Using advisors to plan your exit strategy

Need a bit of help to firm up your exit strategy? We’ll show you how advisors can be an invaluable asset when planning to leave your business.

It’s never too early to start planning for the sale of your business. What you don’t want is to leave it too late.

Whether your company is brand new or well seasoned, right now could be the best time for you to consider how you will exit it. Early planning means you and your advisors can develop a strategy that ensures the best outcome.

Exit options

You may want to sell to a large corporation or you may plan to pass control to a family member. There are, in fact, many ways to transition ownership of your business. What’s important is planning the process carefully

Start by considering why you want to sell your business. Your plan might be to:

  • Take money out of your company.
  • Reap the rewards of the time and money investment you have made.
  • Retire completely and pursue personal passions.
  • Reduce your working hours.
  • Leave a legacy to your family or community.
  • Start another business.
  • Become an angel investor.

It’s also important to know when you want to sell your business and what you want from the result. Ask these questions:

  • Do you want to sell within a couple of years or a couple of decades?
  • What do you financially need or want from your company?
  • Do you want to continue working in the company or consulting with it after the sale?
  • Will you start a company in a similar or completely different industry?

There are no right or wrong answers to these questions. Every business owner will have his or her own personal priorities, and it’s important you figure out what yours are.

Assemble your team of advisors

Professional advisors will help you consider your alternatives and make decisions. It’s important to work with advisors because an effective ownership transition plan is complex. You’ll need tax and legal counsel, personal financial planning and business valuation expertise.

Scotia is always here to help – get in touch today to find out how we can assist your plans. We can also draw on our industry contacts to help you assemble your advisory team.

Create a financial plan

For business owners, identifying the most tax efficient methods to receive income from a business starts early and continues right up to the date the business is sold. The expertise of advisors such as financial planners, accountants, lawyers and wealth management experts can have a significant impact on the financial results you achieve personally over your lifetime.

Your financial plan should also address estate planning, insurance and tax issues such as:

  • Creating a will.
  • Establishing appropriate powers of attorney.
  • Income and pension splitting.
  • Trust solutions and holding companies.
  • Charitable and legacy objectives.

“You may also want to consider a Corporate Will to communicate your specific wishes regarding your business,” suggests Roxanne Bouchard, Centre Director with Scotia Private Client Group. “Talk to your advisor about the benefits to preparing this important business instrument.”

One of the greatest joys to starting and running a business is the opportunity to build it to serve your wishes, to give you everything you want.

The trick, of course, is to first identify what you want.

Next steps