Has your business got a succession plan?
You have spent your entire working life building up your business, making it the success that you dreamt of when you stared out in your career, while always looking ahead for new opportunities to improve it.
So what happens now that you are beginning to look to retirement? For so many business people little thought is given to what happens to a business as retirement approaches. Peter Lynn, founding partner of Peter Lynn and Partners law firm looks at how you can ensure your business enjoys a smooth succession and how you can best realise its assets.
A commercial law and succession planning specialist, Peter says that many business owners hope that their business will undergo a smooth succession when they retire but all too often little, if any, thought is given to the planning required for this smooth transition.
“Like everything in life, planning ahead and getting the best advice will pay off, and will make your succession easier when the time comes. So it is important to start planning years in advance of your target retirement date and the first step is to take professional advice from solicitors and accountants who are experts in such business matters.
“It is vital to hold meetings with your successors in order to agree an exit strategy and to ensure that there are sufficient funds to buyout retiring partners, or, to create an agreement to buy back shares over time so that the company’s finances are not put under strain.
“This is where expert financial and legal advice can really smooth the process. Depending on the system used, often businesses are faced with complex tax implications when withdrawing capital and making decisions such as whether to sell or lease back the business premises.
“It may be emotionally difficult for founding partners to let go of the business, and at the same time customers and stakeholders need to be confident that the new management regime can fill the gap left after a senior departure.
“If family are involved, business priorities and family ties can often become blurred, so gaining objective professional advice will be a great help to ensure that the business stays focused and all concerned make the most out of the situation.”
“Too many business people expect a simple lump sum of money at their retirement and assume that there will be willing buyers for their business when the time comes – such assumptions can prove extremely costly.
“It may be one of the oldest maxims in business but ‘If you fail to plan then you plan to fail’. Take advice early on so that you and your family can enjoy the rewards of life at the end of that busy career.”
The expert team at Peter Lynn and Partners has in place structured multi million pound exit strategies to ensure a smooth transition and continuity for a business. As part of the company’s specialist probate and taxation department, the team are able to ensure the best taxation route for individuals and their business, ensuring that assets remain within the family and the businesses successors.
For further information on succession planning or to find out more about the range of services available at Peter Lynn & Partners contact Peter Lynn on 01792 450010 or visit www.peterlynnandpartners.co.uk
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