Orsbon & Fenninger, LLP

Estate Planning and Estate Administration

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Planning well for your exit from your small business

Small business owners know that it takes an incredible amount of time, effort and planning to start and sustain a business operation of any kind. You may have put an enormous effort into starting your company, but you should also plan how you want to dissolve or leave it one day. Whether you wish to eventually close, retire or sell, it is wise to plan today for a problem-free future. 

Business succession planning is an important step for every North Carolina business owner, yet many do not think about including this as part of their complete estate plan. Having these plans in place will not only help you in the future, it can be beneficial in the event of your expected passing or sudden exit from the business.

The benefits of planning well and planning early

There are many reasons why it is beneficial for you to have a business succession plan in place as soon as possible. This process may not be as complicated as you would assume, and you can ensure that your plans for exiting and retirement meet your unique objectives and individual needs. Most of these plans include the following elements:

  • Designation of a specific successor, which could be a family member, business partner, employee or other individual
  • Details of a training program in place for your successor so that he or she knows how to run the business according to your design
  • Timetable for your exit from your business, whether that is through retirement, sale or closure
  • Details of how you wish the succession strategy to be executed.

There is no cookie-cutter succession plan. You would be wise to work on the development of a plan that suits your business and allows for a strong future if you decide to sell or retire. If you wish to close your business eventually, having a plan can help you avoid complications and issues down the road.

Protecting your interests

As a small business owner, you may find it hard to think about the future when so much of your time and energy goes into the day-to-day operations of your company. You cannot predict the future, but you can protect your interests by having a complete and updated estate plan in place. For you, this may include drafting a business succession plan.

You can pave the way for the people who come after you or clearly detail how you want to deal with your business interests. You started it, built it and worked hard to sustain it and make it grow, and you have the right to decide what happens to your business.

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