This blog post was originally published on GSB's website as a client update on April 22, 2019. (Authors' note: Since the publishing of this post, the legislation outlined below was signed into law by Governor Jay Inslee on May 8, 2019)
On April 17, the Washington Legislature approved sweeping new restrictions on employers’ non-competition agreements with their employees and independent contractors.
The bill, now headed to the Governor’s desk for his expected signature, means that after January 1, 2020, non-competition agreements (see definition and limitations below) will only be enforceable against higher-paid employees and contractors, and generally can last no longer than 18 months.
The law also carries a sting: If a court or arbitrator finds that a covenant violates these new rules, the entity which seeks enforcement of such a provision may be liable for actual or statutory damages and attorneys’ fees and costs.
John Williams is a guest author and President of Scoville Public Relations.
What It Takes to Sustain a Family Business Through Multiple Generations
On October 25, 2018, Garvey Schubert Barer convened more than 90 guests to its 4th Annual Family & Closely Held Business Summit. Produced in partnership with Bader Martin, PS, BMO Capital Markets and Key Private Bank, the half-day event featured two keynotes and panels -- one comprising Pacific Northwest family-owned and closely held business executives, and the other consisting of a cross-section of finance, tax and legal advisors.
Garvey Schubert Barer is delighted to host its 4th Annual Family and Closely Held Business (FCHB) Summit in collaboration with Bader Martin PS, BMO Capital Markets, and Key Private Bank on Thursday, October 25, 2018, at Bell Harbor International Conference Center in Seattle.
The 50 largest family-owned companies in Washington State employ more than 15,000 people in Washington, and boast nearly 32,000 employees globally. The important economic role that these businesses play is clear—they are, in many ways, the economic engine that drives Washington State and the Pacific Northwest more generally. Yet with an ever-changing economy, the best path forward for these companies isn’t always clear.
Garvey Schubert Barer is proud to co-host its 3nd Annual Family and Closely Held Business (FCHB) Summit with Bader Martin, BMO Capital Markets, Pillar International Insurance Advisors and Key Private Bank to be held on Thursday, October 26, 2017 at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center in Seattle, Washington.
With the top 50 family-owned businesses in Washington being responsible for more than $9 billion in revenue, these businesses are the economic engine that drives our state and the overall Pacific Northwest.
This year’s Summit will provide an intimate setting for peer-peer networking, engagement with the ecosystem of advisors and presentations from experts and actual family business owners. The half-day event will delve into the most pressing topics surrounding family-owned and closely held businesses via an advisor roundtable, two riveting keynotes and an executive panel.
In 2015, President Obama signed the Bipartisan Budget Act (“BBA”) to extend the national debt limit and spending caps through 2017. The BBA also repealed and replaced the Tax Equality and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 (“TEFRA”) to substantially change how the IRS makes tax audit adjustments to partnerships and LLCs that are treated like partnerships for tax purposes. Although the proposed regulations to implement the new rules were frozen by President Trump early this year, the IRS recently reissued them and the new regulations will likely be finalized after a public hearing on September 18, 2017.
Last month on January 24, 2017, the Puget Sound Business Journal hosted an extremely successful Family Business Symposium, inviting the leaders, employees and partners of businesses in the region that are owned and operated by members of the same family to discuss issues ranging from formal succession planning to the personal insights that come from operating a firm alongside multiple generations of the same family.
Garvey Schubert Barer represents dozens of family businesses and was proud to be a sponsor of the event. We were excited to see hundreds of attendees show up to hear from some of the region’s most successful family businesses.
Garvey Schubert Barer is proud to co-host its 2nd Annual Family and Closely Held Business Summit with USI Kibble & Prentice, Bader Martin, and BMO Capital Markets held on Thursday, October 27, 2016 at Hyatt at Olive 8 in Seattle, Washington.
The Pacific Northwest has the highest concentration of family owned and closely held businesses in the country. Perhaps this is due to the vestiges of the frontier spirit, which is still visible in the culture of entrepreneurship that is characteristic of our region. The Summit will consist of national keynote speakers and top-level family and closely held business advisors, and is geared towards providing actionable, practicable information for family or closely held businesses. It will address the pressing issues impacting these enterprises now and in the future, including the pertinent issues surrounding the outcome of the upcoming presidential election.
After years of slow boiling anticipation, statements made by the IRS and the Treasury this year heated up the conjecture and anticipation which finally came to a head on August 2, 2016. I’m of course talking about the just-released proposed regulations under Internal Revenue Code Section 2704 and the far reaching, highly negative implications for closely held family entities and the whole area of family business succession planning.
A family feud recently unfolded in the Connecticut probate court, a typical venue for family feuds to play out after the death of a successful business owner. That is the case especially when a contested will is produced favoring one child over another and there are allegations that the decedent suffered from dementia. In this case, adult siblings Dr. Laura Jarmoc and her brother, former state Representative Stephen Jarmoc, dispute whether Stephen looted his father Edwin Jarmoc’s estate starting in 1998 by transferring assets to himself, amounting to unjust enrichment at the expense of Edwin’s estate and Laura, as rightful 50% beneficiary. The Estate of Edwin A. Jarmoc tells the cautionary tale of a family business’s likely demise due to poor succession planning.
Garvey Schubert Barer and strategic partners Bader Martin, C.O.O. Services, Greene Holcomb Fisher, and USI Kibble & Prentice held the inaugural Family and Closely Held Business Summit at the Grand Hyatt in Seattle on November 5, 2015. The summit addressed pressing issues that family and closely held business owners face today and will face in the future as they seek to grow sustainably and ensure that businesses remain a positive opportunity for generations.
The summit included presentations from professional advisors within various sectors, such as law, accounting, consulting, investment banking, private equity and insurance, as well as an interactive panel to stimulate ideas and discussion. GSB’s Hal Snow and Rochelle Haller presented on the topic of “Estate Planning for Business Owners – You Made it…Do You Want to Keep It?” and David Smith presented “Privacy in the World of Hackers: Preventing and Responding to Security Breaches”, as part of the panel discussion on “Cyberattacks on the Rise: How Small and Medium-Sized Businesses Can Manage Risk and Survive a Breach” along with Michael Basilicato from Bader Martin and Scott Summers from USI Kibble & Prentice.
Other presentations included:
- How to Plan for the Transfer of a Business
- Preserving Value: Tax Considerations in Family Business Transitions
- Business Transitions, M&A, Recapitalizations, and Other Available Transactions for Liquidity and Transferring Ownership
- When Legacy Matters — A Succession Plan that Protects a Business
Cyberattacks on the Rise: How Small and Medium-Sized Businesses Can Manage Risk and Survive a Breach panel
- Security Panel: Protecting Your Business from Cyber Threats
- Cyber Attacks on the Rise: Insurance Perspective and Recommendations
Attendee reaction was very positive, and sentiment indicated that the event should be expanded to include a full day of topics in 2016. The GSB FCHB Practice Group is already working on the next year’s event!
Foster Garvey’s Family-Owned & Closely Held Business practice group comprises strategic advisors and core practitioners who understand the intersection between law and the unique challenges of running a family business. With more than one hundred years of combined experience, our family-owned and closely held business practice offers clients extensive resources and a knowledgeable team of family wealth advisors across the United States.