BUSINESS SUCCESSION PLANNING

Business succession planning can help ensure your professional legacy lives on after you’re gone. We help draft effective succession plans that make your business more likely to succeed as future generations take over.

PROTECTING THE BUSINESS YOU’VE WORKED SO HARD TO BUILD

Business succession planning should be a priority for any business owner. Having a business succession plan in place will ensure a smooth transition between you and the future owners of your company whether that is a family member, employee, or a third-party. While succession planning can be highly emotional—especially when family is involved— it’s a necessary step to ensure an easy transition out for you while setting up the future success of your business. An attorney can help you determine several important factors, including whether or not your business needs to be restructured as a corporation, how to make decisions about management versus ownership, and tax strategies that can help secure the future of your business.

Where to get started…

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Compile a succession-planning team

Finding the right balance of people in your organization to participate in the succession-planning process. This will be key to help garner support for your plan.

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Identify main factors of your plan

Anticipate factors that may influence the success of your succession plan including changing trends in the marketplace or cultural changes that require new ways of developing internal talent.

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Determine Your Successor

Consider all options for your successor. Just because it’s a family business, doesn’t mean your children will take the reins. Be sure to explore all options from business partners, valued employees, and third-parties. 

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Connect your plan & strategy

Ensure your successor is on board with your overall strategic plan for the future of your business and be sure the team is aware of your vision.

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CREATE A TIMELINE

Whether you’re planning for a short or long transition, ensure all teammates are on board with the timetable so there are no surprises and everyone is clear with the vision.

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Communicate next steps

A plan without action is useless. Ensure you have next steps with measurable goals, specified timelines, and people accountable for taking various actions.

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ESTATE PLANNING STRATEGIES THAT PROTECT YOUR BUSINESS

ESTABLISH A SUCCESSION PLAN

A well-designed succession plan ensures your company vision remains front and center. Such a plan identifies and sets the groundwork for developing new leaders while at the same time putting people in place to fulfill business goals. Many small businesses lack a succession plan, putting them at risk of incompetent takeovers and family squabbles that often follow in the wake of an owner’s death.

ALLEVIATE TAX BURDENS

An estate planning attorney with a business law background can coach you through taking steps now to relieve your beneficiaries of the need to pay hefty taxes on an inherited business. One tried and true approach is to gift family members shares in the business during their lifetime as stocks can be redeemed at a lower tax rate than cash.

INSTITUTE A BUY-SELL AGREEMENT

This document protects businesses with multiple owners—a frequent characteristic of small enterprises—by ensuring that relatives of the deceased do not gain de facto control of the business. Living owners are given the automatic option to purchase shares in the company left by owners that have passed on, thereby eliminating the risk of unwanted and unproductive meddling.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT BUSINESS SUCCESSION PLANNING

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF SUCCESSION PLANNING?

The purpose of succession planning is exploring your options to create the best plan for your business when you are no longer able to run it. By ensuring  your company will have the right leaders in place if quick changes happen, your company won’t fail if someone is suddenly unable to fulfill their role.  Therefore, it’s essentially a form of insurance for your company.

WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE CHILDREN TO INHERIT MY BUSINESS, OR IF MY CHILDREN DO NOT WANT TO?

Ideally, leaving your family business to children or other family members makes sense, but this is not always a viable option. Remember, your business can succeed without family members inheriting it. If this is the case, it is important to explore options of other successors, from business partners, to employees, or other third-parties.

SHOULD I COMMUNICATE SUCCESSION PLANNING WITH MY EMPLOYEES?

Many employees value transparency, and, therefore, communicating the realities of your company’s successes and failures is important. By forming open lines of communication with employees, you gain employee buy-in and excitement. Buy-in from senior management is vital as you can leverage them to communicate succession planning with your employees.

SHOULD I START SUCCESSION PLANNING NOW?

It is a good idea to start succession planning as soon as possible. Well thought-out succession plans integrate seamlessly with your organization’s current procedures, and it is always better to be prepared in case you run into unexpected exits that require replacement hiring.

BUSINESS SUCCESSION ARTICLES

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READY TO PROTECT YOUR BUSINESS?

Business succession planning is a vital step for any business owner. Ensure your loved ones and your business are protected with a clear vision and a concise plan. Get started with your plan today.

CONTACT THE DELIBERATO LAW CENTER

If you are ready to get started with estate planning, Medicaid planning or any other elder law services, or just need to ask a question about how to protect your assets, please complete the brief form below and a member of our legal team with get in touch with you shortly!

LAW FIRM LOCATIONS

Independence, OH

6200 Rockside Road
Suite 300
Independence, OH 44131
216.341.3413

Dublin, OH

6000 Venture Dr.
Suite A.
Dublin, OH 43017
614.344.0456

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