Succession planning isn’t something you just wake up one morning and do. Your life’s work can’t be ‘handed-over’ in a day! Experts in exit planning recommend a minimum of five years to successfully implement a succession plan that derives the best value for both parties.
Prepare for a successful transfer
To take a holistic approach towards business succession planning, it’s important to consider the range of succession planning issues. These include appropriate shareholder agreements between partners; buy-sell documents to protect the interests of partners and of the business in the event of the death, disablement or trauma of a business partner, supported where relevant by appropriate policies of insurance; and passing of control of the business, including companies and trusts to family members in a conjunction with appropriate Will provisions or Family Deeds of Arrangement.
Business succession has to make appropriate provision for voluntary or involuntary departure from the business.
A business succession plan has to be tailored to your own particular circumstances, having regard to timeframe, taxation considerations, employee equity arrangements and key person retention, In addition, the practicality of retaining the business in the family, having regard to the capabilities of family members and whether the business will survive the family dynamics.
Madgwicks Lawyers, in partnership with our clients’ accounting and financial advisors, works with business owners to get the best outcome. Success for our clients may be defined in a number of ways depending on their business and circumstance.
For family-owned businesses we assist with succession documentation for companies, trusts, superannuation funds, partnerships and joint ventures where the business is to be transferred from one generation to another. We also advise on the appropriate processes and systems to be implemented, to ensure a transfer is fair for all parties.
Furthermore, we advise on the broad range of sale options available to business owners planning for retirement. Trade sales and management buyouts are common – but other options are available in some circumstances. We assist business owners to conduct due diligence on potential buyers and produce vetted shortlists – as well as put them in contact with business brokers experienced in their specific industry.
Our approach to business succession planning is a holistic one and we consider all aspects that you may encounter on the journey. If you require advice or information on the best approach, contact us to ensure the transition is as seamless as possible.