Business Succession: What is it?

Business succession planning means different things to different people. To the management consultant it relates to management succession or maximizing business value, to an attorney it typically relates to buy-sell agreements, gifting strategies and passing the business upon death, to financial professionals it may relate to funding the acquisition of the business upon death and retirement planning, the CPA is interested in the financial ramifications of the succession, the psychologist with the personal dynamics, and the business appraiser in ascertaining value. All of these professionals have important input, and some may have critical solutions. Your specific situation dictates which of the above-referenced disciplines should be engaged and when.


Please see the below charts illustrating examples of business succession services performed by various disciplines. The charts break down your world into three spheres: family, business ownership and business management, then overlays the services typically performed by each of the consultants within each sphere.

It is often helpful, when defining your objectives, to look at the three spheres in order to determine what items need addressing. This may not lead to a comprehensive plan, but it is a way for you to start thinking about the issues. It would be fortunate if you can readily determine your objectives within each sphere, and there are no conflicts between or among the objectives. Then, you can move to implementation of the appropriate technique which will address each objective utilizing the appropriate consultant.

Too often the business owner buys a solution in the hope that the solution will fit their problem without achieving clarity about what the problem really is or the understanding of the interrelationship of the issues. Hopefully, these charts will assist you to in defining your needs and enable you to maintain control over the outcome.

Frequently, the issues are entangled and objectives muddled. We are uniquely qualified to facilitate the process of uncovering your specific objectives and piecing together the puzzle, as well as the abliltiy to respond to the legal.



Integrating Estate and Business Planning