Departures and
Exit Strategy and Succession Planning

When planning your exit strategy and the succession of your business, start by asking yourself a few questions.

  • What does it look like for your family and business if you die?
  • What does it look like if you want to retire?
  • Do you have a successor in mind for your business?
  • Do you know how much your business is worth?

If you've answered "I don't know" to any these questions, then you are not alone. Most business owners do not have an exit strategy or a succession plan and, in fact, do not know where to begin in creating one. As a business owner, it's easy to find yourself working in the business and not on your business. It's time to start finding an answer to these questions and proactively preparing for your future.

When the time comes to leave your business, voluntarily or otherwise you want to receive the maximum amount of money in order to accomplish your personal, financial, income and estate planning goals. Succession planning can help you get there.

MarksNelson Proven Approach to Succession Planning

Since 1968, MarksNelson has been providing succession and exit planning by virtue of applying the knowledge of its members as certified public accountants and business consultants to the needs of its clients. Today, given the current complexity of issues involved and the volume of business sale transactions occurring, we formalized our approach to collaborate with a team of qualified professionals. MarksNelson will help you walk through every step of the process.

Our approach includes the following steps, some of which may be needed and some which of which may not depending on the business:

  • Determining succession objectives: We start by determining the primary planning objectives in leaving the business such as departure date, income needed to achieve financial security and selection of a new owner. Oftentimes, it would include the services of a financial advisor as well as consulting services from MarksNelson.
  • Valuing the business: A key foundational piece of data is to determine what the business is worth for sale or transfer purpose or for funding a triggering event such as death, disability or retirement of the business owner. It would include the services of a MarksNelson valuation analyst.
  • Increasing the value of the business: MarksNelson professionals will work with you to maximize the value of the business. It would include financial analysis services to determine and improve the financial strength of the business in the areas of liquidity, activity, leverage and profitability.
  • Selling to a third party: If the exit plan dictates selling to a third party, we help you to determine the best way to sell the business to maximize cash and minimize tax liability. It may also include the services of a qualified business broker or investment banker; however, the owner's network of related businesses may be sufficient to explore sale opportunities.
  • Transferring the business to others: When the plan is to transfer the business to employees, employee stock ownership plans, or family members, we want to make sure that you pay the least possible taxes and maximize your financial security. It would include legal assistance from a transaction attorney.
  • Developing a contingency plan: Sometimes the unexpected happens.It's important to prepare a plan that implements all necessary steps to ensure that the business continues if you unexpectedly do not. It may include consulting with MarksNelson to develop the contingency plan and the services of an insurance consultant.
  • Estate planning: We work with you to develop a plan to provide for your family's security and continuity of the business should you die or become incapacitated. It would include the services of an estate planning attorney to discuss options and to draft legal documents.