Sell Your Business Now, or Consider the Exit Planning Process

Most of my clients want to sell their business right now, but some want to make this decision considering many factors, including:

1) How much longer do I want to work in the business before retiring or moving on?
2) What is the annual after-tax income I want during retirement (in today’s dollars)?
3) To whom do I want to transfer the business: (i) family? (ii) key employee(s)? (iii) co-owner?
4) outside third party?
5) Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP)?


According to Tim Barrett of exit-planning company, BluePrints for Business, “exit planning is more than thinking and talking. It is taking the actions necessary to enable you to reach all of your exit objectives.    The Exit Planning process we describe in this White Paper was created over 20 years ago, and has been refined by the experience of thousands of owners and their advisors.”  Here’s a summary of this process:


Step 1: Set Exit Objectives / Goals. Have you determined your primary planning objectives in leaving the business such as: How much longer do I want to work, what income do I need in order to retire, and to whom do I want to transfer the business.

Step 2: Quantify Available Resources. Do you know what the business’s cash flow is likely to be as and after you leave it? …

Step 3: Focus on Business Value. Do you know what actions are necessary to minimize income taxes not only today, but also when you transfer ownership?

Step 4: Sale to Third Party. Do you know how to sell your business to a third party in a way that will maximize your cash and minimize your risk and tax liability?

Step 5: Transfer to Insiders (co-owners, family members or key employees). Do you know how to transfer your business to family members, co-owners or employees: Without losing control of the business until you have all of your cash in hand? And While paying the least possible taxes?

Step 6: Develop a Contingency Plan For the Business. Have you done what it takes to ensure that the business continues if you do not?

Step 7: Develop a Contingency Plan for the Owner’s Family. Have you provided for your family’s financial well-being and continuity should you die or become incapacitated – both before and after your ownership transfer?


To learn more about what BluePrints for Business can do for you, check out this White Paper, which explains the entire exit planning process.


The Summit Acquisitions Group — Business Brokers and M&A Advisors — specializes in the sale, appraisal, and financing of privately owned companies ranging in valuation from $750,000 to $25,000,000. Contact their offices in Atlanta, GA or Charlotte, NC for a free consultation.