On Tuesday Kevin Isreal and Elaina Smiley of Meyer, Unkovic, & Scott LLP shared succession planning strategies for owners of closely-held businesses. Business succession planning is a process and involves more than just the current owner and the new owner – other participants in the process include the business owners’ attorney, accountant, banker, insurance advisor, and financial planner. Both Kevin and Elaina emphasized the importance of allowing enough time for planning and implementing to ensure a successful business transition.
Kevin detailed the general overview of the succession planning process including methods for valuing the business and the buy-sell document agreement. Kevin also touched on different business succession options like liquidation, sale, and gifting and how some options can be better than others depending on the owner’s end goals for the succession.
Elaina advised all owners to make reviewing their employee agreements and employee handbook part of their succession planning strategy. She also encouraged owners to be careful when terminating employees during an ownership transition and to review your companies pay practices for legal compliance.
Have you been involved in a business succession or worked for a company going through succession? What strategies, tips, or best practices do you recommend for a successful ownership transition?