Business Succession Planning

One day you will have to leave your business – whether its because you retire, you pass the business on to your family, you sell it to an interested party, or because of health circumstances.

Whatever those circumstances are, you always should have a plan to deal with what happens when that day comes. A failure to do so will likely result in your business suddenly coming to an end if something happens to you.

A succession, or exit, plan outlines who will take over your business when you leave or if something happens to you.

A good succession plan puts into place a process that will enable a smooth transition from you to your successor, that minimises disruptions to your business resulting from that transition. A good succession plan also gives potential purchasers peace of mind that the business will not fail the moment you leave. Putting a succession plan in place can maximise the value of your business and enable it to meet future needs or deal with unexpected issues.

What an appropriate plan is will depend on the nature of your business as well as the structure of your business. Some of the questions that you will have to ask are:

  • How long do I want to be in business?
  • Do I want to sell the business eventually or do I want to hand it down to my children?
  • What business structure does my business operate in?
  • What are the assets and liabilities in my business? Who owns them?
  • What is the goodwill and intellectual property in my business? Who owns them?
  • How big is my business?
  • Who can run my business if I am not around?
  • Do I have any processes or procedures for my employees to follow, so that if something happens they can act “automatically”?
  • If I were to sell my business, do I have a handover strategy?

If anything, see your business coach, accountant, or lawyer – they can certainly help you out in relation to identifying these issues and assisting you with your business succession plan.

A good succession plan enables a smooth transition with less likelihood of disruption to operations. By planning your exit well in advance you can maximise the value of your business and enable it to meet future needs.

Legal Advice for Small Businesses

Do you run a business? What sorts of legal issues do you normally encounter when running your business? For that matter, when was the last time you saw a solicitor? Would it be before you started your business – or only after you encountered a problem?

Solicitors are a little bit like doctors. You usually only ever see a doctor when you are sick – when something has gone wrong with your body. In the same way, businesses usually see solicitors when something has gone wrong. That shouldn’t be the case.

It is understandable that a majority of businesses are averse to seeking legal advice from a solicitor. Legal advice is often seen to be intrusive, complicated, annoying, and more often than not – expensive. However, the reality of the situation is that in order for your business to be successful, you need to get your business in order – and that includes sorting our your legal obligations as well as seeking ways in which your business can better protect itself. And the sooner you can do that, the easier it is to deal with problems in the future.

What sorts of matters do businesses commonly deal with? Terms of Trade, Trade Practices, Compliance with ASIC, Intellectual Property, Confidentiality, Leases, Bad Debts, Contracts, Disputes… the list is innumerable. Yes, you can ignore it or attempt to deal with it on your own. However the bottom line is that if something goes wrong, a significant sum of money can be spent attempting to rectify the problem. In contrast, investing a little time and money into getting some advice beforehand can greatly reduce the chances of such an incident occurring.

After all, if you have peace of mind in these aspects, you can better concentrate on running your business.

We want you to succeed – so if you ever need any help or a quick consultation and review of your business practices – please do not hesitate to call us!