Business Succession Planning

For most business owners the most important decision they make is how and when they exit their business.

It involves any number of competing dynamics, from integrating a transition with your financial and legacy plan, to maintaining family relationships, to finding what to do in your next life’s chapter. Whatever the circumstances, we are here to help simplify and optimize the process so you meet your goals as seamlessly as possible. We look to create family harmony, incentivize employees, retain management, and to maximize the marketability and value of your firm. Our comprehensive approach encompasses all aspects of your life in order to bring to you the goals you desire.

Facts & Statistics

Over 50% of owners would like to exit or sell their business – however, only 1% successfully do so each year.

— Source: Boom or Bust … How the baby boomer age wave affects you?, Business Broker Blog, 29 Mar 2011.

Why Plan?

Benefiting You and Your Company

We have found that most business owners work “in” their business rather than “on” their business. It is incredibly helpful to take a step back and to refocus your efforts as an owner on where your business is heading and how you would exit your business. We have seen great businesses fall on hard times, and other businesses where a buyer is willing to pay a large premium for a business. A proper transition plan will account for all of these scenarios. Many times the timing of an exit is chosen for you and the better prepared you are, the more you benefit. This focus is one of the many benefits you will find in planning for your business succession plan.

Additionally, you can benefit by:

  • Clarifying your priorities
  • Focusing your energy on most urgent concerns & greater business growth
  • Achieving the most out of your employees
  • Controlling and defining the circumstances of your exit
  • Minimizing possible tax consequences
  • Maximizing the value that you receive from your business
  • Increasing the marketability of selling or transferring your business

Can you answer a solid yes to these questions regarding your largest asset?

For most business owners, transitioning their business is the biggest financial decision of their life. Most owners are unprepared for such a transition. Below are a few questions in which as a business owner you should be able to answer yes to each to be adequately prepared to transition your business.

Do you know your exact retirement goals and what it will take—in cash—to reach them?
Do you know how much your business is worth today, in cash?
Do you know the best way to maximize the income stream generated by your ownership interest?
Do you know how to sell your business to a third party and pay the least possible taxes?
Do you know how to transfer your business to family members, co-owners, or employees while paying the least possible taxes and enjoying maximum financial security?
Do you have a continuity plan for your business if the unexpected happens to you?
Do you have a plan to secure financial independence for your family if the unexpected happens to you?

The Process

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Ideally the process of transitioning your business should begin 5-7 years before your planned exit date. This enables you to best create a business continuity and transition plan which maximizes the value and marketability of your firm. The exit planning process is broken down into 7 steps. This plan is fully integrated into your personal comprehensive financial plan in order to help optimize the use of all your resources. The 7 step process is as follows:

  1. Identify your exit objectives
  2. Identify your business and personal resources
  3. Create a plan to maximize and protect business value
  4. Analyze ownership transfer to third parties
  5. Analyze ownership transfer to insiders
  6. Business continuity planning
  7. Integration with your personal wealth and estate planning

List of Services

Our capabilities are numerous, and include the following:

  • Key Person Insurance Planning
  • Risk Management Consulting
  • Management Team Development & Transition Planning
  • Buy-Sell Agreement Planning
  • Business Continuation Planning
  • Executive Retention Planning
  • Disability Buy-Out Insurance
  • Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs)

  • Key Employee Incentive Plan Design
  • Business Overhead Expense Coverage
  • Property & Casualty Insurance and Consulting Services
  • Business Valuation Services
  • Employee Compensation Review & Analysis
  • Qualified Retirement Plan Changes
  • Third Party Sale Planning
  • Family and Internal Succession Planning

Getting Started

All of our relationships start with a meeting in which we get to know one another. There is no cost or obligation with many clients having plan in place and looking for a free second opinion. Please don’t hesitate in contacting us at 203.335.0851 and we will be happy to assist you in any way we can.

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