It can take a lifetime to build a successful business and, for many business owners, the ultimate dream is to have their vision live on in perpetuity. However, as many business owners come to realize, it takes thorough planning and time to create the foundation needed to successfully transition the business while avoiding the many mistakes that can result in an undesirable outcome. To ensure a successful outcome, planning the succession of your business should start sooner rather than later.
Keeping it in the Family
For family business owners the challenges are often compounded by family dynamics which adds a whole new dimension to the succession plan. Many issues arise that don’t come up when transferring the business to a third party, such as family dissension over fairness and equity or having a plan to groom and mentor a child successor.
Creating an Exit Plan
Equally important is determining how and when the business owner leaves the business. How will the business owner receive his or her value for the business? What are the tax implications of the method of transfer? What if any role will he or she have with the business? A well-conceived exit plan incorporating financial, tax, and estate strategies is essential to the financial security of the owner and the success of the business.
At Cook & Company, we work with you on all facets of your succession plan to ensure the legal, financial and human capital pieces are in place. Once we understand your goals and circumstances we begin constructing your plan focusing on five key issues:
- Determining the value of the business
- Determining the best way to structure the business for transfer
- Understanding the business, personal and estate tax consequences of the transfer
- Creating retirement income projections
- Determining most tax efficient way to distribute income