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The importance of business succession planning

More than three-quarters of family businesses lack a robust succession plan, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. Of these, nearly half are worried about entrusting their businesses to the next generation. The rest have simply not taken the time to work out the details of succession. If your business is something you've dedicated time and energy into building and running, it is worth protecting with a succession plan.

Pass down or sell?

Businesses do not always pass from parents to children. If you are worried about disputes, or concerned about the continuing viability of your business, you cannot afford to ignore the problem. Succession plans can be changed if circumstances change. You can create a plan that protects the business now and make changes if a son or daughter becomes an acceptable choice to take over for you in the future. 

If you have no workable options for passing your business along, you should consider the option of selling to an appropriate party. Selling to a third-party can avoid family disputes while retaining the value of all your hard work. Waiting for the decision to be forced upon you is not ideal, for you or your business.

Retirement and estate planning

Your business interests are an important consideration in estate planning. Whether your goal is to maximize the value of your business, or protect it for the future, you need to plan sooner rather than later. The closer you get to retirement, the harder it may be to establish the ideal succession plan. You should discuss your options with an attorney experienced in business succession planning and estate planning.

Source: Accounting Today, "Most family businesses lack succession plans," by Michael Cohn, 14 January 2017 

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