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Succession (Exit) Planning

Setting Exit Goals for the New Year

Posted on 01/19/18 by Robert J. Lane CPA

With the new year upon us, many people have begun their journeys to fulfill their New Year’s resolutions. For business owners, it’s no different. Between creating goals for the business to achieve and assuring that the business keeps growing, owners will have much to consider this year. One of the goals most commonly shared by

Setting Exit Goals for the New Year

Posted on 01/05/18 by Robert J. Lane CPA

With the new year upon us, many people have begun their journeys to fulfill their New Year’s resolutions. For business owners, it’s no different. Between creating goals for the business to achieve and assuring that the business keeps growing, owners will have much to consider this year. One of the goals most commonly shared by

Estate Planning: A Small Slice of a Bigger Pie

Posted on 12/20/17 by Robert J. Lane, CPA

Business owners commonly associate Exit Planning with estate planning, and they aren’t too far off. Good Exit Plans and estate plans both aim to assure that the owner’s family is provided for after the owner is gone. Both an Exit Plan and an estate plan might address a transfer of ownership to an intended recipient

Business Continuity Instructions: Guiding Your Family, Even After Death

Posted on 12/06/17 by Robert J. Lane CPA

As owners approach their business exits, one topic that’s often overlooked is unexpected death or permanent incapacitation. One reason owners gloss over this topic is because it injects an uncontrollable element into a controlled process. Many successful business owners take pride in the control they have over guiding their businesses toward success, so the idea

What Could Go Wrong When Transferring Ownership to Employees?

Posted on 11/28/17 by Robert J. Lane CPA

We often hear owners say they want to transfer their businesses to third-party buyers when they first encounter the concept of Exit Planning. However, we’ve observed that in many completed Exit Plans, owners actually choose to transfer their businesses to employees. Some reasons for this decision include employees knowing the culture and values of the

Avoiding Unwanted Surprises

Posted on 11/08/17 by Robert J. Lane CPA

For some business owners, a third-party sale is their best option for a successful business exit. Third-party sales are popular because owners often believe they can get the most money from their businesses in as little time as possible from a third-party buyer. They might be right. But what they may not consider is how

For Business Exits, Being Inconsequential Is of Great Consequence

Posted on 11/07/17

It’s likely that few people, if any, have ever told you, “You need to make yourself less important,” regarding your business. But sophisticated buyers look for businesses that can operate without their owners. Unless your goal is to sell or transfer your business, and then stay with the business as a subordinate to assure a

Minimizing Threats to Business Value

Posted on 10/04/17 by Robert J. Lane CPA

Many owners and advisors talk about the importance of growing business value, and there are nearly unlimited options to help business owners do just that. But wouldn’t you agree that growing business value is pointless if you don’t know how to reduce the threats to that growth? As you prepare for an eventual exit from

How to Increase Your Business’ Value Using Value Drivers

Posted on 09/20/17 by Robert J. Lane CPA

A fundamental aspect of a successful business exit is assuring that your business has enough value to allow you to exit with financial security. This, coupled with wisely invested non-business assets, gives you the best chance to pursue the Exit Path you want on the timeline you want. Obtaining a proper, professional business valuation is

An Estimate of Future Company Cash Flow

Posted on 09/06/17 by Robert J. Lane CPA

Cash flow is one of the most important factors in a business exit. Today, we look at why securing a professional estimate of your company’s cash flow is crucial to the success of your Exit Plan. All buyers, whether an outside third party or an insider (family member, co-owner, or key employee), will use cash

Why Setting Goals Is Important, Even If They Change

Posted on 08/17/17 by Robert J. Lane CPA

Setting goals is critically important to owners who begin Exit Planning. Without goals, even the strongest processes fail, because they have no purpose to work toward. Your goals are what guide your process toward a successful exit, and without them, you’ll find yourself spinning your wheels in the mud of indecision. While setting goals is

Protect Against the Pain of Exiting Your Business

Posted on 08/02/17 by Robert J. Lane CPA

You know how things work in terms of starting and running a successful business. You’ve hired the right people, offered a useful product or service, and developed high-quality relationships with your customers and vendors. None of these things magically appeared out of thin air: You most likely followed a proven process, mixed in with your

Which Comes First? Estate Planning or Exit Planning?

Posted on 07/19/17 by Robert J. Lane CPA

A successful business Exit Plan achieves three important owner goals: Financial Security: The business sale or transfer provides the amount of income the owner and owner’s family need after the owner’s exit. The Right Person: The owner chooses his or her successor (children, key employees, co-owners, or a third party). Income Tax Minimization: The owner

Death and Taxes vs. Preserving Wealth: The Final Exit Planning Contest

Posted on 07/05/17 by Robert J. Lane CPA

The ideal Exit Plan (one that provides the business exit you desire) includes a strategy to help you preserve your hard-earned wealth from unnecessary taxation when it is transferred to your family. However, to preserve wealth, business owners must take steps before they actually have wealth. In other words, to realize all of the potential

Business Continuity Planning for Co-Owners

Posted on 06/22/17 by Robert J. Lane CPA

Imagine that on the eve of your wedding, you make a plan to divorce your spouse, on friendly terms, in about 15 years. During those 15 years, you agree to work diligently and successfully to build a business. On the preordained day that your marriage ends, you announce that you are willing to give your

Maintain Control, Save on Taxes, and Set Fair Value Using a Buy-Sell Agreement

Posted on 06/07/17 by Robert J. Lane CPA

There is a strong case for creating a Buy-Sell Agreement for co-owned businesses. If owners agree about how to appraise business value and set the terms of payment in advance of any transfer event, they can avoid the heated and often damaging negotiations that can occur when one owner leaves the company. In this issue,

Preparing for the Worst: Business-Continuity Planning for Sole Owners

Posted on 05/19/17 by Robert J. Lane CPA

Contemplating one’s own demise can be challenging but is paramount to sole owners and their businesses. Consider the fictional Harry Withers, the 54-year-old owner of Withering Hikes, a chain of seven retail apparel stores for outdoor enthusiasts on the Western Slope of the Rocky Mountains. One day, Harry disappeared while scouting new hiking trails. After

The Essential Business Agreement: A Business-Continuity Agreement Among Owners

Posted on 05/03/17 by Robert J. Lane CPA

If you co-own your business, the business-continuity agreement (or buy-sell agreement) is one of the most important documents that you will sign. If you have a buy-sell agreement that is out-of-date, not reviewed, or focuses on the wrong issues, it may be worse than having no agreement at all. Let’s start with a hypothetical case

Avoiding Disasters in Insider Transfers

Posted on 04/19/17 by Robert J. Lane CPA

Steve Smith was no different than millions of other baby-boomer business owners in that the thought of leaving his business was never far from his mind, no matter how far away his exit might have been. He daydreamed about transferring the business to his oldest daughter and perhaps to a member of his management team,

Elements of a Plan to Sell to Insiders

Posted on 04/06/17 by Robert J. Lane, CPA

Today, we discuss the essential elements of a plan owners use to transfer a business to insiders that keep the owner in control until he or she is paid the sale price. If you suspect that the children, key employees, or co-owners you would pick to succeed you do not have the funds to cash

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