As a business owner, you put countless hours and effort into starting and building your business. In the beginning, you took every necessary step and left nothing out, but as you move forward, you would be wise also not to forget to plan for the end. Whether it is due to illness, your unexpected death or retirement, you will eventually leave your business one day. You can decide what happens next.

Business succession planning is an important estate planning step for every California business owner, no matter how large or small the business. Failure to have these plans in place could mean that you will not have a say in the future of your business. You built it from the ground up, and you should have a say in how it will go when you are ready to step away.

What should be in your plan?

Small business and partnerships particularly benefit when there is a strong succession plan in place. It serves as an emergency cushion and contingency plan. It is impossible to predict the future, but with a business succession plan, you can have a measure of control. As part of your plan, you may want to consider the following steps:

  • Go ahead and choose your successor.
  • Have a plan in place to train your successor.
  • Set a timetable for when you want to retire, step away or shut down operations.
  • Make necessary retirement plans.

There are various ways to determine what will happen after you are no longer running your business. Your plan depends on your goals, such as whether you want it to remain in family hands or to be sold in its entirety.

Some business owners find that they would prefer to sell their business interests, while others want to set up an annuity. These are critical, sometimes complex choices, but you would be wise to seek help as you put your plans in place.

Planning well for your future

As a business owner, a strong succession plan is an important part of your complete estate plan. It is prudent to carefully consider your goals and objectives for your business and take the appropriate steps to ensure that your business can continue after you are gone.

Your business is an important asset, and like other valuable property, it is crucial to take the necessary steps to protect and secure it. This means thinking past today and putting careful thought into the future. If you do not have a business succession plan in place, it is worthwhile to do so as soon as possible.