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Even after devoting decades to building and maintaining a successful business, many individuals might lose track of the importance of planning an exit strategy. Whether you want to keep the business in the family or sell it to reap the benefits of your hard work, a strong plan is crucial.

Business owners should take the time to develop a comprehensive estate plan as well as an efficient succession plan for their business. The succession plan forces owners to take an objective look at the future of the organization and set a plan in motion that encourages growth. At the very least, the business succession plan should detail the transfer of management and ownership of the business. Additionally, the succession plan can include:

  • A development and training agenda for successors
  • An outline for the delegation of responsibility for successors
  • An overview of future growth and retention plans for the organization
  • A list of outside resources who can provide insight, guidance and objectivity to the business when necessary

In addition, the succession plan can detail the coordination between the new owners and new managers, if they are different people. This coordination can include elements such as growth potential, changes that are already in motion, the division of responsibility and guidance regarding the business owner’s family.

An attorney who has experience in both business law and estate planning can help you carefully evaluate your business needs and the goals of a succession plan. Whether you are planning to sell now or planning for the future control of your company, thoughtful and careful preparation is a key element.