After 30 years in the business, Elaine and Larry Taylor (Big50 1987) of Taylored Construction are in the process of selling their Anchorage, Alaska, company to their children.
Currently, their son, Trent, is the manager of the cleaning division, and daughter, Lisa, is the general manager. "It would have been easier to sell and walk away. But for the next generation, you want a business that is worth continuing," Elaine says.
The family made the decision five years ago and began looking for the best path, tax-wise. The couple decided to gift the business, incrementally, to the children. Each year, "we're allowed to give $11,000 per person per child," Elaine says. They anticipate the handover will take place in about three years, when the children will own over half of the shares. Elaine and Larry will maintain a 10% share in the company.
To negotiate the process, the couple hired a business counselor who also has a master's degree in family therapy. He, along with their attorneys and accountant, helped them work out the details.
"The kids are in their mid-30s. Their business knowledge is 100 times more than ours was at their age," Elaine says. "But they haven't had some of the hard knocks that we had."