You may have spent many years, or perhaps decades, immersed in the day to day operation of your company, focused on strategies designed to build your business. But is your focus starting to shift from the successful operation of your company, and toward a strategy for the successful sale of your company? If so, you’re definitely not alone. Research published in the UBS article “US Insights on Investor Sentiment” from the first quarter of 2018 provides some insights regarding business owners’ future plans for their businesses. The study indicates 41% of current business owners expect to leave their companies within five years, with a majority planning to sell. But as diverse as those businesses may be, there’s one common question each owner may be asking: “Do I have a plan in place that will help me make that move?”
Business owners contemplating a sale may choose to move on to a new venture or ready to enjoy retirement after investing time and effort in operating their companies. However, in that same 2018 UBS article, 58% of business owners looking to exit said they have never had their companies appraised, and almost half have no formal exit plan in place.
So how can you start structuring a comprehensive exit plan, one that encompasses business and personal financial planning, and in many cases, estate planning strategies? The foundation of that strategy should be targeted toward two goals: Helping you maximize the return you get if you sell, and implementing a financial plan to help you manage your money after the sale. The time to start putting together a team of financial professionals is long before you’re ready to hand over the keys to someone else.
That team may include a financial advisor, attorney, accountant, and possibly an investment banker. Decisions will need to be carefully crafted to provide advice on transition structure, ownership transition and post-sale asset management. If you plan on selling to heirs, you should consider creating a succession plan that includes techniques to help manage concerns regarding your estate planning strategies. You may currently be paying expenses through the business you intend to sell, and you’ll need to address how you’ll cover those expenses after the sale, and how those decisions can impact your personal cash flow. As you plan a long range view of life after you sell your business, you’ll need to determine an investment strategy moving forward. Much of your financial focus may shift from managing your company to managing your assets after the sale of your company.
Do you have a strategy in place that calculates whether the assets of the sale of your company will adequately provide for ALL of the goals you have? And keep in mind, those goals may extend beyond your lifetime. You may choose to develop a strategy that involves detailed estate planning for multiple generations of family members. A strategy to structuring wealth across time may provide the guidance you need as you make some important decisions.
Clearly, there is a lot to take into account before, during and after the sale of a company, and possibly during a transition into retirement. So you may want to consider crafting a comprehensive exit planning strategy long before you decide to make that exit.
MATT HANSEN, CFP,CPA | 858 521 7029 | HANSEN WEALTH MANAGEMENT
Matt Hansen, CFP ®, CEPA ® is a Financial Advisor with UBS Financial Services Inc. a subsidiary of UBS AG. Member FINRA/SIPC in San Diego, California at 17180 Bernardo Center Drive, Suite 100. The information contained in this article is not a solicitation to purchase or sell investments. Any information presented is general in nature and not intended to provide individually tailored investment advice. Investing involves risks and there is always the potential of losing money when you invest. The views expressed herein are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect the views of UBS Financial Services Inc. Neither UBS Financial Services Inc. nor its employees (including its Financial Advisors) provide tax or legal advice. You should consult with your legal counsel and/or your accountant or tax professional regarding the legal or tax implications of a particular suggestion, strategy or investment, including any estate planning strategies, before you invest or implement. In providing wealth management services to clients, we offer both investment advisory and brokerage services which are separate and distinct and differ in material ways. For information, including the different laws and contracts that govern, visit ubs.com/workingwithus.
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