All business owners, at some point in time, will leave their company. Hopefully this exit will be under the best of circumstances. If you have family members, working in the business, who will be taking over upon your retirement, then a good succession plan is something your financial planners, attorneys and accountants can prepare and execute for your benefit.
Controlling how and when you leave your business through a sale or acquisition is as important as the business plan you put together to start the company. Too often, business owners are forced to make these plans and decisions based on outside pressures.
Partnership disputes, health issues, divorce or family issues, and most commonly, economic downturns are some of the more common reasons Business Brokers are called upon to sell a company. Unfortunately, this puts the seller in the least desirable position, particularly when it comes to the market value of the company.
Financial structuring — You should have at least 2 to 3 years tax returns, structured by your accountant or CPA for a potential sale. This should also include a discussion to prepare interim financial reports ongoing, as well as a discussion on tax issues that you will face upon the sale of the company.
Management Structuring — You should position yourself, so that the business can be operated efficiently upon your leaving. Reviewing how the company will be run, in your absence, may include structuring, hiring or promoting current and /or new employees to take over some of your current responsibilities.
Market Valuations — You should contact a Business Broker, who in cooperation with your CPA, can perform a current market evaluation of the company. This will allow you to make any changes possible to increase the value of the company for a future sale. Knowing what your company is currently worth, creates a roadmap to structure future value.
Operational Structuring — You should ensure that any issues, involving the operational part of your business are addressed. These can include licensing, environmental, technical, human resources, product and/or service reviews and marketing. A large part of this structuring should include having company procedure manuals for all integral parts of the operation.
Legal Structuring — You should contact your attorney to review all company and corporate legal documentation.
Your personal future — Last but not least, you should consider your future plans after the sale of the company.
We, at Sunbelt Business Brokers, invite you to call us to arrange a meeting regarding your exit strategy. Along with your legal and financial advisors, we can put a plan together that will not only maximize the sale of your business, but allow the transaction process to take place as smoothly as possible.
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