We look not only at the current entities involved in the structure (Discretionary Trust, Unit Trust, Partnership of Trusts, Companies, etc.), but we also make it our business to understand who the key people are as well (Trustees, Directors, Shareholders, etc.).
With each client, our team reviews the risk within each entity and if needed, will then recommend a restructure to mitigate risk and/or achieve the desired outcome.
For example, Here Business & Wealth recently had a client operating a successful trading business generating very healthy profits. The business was operating through a Discretionary Trust. Their structure and situation allowed us to use some of the family members to distribute income and minimise tax.
However, when circumstances changed and we were no longer able to distribute income to various family members, our team had to develop a different approach. We decided to implement a strategy whereby we added another beneficiary of the Trust, this being a Corporate Beneficiary, sometimes known as a “Bucket Company”.
By doing this, we were able to distribute a portion of profits at year-end to the Bucket Company which allowed our client to maintain an effective tax rate of less than 30% across the Family Group.
We believe that it's important to offer all new clients an initial group structure review, where we assess their situation, provide them with options (if needed) and make the necessary changes to their structure. We also review the structures and situations of existing clients, to ensure even where circumstances have change (business sales, windfall gains, asset acquisitions, debt restructures etc.) their structures are still effective and optimised.
In some instances, clients have come to us with a very complex business structure for no apparent reason or benefit. In many cases, we will simplify matters, streamlining their business structure and ultimately making things less complicated.
All too often, business owners do not have a good grasp or understanding of the structure they have in place, and why. It is critical that you know and understand your business structure, only then will you be able to make full use of its benefits.
We’re in the business of unravelling complex structures, and we always make sure our clients understand the implications and benefits of the changes we advise them to make.