Business succession planning is the documentation of logistical and financial decisions about who will take over your business upon retirement, death or unforeseen disability.

We broke down business succession planning considerations to determine the best strategies to transfer your business.

 

  1. Establishing your Business Goals & Objectives
  • Identify your vision, goals, and objectives for the business.
  • Identify the critical leadership and ownership involvement for the company
  • Determine your personal retirement goals and cash flow needs
  • Establish your team of professional advisors including a business succession planning attorney, CPA, bankers, financial advisors, and insurance specialists that can advise your business succession objectives
  1. Determine the Key Players
  • Identify the family members who will be involved in the business succession planning decision-making process.
  • Establish a method for dispute resolution if any should arise.
  • Document the business succession plan in writing and under the advisement of a business planning succession attorney.
  • Communicate your succession plan to family/stakeholders, so there is clarity as to plans for the business
  1. Establish the Successors
  • Identify your successors including managers and owners of the company.
  • Identify the family members who are active in the company as well as the family members who will not be engaged in the running of the business.
  • Determine the required training, systems, and support that need to be implemented to ensure successor success
  • Define the role of the retiring owner.
  1. Estate Planning
  • Understand and address taxation implications to the owner as well as the business upon sale or transfer of ownership.
  • Determine if your estate has enough liquidity to pay for estate taxes before a transfer
  • Speak with an estate planning attorney about all estate planning options
  • Develop all estate and personal financial plans for the owner as well as other family members in succeeding generations.
  1. Transfer Methods, Corporate Structure & Business Agreements
  • Determine the method of transfer including outright purchase, gift/bequest, or any other combination.
  • Determine the market value of the business and any real estate pertaining to the business.
  • If the business is to be purchased, determine all financing options including financing from an external party or owner held loan.
  • Understand the Tax strategies and implications of specific business entity structures as well as the legal consequences of each.
  • Determine the best Business structure options (e.g., sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, etc.)
  • Establish Business agreements.
  • Consider all the Insurance needs (health, life, disability, etc.) for secure business succession.
  1. Contingency Planning
  • Identify potential problem areas.
  • Establish business agreements that address any potential Disputes or conflict and have resolution mechanisms in place to mediate any impending situations.
  • Develop action plans that include any scenario that might affect succession including possible disability of yourself and your successor.
  1. Determine an Exit Strategy
  • Determine the method of transfer for business succession
  • Establish the succession plan timeline as well as a follow-up plan to monitor implementation.
  • Discuss and Publish the plan so that affected individuals are aware of and understand the procedure.
  • Communicate regularly with all affected parties so everything is addressed during the planning stages of succession.
  1. Maintain the Documentation
  • Maintain and update all documents periodically including:
  • Legal will.
  • Power of attorney(s).
  • Property deeds/titles, leases, rental agreements, etc.
  • Mortgages
  • Financial statements including any tax returns or financial records for the last five years.
  • Bank, brokerage, savings, and retirement account information.