4 Essential Steps of Small Business Succession Planning

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Small business succession planning is the process by which you ensure that the legacy you’ve spent years growing is secure after your retirement. While every business is different, the question of what happens next is always on the horizon. Read on to learn more about small business succession planning and how to handle it.


1.) Write a business plan. This isn’t the same kind of business plan you may have drafted when you were first starting your enterprise. A business plan for business succession purposes details the future of the company as you see it, particularly after you’ve moved on. It’s possible that only you or perhaps your lawyer will ever see this document, but it is useful for figuring out where your priorities lie in relation to succession.


2.) Pick a successor. Once you know where you want your business to go, it is time to choose a successor (or two, or three). It is important to make this decision objectively, in terms of what’s best for the company. A lawyer can aid in this process by offering impersonal legal advice. Fear of bruising a partner’s ego or damaging relations with a friend are not good enough reasons to pass the reigns to someone. Be sure you choose the person or persons best fitted to serving the direction you’ve laid out for your company. Your legacy depends on it.


3.) Plan for contingencies. While you can’t plan for everything, anticipating future problems is an important part of small business succession planning. Everything from personal feelings to unexpected disasters can come into play. Make sure your succession plan is catastrophe-proof before continuing.


4.) Hire a lawyer. Having an attorney assist you in the growth and succession process is always beneficial. They understand complicated legal concerns such as tax liability and shareholder agreements, and can help you navigate all that red tape when crafting your business plan.


Looking to safeguard the future of your small business? Talk to the experts at Goldenberg Heller & Antognoli, P.C. Our attorneys have years of combined experience in small business succession planning, and will work with you to create a plan that fits your needs. Call us today at 800.782.8492 to begin planning for the future.

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