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Preparing for the sale of your business

It may seem like only yesterday when you started your business. Or maybe you took over for your father or mother and carried the tradition of hard work and success through another generation. At this point, however, you know it is time to sell the business and move on to something new.

While it may seem like an easy thing to do, and perhaps someone has already expressed interest in purchasing your business, there are some important things to consider, according to business advisors. If running your business is all you have known for most of your life, there may be some uncertainties to address.

Why the change?

The reasons for selling your business are obviously personal, but many of the common motivators for business succession include:

  • Declining health
  • Fatigue or burnout
  • New career opportunities
  • Retirement

The most common is retirement, and this means you will have to carefully assess your options as you enter the succession process.

Since the tax implications of selling your business will likely be a factor, especially if you plan to retire, you will certainly want professional advice about the options available to minimize any negative tax consequences. Doing this as early as possible will improve the chances that you will still have the documentation you need to make an informed decision.

Looking to the future

For some, business succession involves passing the company to the next generation. However, maybe none of your children are interested in carrying on with the business, and it's possible that your current employees show little ability to maintain the work at the level you expect. While letting go of your business may be emotional and difficult, those uncertainties may lessen if you find a buyer who meets your standards.

Additionally, having a plan for yourself after you have sold the business will help you adjust to the change. There is no question that, after having spent so many years and so much effort in building a California business, the loss of that business – even voluntarily – will be difficult.

Setting goals for your new life will be essential to maintaining an optimistic outlook. You may need to find a new source of income, or you may decide to invest in a company that already exists. If retirement is in your plans, you are likely hoping to travel or work on a hobby. A detailed succession plan will make this possible, and the help of a legal professional will aid in a smooth transition.

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