed for free at: http://ohioline.osu.edu/lines/bulls.html
Working together, families can answer the tough questions and develop a succession plan that will provide the opportunity for the farm to be successful for many generations. For more information on succession planning or any of OSU Extension’s resources, contact David Marrison at firstname.lastname@example.org or 440-576-9008.