A business transition is a complex process – whether you’re selling to an outside buyer or transferring your business internally. It takes a lot of careful planning and generally requires a number of years to be executed successfully.

Why Work with a Trained Advisor?

Working with a business transition planner can provide you with the support required for a fruitful outcome for you and your business. Business transition planning requires the assessment of your current personal and business situation, along with your goals and needs -- both financial and non-financial. It takes a lot of time and effort but ultimately this comprehensive planning will enable you to understand the feasibility of each potential transfer option and figure out which one is best for you. Working with an advisor who is uniquely trained in this discipline will allow you to create a comprehensive plan that will enable you to achieve your desired outcome.

What You Should Look for in a Transition Planner

Ideally, you want to work with an advisor who approaches this type of planning from a comprehensive, holistic perspective. This planning is typically completed in phases, which can include assessment, preparation, and implementation. Your planner should work in collaboration with your other advisors, such as accountants and attorneys.  They sometimes play the role of “quarterback,” making sure the planning work is done in accordance with your goals and objectives. Having an experienced and knowledgeable team in place to advise you during the transition process is crucial for success.

What You Should Expect from Your Partnership

Ultimately, you and your advisor share the responsibility for a successful outcome. Your business transition plan should be customized for you and your business. It will require your complete candor and openness during the process. Communication and teamwork between you and your advisors is key. Your transition planner can help you seek out and involve other specialists if needed. It should go without saying that the entire process should be strictly confidential and involves a high level of trust. All of your advisors, whether in a discipline that requires licensing or not, should be working within a framework of honesty and integrity -- and always with your goals and objectives in mind.

Whether you are planning an internal or an external transfer, these transactions require the expertise of planning professionals who are experienced and can design plans to meet your overall goals. And, if you have multiple shareholders or are considering choosing a successor from inside your family, you may find it to be particularly helpful to bring in an outside advisor who can provide impartial and objective guidance and has no real stake in the outcome. Through their experience, training, and creative planning, transition mentors can identify tax-and fee-saving methods and structures, which may not have been considered otherwise.

Selling or transferring the ownership of your business is usually a once-in-a-lifetime event, which means that as a business owner, you should be fully informed about all of your options and aware of potential challenges along the way. Working with a business transition advisor can help make sure that you’re receiving the guidance and assistance you need in order to protect your largest asset and secure your financial future.


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