You’ve probably taken a long view approach to establishing and founding your business. Growing a company is probably one of the greatest achievements of your life, but if you’ve failed to consider the other potential stakeholders who could be influenced if you had to leave the business either by your own choice or involuntarily, you could be exposing the business, its legacy and treasured family members and employees to unnecessary risks.
Think carefully about who will be able to run your business after you leave. One advantage to taking this process into consideration earlier than in a crisis situation is that you have plenty of time to pass along the necessary skills to assist each person with the job at hand.
There are three primary options for stakeholders to consider in business succession planning; an independent purchaser, employees and family members. Independent purchasers can include a strategic or a financial buyer. Employees could purchase through structures, such as an employee stock ownership plan and can help minimize risk by easing your transition out of the company.
Finally, family members might or might not be the answer for what you intend to accomplish with business succession planning, but you should discuss this carefully with a knowledgeable business succession planning attorney who is very familiar with your individual goals and plans for the company.