The Seven Step Process
Exit Planning is a customized process of setting goals and deciding how best to achieve them. Whether your successor will be your children, a key employee, or an outside buyer, Exit Planning strives to help you maximize your financial return and minimize your tax liability when you transfer your business. If you die or become disabled before you retire, Exit Planning will help the business survive your departure—enabling your family to receive its full value.
Step One: Identify Owner Objectives
A winning Exit Plan rests on three owner-established goals:
- When you want to leave
- How much money you want when you leave
- Whom you want to leave the business to
These form the foundation of your Exit Plan.
Step Two: Quantify Business and Personal Financial Resources
Step One establishes what you want or need in order to leave your business in style. Step Two determines what you have—how much is your business worth? If you're selling to a family member, key employee, or co-owner, future cash flow (for reasons you will learn) of the business after you leave it is even more important than value.
Step Three: Maximizing and Protecting Business Value
What features, or characteristics, are necessary to make your business saleable and valuable? These features (Value Drivers) either reduce the risk associated with owning the business or enhance the prospects that the business will grow significantly in the future. Find out what they are.
Step Four: Ownership Transfers to Third Parties
If your goal is to sell to a third party, learn how to target the top dollar.
Step Five: Ownership Transfers to Insiders
A sale to insiders does not end with the closing. Only when your price is paid in full does the transfer end. Learn how to orchestrate a potentially successful sale to insiders who often lack sufficient cash.
Step Six: Business Continuity
Business continuity is much more than simply making sure there is a new owner. If you die or become disabled before your exit is complete, your dream of financial security will become unattainable. Learn how Business Continuity is done whether or not you have a co-owner.
Step Seven: Personal Wealth and Estate Planning
The sale of a business generates cash. Cash for you, your family, and the IRS. Learn how to minimize the IRS' share.