Business Exit Planning

Owners of small to mid-sized closely held businesses pour their time and their resources along with their heart and soul into their companies.  At some point, they will exit their business.  That exit may come as the result of a desire to pursue other interests, burn-out, diminishing health, or simply a desire to slow down and enjoy the fruits of their labor.  Exiting a business can take a variety of forms including a sale, transition to a family member, transition to an unrelated insider or, unfortunately, a disability or death.  An intentional, well-orchestrated exit is obviously much preferred to an unplanned or forced exit. 

Exit Planning is the creation and execution of a strategy allowing owners to exit their businesses on their terms. It is an established process that creates a written roadmap or Exit Plan, involving efforts of several professions facilitated and led by an Exit Planning advisor who ensures not only the plan creation, but its timely execution1.

At Arete Advisors, we work with business owners to help them develop and execute their Exit Plan.  We approach this by guiding them through a 7 step Exit Planning process. Through this process, the owner gains clarity about what they want, what's possible, trade-offs and time-lines.  This approach ensures that all of the appropriate subject matter experts (tax, accounting, legal, business brokers or investment bankers etc) are involved, engaged and working from one coordinated plan.  By relying on an Exit Planning Advisor to serve as the "project manager", the owner has an advocate driving the process and integrating the inputs. This affords the owner the ability to concentrate on running the business and provides them with some needed separation from the details of the process.  This degree of separation allows them to remain focused, objective and somewhat emotionally removed from the details of process.

1Business Enterprise Institute