- Start now—address the issue of business succession—don’t put it off!
- Call in your business planning and estate planning team: attorney, accountant, tax professional, and insurance professional.
- Consider adopting corporate status—if you have not already done so—to help ensure your business will continue after your death.
- With your most competent staff, decide on the most likely candidates for successor.
- Once chosen, begin to train and prepare the successor to actually take over.
- Determine a monetary value for each owner’s share and prepare a buy-sell agreement.
- Set up a business will and perhaps trusts—include a management plan and a buy-sell agreement.
- Develop an estate plan that assures the availability of cash to help pay federal and state estate taxes.
- Fund the buy-sell agreement with life insurance to enable your designated successors to buy the business.
- Communicate your plans to all affected parties, including family members and other heirs.
- Review and update your business succession plan whenever a significant change takes place.
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