Foundations and Business Succession

Our attorneys provide advice for all topics in the field of foundation law and aid business owners and businesses when structuring business successions plans, in particular with the aid of family asset management (holding) companies or foundation structures (e.g. business-related family foundations or charitable foundations, or the two in combination, so-called dual-purpose foundation structures).

Within the field of foundation law, we provide answers to all questions related to state law-based supervisory requirements, general civil law and corporate law as well as the law of charitable foundations. In this context, we not only provide support when forming a foundation but also provide ongoing advice for private or charitable, independent or dependent foundations.

Especially when forming a new foundation and in the business succession field, we work closely with client’s/founder’s tax advisors, as well as contributing our own expertise in tax issues related to this field.

Our decades of experience in these fields – the formation of some of the largest family foundations in the Federal Republic of Germany were managed by our offices and to some extent continue to be advised by us today – provide SOH not only extraordinary know-how but also exceptional contacts to many foundation supervisory bodies in several of the German states.

In the field of foundation law, we were able to work closely with legislators related to several revisions to foundation law. Our senior parter Dr. Gerhard Schmidt, who died in 2009, was among the most prominent individuals on the German foundation landscape until his death. In 2005, he was awarded the Gold Medal for Merits in the German Philanthropic Sector by then-federal president Horst Köhler, the highest award for services in the German philanthropic sector.

We provide advice and support to our clients related to structures involving foundations and in the field of business succession. Our work here not only involves addressing legal issues. We also make use of our soft skills to manage intra-family communications as is frequently necessary and to achieve consensus with regard to the form of structure chosen.