Succession Planning for Small Business Owners is a complex process that covers a wide range of topics. For most people, the tasks that come to the forefront are determining who gets your personal property and monetary holdings at the time of your death. However, it is not uncommon for small business owners to forget to develop a solid legal strategy for protecting your business interests both now and in the future.
As a small business owner, you have likely poured your heart and soul into building your business. You may have sacrificed a great deal of time and money to achieve the success you now enjoy. Thus, it is easy to see why succession planning is as equally important as all of the other pieces of estate planning. Failing to take proactive steps now to protect your life’s work can have devastating consequences for both you and your loved ones.
There are many different things to consider as you begin the succession planning process. One of the first steps is to conduct a thorough evaluation of your current financial state and determine where you want to remain, financially, after your retirement.
What type of lifestyle do you want and how are you going to ensure that you have the financial means to achieve and sustain your goals? Arguably, the most important point to understand is the current value of your business. Understanding the actual, realistic valuation of your business allows you to appropriately plan for the future and mitigate against potential surprises down the road.
In addition to understanding the state of your financial affairs and establishing a complete picture of your business’s value, you must also determine how you would like your business to move forward after you no longer wish to retain full control. Do you want to appoint someone to take over your role and maintain an equity interest?
Do you want to sell all of your interests and walk away completely? These are important questions you must ask yourself during the succession planning phase. It is also vitally important to plan ahead for your family and loved ones. Weaving your succession plan into your estate plan helps eliminate potential conflicts and allows you to protect your family’s future.
If you have questions about succession planning, the experienced and knowledgeable estate planning attorneys at Altman & Associates take the time to understand your specific circumstances and provide personalized legal support. Contact us by phone at (301) 468-3220 or send an email at your convenience. We represent clients throughout Maryland, Washington D.C. and Virginia.