Many family business owners spend all their energies focusing on future growth and survival of their business, failing to consider an exit strategy. Whether you hope to sell your business, transfer ownership to a family member, or dissolve the company entirely, it’s vital to plan your exit strategy in advance with the help of an experienced business lawyer in Wichita . A robust exit strategy is particularly important for protecting your business’s legacy against the unexpected.
The guidance of a business attorney is invaluable when handling the complex family dynamics that surround selection of a successor. Choosing a successor doesn’t happen overnight, and some business law experts even recommend that you begin succession planning 15 years before your retirement. You must objectively consider who is the most qualified and who has the ability and willingness to lead the company. Once you select new leadership, you need to develop a formal training plan that allows your successor to hone his or her skills before you exit. Establishing a firm timetable for when your successor will assume certain roles and responsibilities will help everyone in the business know what to expect and when. With the advice of a business lawyer, you should also decide whether you wish to retain some control or continue to work part-time while your successor is being installed.
By preparing an exit strategy in advance, you can have time to implement changes that raise your business’s worth and lay the groundwork for selling on your own terms . Some family business owners choose to sell to employees or business partners. These buyers are often more motivated to see the business prosper and thrive than third-party buyers, so you may feel more confident in your business’s legacy. An employee or partner will also have inside knowledge that could be beneficial when transitioning leadership. However, third parties tend to have the financial resources for bigger and more immediate buyouts. Financial buyers seek a high return on investment and will be interested in your business’s assets and finances. A strategic buyer may be a competitor or related business that is looking to expand and diversify. Your business lawyer can help you and a buyer agree on terms, organize your financial statements, and protect your proprietary information.