Experienced Attorneys Assist with Business Succession Planning
Transferring your business to good hands
Do you own a business that is ready for a change at the top? At Westervelt, Johnson, Nicoll & Keller LLC, we work with business owners to create a plan of action to secure their business in the event of a transition in ownership or control. Our skilled attorneys help eliminate confusion and reduce financial complications as stakeholders struggle with this sensitive subject. Whether you are a large corporation or a small, family-owned business, our attorneys provide solutions for handing the reins over to the next generation of leadership.
Preserving customer good will with a well-thought-out transition plan
We know how hard entrepreneurs must work to build their businesses, and our attorneys work equally hard to protect the gains you’ve made as you transfer your business to new leadership. Whether you are handing over your business to a trusted family member or an outside buyer, it’s important to retain the good will and loyalty of your customers and shareholders. Continuing good will preserves the value of the business for new leadership and ensures the exiting owner of continued strong revenue through royalties or profit-sharing. Our experienced attorneys can craft a transition plan suitable for your business that allows customers, trade partners and investors to get comfortable with the new leadership before any major changes occur.
Special considerations for family-owned businesses
Family-owned businesses come with expectations for succession and emotional entanglements that can be damaging to the future of the business. Often, family members will disagree about the future direction of the business. Those most interested in retaining control may have the least amount of business savvy or may lack the work ethic to drive the business forward. For these and many other reasons, it’s important for the business owner to:
- Determine the fair value of the business
- Determine the importance of continued family involvement
- Assess the business aptitude and passion for the business among family members
- Establish goals for the owner’s retirement
- Identify the family member(s) best suited to making the business successful for the benefit of all stakeholders
- Create an ownership and control structure that balances the needs of family members with the requirements of making the new leadership successful
- Document the succession plan
- Communicate the succession plan to all stakeholders
The succession plan can be part of the owner’s will or living trust, and should employ sound estate planning strategies to minimize tax liability.
It’s never too early to plan
Business owners should plan for succession well in advance of anticipated retirement. This allows the new leadership to learn the business and make a smooth transition that retains customer loyalty. Unfortunately, too many owners of family businesses put off the inevitable, creating stress and discord as the family struggles to adjust. Our lawyers are fully equipped to turn these complex issues into simple solutions to ensure that your business is on firm footing as you plan for retirement.
Contact our experienced lawyers today for your business succession planning
It’s difficult to step aside from the business you built. But since that day must come, why not make the transition as smooth as possible? Call Westervelt, Johnson, Nicoll & Keller LLC, or contact us online, to schedule a consultation today. Our office is conveniently located in Peoria, Illinois.