for family businesses


Lawyers and tax advisors
for family businesses and
entrepreneurial families

We are a law firm specialising in advising family businesses and entrepreneurial families. We advise and assist you comprehensively in all essential legal, tax and personal matters, while taking into account the enterprise and the family situation, and develop sustainable and tax-optimised strategies and solutions for the enterprise and the family assets.

Our core competencies include interdisciplinary and, in particular, comprehensive tax law structuring advice. In addition to comprehensive tax advice and the tax optimisation of corporate and asset structures, this includes, in particular, corporate succession, private succession planning and international tax planning via foundation and trust structures. In addition, we assist you in the settlement of intra-family or corporate disputes.

In doing so, we pursue a holistic consulting approach which includes the enterprise and the entrepreneurial family, as well as private assets, and takes into account tax, legal and business management aspects. 
Our national and international clients include family businesses, entrepreneurial families, wealthy families and individuals, as well as managers and board members of large companies and foundations. We develop economic and sustainable solutions for them with the necessary sensitivity for their personal and family requirements. 
In addition to providing advice on the structure, we also act as members of advisory and supervisory boards and are familiar with the particular challenges of family conflicts. We also represent you in shareholder conflicts - both in and out of court. In doing so, we always aim at developing practical solutions in economic terms.


Areas of activity

We provide interdisciplinary advice to family businesses and entrepreneurial families, as well as their advisors, on all essential legal and tax issues. As strategic advisors, we combine many years of experience, expertise and creativity. 
Our main areas of expertise include corporate and private tax planning and tax optimisation, as well as advice in connection with the purchase, sale and tax-optimised (re-)structuring of business enterprises, investments and real estate. 

Advice on tax law is one of our core disciplines. The starting point is always a careful analysis of the status quo and, building on this, the determination of the resulting structuring options, in particular, within the framework of tax-optimised structural advice. In particular, we advise on the choice of the legal form, on setting up or changing the corporate structure and on changes to the shareholder structure. At the same time, we assist family businesses in their expansion and succession plans and, in this context, advise on the tax structuring of corporate acquisitions, sales, joint ventures and restructurings. We also assist our clients in more complex tax audits and, if necessary, also represent our clients' interests before the fiscal courts up to the German Federal Tax Court.

One of the focal points of our advice is tailor-made and tax-optimised succession planning. In particular, we advise you on the tax-optimised transfer of assets during your lifetime and mortis causa (wills, inheritance contracts, arrangements regarding compulsory portions, anticipated succession, foundations, trusts etc.).  

In particular, securing the succession of family businesses while at the same time safeguarding (legally and financially) the interests of the entrepreneurial family is one of the most important challenges for family entrepreneurs. We assist you as a family business owner, in particular, with regard to corporate succession and emergency provisions and ensure that you have a tailor-made and tax-optimised succession plan at your disposal at all times, which ensures the continuation of the family business. 
We will also be happy to consider the possible alternatives to family-internal succession such as the sale of the family business, continuation by an external management, or foundation solutions. 

Our structuring is professionally sound and at the same time creative, legally secure, dispute-avoiding and tax-optimised. Our expertise covers all aspects of inheritance law, company law, income tax, inheritance tax and real estate tax in connection with the succession of assets. In addition, we safeguard your interests in inheritance disputes and represent you in court proceedings. Furthermore, we are also active in the settlement of estates and regularly act as executors of wills.

With the growing globalisation and mobility of business enterprises and their shareholders, the points of contact with foreign countries have also increased, bringing with them not only opportunities but also considerable risks. These include, for example, holiday homes abroad, the moving out and moving in of shareholders, the confrontation with potential double taxation or the acquisition or establishment of foreign enterprises. In addition, in a large number of cases there will be a need to coordinate the legal and tax consequences with advisors abroad. We have an extensive network of high-profile foreign law firms with whom we cooperate in cross-border constellations. We are also frequently called in by foreign colleagues for cross-border succession planning and/or estate settlement. Oftenn the focus is on foreign foundations and/or trusts, where a variety of legal and tax issues need to be clarified.

The purpose of asset protection is to protect assets against loss through an access by third parties. Liability risks exist, in particular, for shareholders, but also for managing directors, managing board and supervisory board members. Together with our clients, we look for suitable structures to channel the liability risks of the operating companies and to shield the valuable corporate assets from these liability risks. We also advise our clients on the structuring of foundations or other asset transfers to protect assets.

We advise and assist you from the choice of the optimal legal form, through structural questions of company law, in the drafting of articles of association and pooling and voting agreements, to the tax-optimised structuring of family businesses, in transformations and restructurings, as well as in the purchase and sale of business enterprises and shareholdings. 
We also advise and represent you in the context of the assertion of shareholder rights and the avoidance and resolution of shareholder conflicts, which often arise in connection with a corporate succession. Especially in family businesses, disputes are particularly emotional due to the family ties. Here, we assist you both in the run-up in the context of dispute avoidance and - if a shareholder dispute cannot be avoided - in the context of out-of-court and also judicial dispute resolution. 

Our range of consulting services is rounded off by advice in connection with the implementation and design of family constitutions. Particularly in the course of generational succession, ideas about the long-term strategy of the business and the family assets may differ. A family constitution can help to ensure the long-term security of the family assets and the family business over several generations and promote the strengthening of family cohesion and the avoidance of conflicts. 

Today more than ever, real estate is an important component of private wealth creation and entrepreneurial success. The development, protection and profitable and tax-optimised use of real estate requires individual and sound legal and tax advice. We therefore assist you in the structuring of real estate assets under company law, in the tax optimisation of real estate assets, in real estate transactions and in the asset protection of real estate assets (arrangements for the protection of real estate assets against the access of creditors or in the event of a divorce etc.).

In family law, we focus on advising on prenuptial agreements and agreements on the consequences of a divorce. In doing so, we not only take into account the aspects of divorce protection and liability minimisation. Rather, prenuptial agreements and agreements on the consequences of a divorce can also be excellent instruments for tax structuring, which, with sound advice, can, for example, make a tax-free transfer of substantial assets between spouses possible.

Supervisory boards and advisory boards can be a helpful body of business enterprises if they are organised appropriately. Even in medium-sized enterprises, voluntary supervisory or advisory boards can provide helpful external input and ensure that the ideas of the entrepreneurial family in particular are implemented in an entrepreneurial manner and that the influence of the entrepreneurial family on the key decisions is ensured even in the case of an external management. The implementation of supervisory or advisory boards can also often avoid conflicts between several families or shareholders. 
For this reason, many family businesses today have a supervisory body to ensure the influence of the entrepreneurial family on the corporate policy and key decisions. 
We advise and assist you in the legal structuring and implementation of supervisory or advisory boards and are also available as supervisory or advisory board members ourselves.

Lawyers & tax consultants

Our lawyers & tax consultants

The lawyers & tax advisors of Welzer|Friz have the highest professional expertise and many years of experience. Learn more about the minds behind Welzer|Friz. We look forward to getting to know you.

Learn more

Dr. Timo Welzer

Managing partner

Specialist lawyer for tax law
Specialist consultant for business succession
Graduate in Business Administration (BA)

Dr. Fabian Friz

Managing partner

German lawyer

Gerrit Woerner


Tax advisor
Graduate in Business Administration (BA)

Marcus Schilling


Tax advisor
Graduate in Business Administration (BA)


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