Deciding whether to sell or transition ownership of a company is one of the most important choices an entrepreneur will ever make.
Not only does it bring a lot of stress, it entails a plethora of business, legal, technical and financial considerations.
Should you sell the business or pass it along to family members? How much could the company be worth? How might you structure the transaction? What kind of team will you need to have in place? How will you invest the proceeds in order to meet your financial goals? What’s a tax-efficient way to handle the transaction?
All of these issues need to be buttoned up well in advance of making any final determinations on how to proceed. Although we don’t provide legal or tax advice, we can serve as a quarterback and help connect you with professionals who can answer these questions.
It’s a role our Investment Counselors regularly play for our clients, because business sales and transitions are among our key areas of expertise.
Developing Your Exit Strategy
Regardless of your reasons for selling, the right plan can pave the way to your next destination.
Perhaps you’re hoping to retire early, or maybe you simply want to embark on a new venture.
Whatever your reason, you need to start by developing a strategy to ensure that everything goes as you intended.
Our Investment Counselors, working with members of our Wealth Advisory Group, can assist with this process. They also can provide guidance on such matters as selecting the right legal, accounting and investment banking teams.
In addition, they can prepare a customized Wealth Strategy Analysis using our proprietary Goals-Based Portfolio Solutions (GPS) approach to show how anticipated proceeds can be used to fund the next phase of your life. Not only is this designed to provide you with financial peace of mind but it may also help in factoring an acceptable sale price for your company.
There are many questions you need to ask now about the future of your business.
- Do you want to transfer ownership to family members or sell the business to an outside party?
- Do you want to stay involved in the business?
- In either case, what options do you have to structure the transaction?
- How much might the business be worth?
- Is an all-cash sale better than a staged payment plan?
- What impact will the sale have on you, your family and your employees?
- Will the proceeds be enough to fund your desired lifestyle for the rest of your life?
- Are you truly ready to sell?
- How can you best reduce taxes, both now and for the heirs of your estate?
How We Can Help
Depending on your answers, we can help make the transition seamless.
If you are planning to transfer ownership, we can work with your legal and tax advisors to implement a strategy based on your individual circumstances and objectives.
For instance, it may be the best to use a grantor retained annuity trust (GRAT) structure or a family limited partnership. You might even want to set up an annual gifting program in which shares of the business are passed on over time.
Alternatively, you may decide to sell your business to partners, employees or an outside party. In this case, we can work with you to put a team in place to help you create an appropriate buy-sell agreement, stock ownership plan or private equity structure.
Then we can work with you to address how to put your new liquidity to work to help fund your financial goals, achieve your philanthropic objectives and secure your desired legacy.
Plotting your next move begins with a conversation.
If you’ve been thinking about any of the topics listed in this section, why not sit down with one of our experienced Investment Counselors?
We work with people in your situation every day, and will be happy to lend our experience to the discussion.
To schedule a confidential conversation, please call us at (866) 421-2166 or contact one of our regional offices today.