If you’ve owned a business for some time, you’re proud of it. You’re serving your customers or clients. You’ve provided jobs to your employees and likely consider them part of your family. You also likely give back to your community in a number of ways. Your customers, employees, and the community would be significantly affected if your company were to no longer be in operation.
If you are at a stage in life where you have five to ten years left before you retire, you should start making a plan to transition your business. There are many steps to this process, but the most important thing in my experience is just starting it and staying committed to working on the plan.
Starting this process often entails visualizing what you want to be doing after you transition your business. This could also involve talking with a financial planner to determine what financial resources you need to accomplish these goals.
As a business and estate planning attorney, I’ve become involved in developing the legal side of the transition. I also find it’s very important for the business owner to put in place a plan or review their estate plan to determine what will happen if that business owner were to unexpectedly pass away or become disabled and who would operate the plan.
Take some time to start it. Don’t take the risk that the transition doesn’t go well and your customers, employees and most importantly your family will be significantly impacted.