A business succession plan is a strategy for the transition of ownership of a business upon an owner’s departure, whether it is due to retirement, change of careers or health reasons. A buy/sell agreement is part of a business succession plan and spells out how the business equity is to be transferred from the exiting partner to the remaining partner(s). Insurance policies are a common method of funding buy/sell agreements in the event of a partner’s death, disability or illness. Good advice will enable you to determine the types and amount of insurances required as well as the best ownership structure of the policies for tax purposes.
A successful succession plan will ensure that the business value is maximized upon departure and the business transition into new ownership occurs as smoothly as possible. At all times, the primary concern is that the business interests are put first to ensure that its health and value are maintained above all else.
Research commissioned with SME business owners concluded that:
Only 10% of SME's have documented succession plans, yet
69% of business owners intend to exit within 10 years
Only 9% of businesses with multiple owners havew buy-sell agreements or funding
A complete solution requires three parties: accountant, lawyer & financial adviser