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Owners begin thinking about the Exit Planning process when two streams of thought begin to converge. The first stream is a feeling that you want to do something besides go to work everyday: either you would like to be someplace else—doing something else—or you simply no longer get the same kick out of doing what you are doing.

The second stream is the general awareness that you:

  • Are close to financial independence,


Successful owners are usually optimistic people, somewhat averse to dwelling on the more unpleasant aspects of business. Contemplating one’s demise certainly qualifies as an unpleasant aspect. Consequently, advisors to owners tend to use a lot of buzz words when we talk about business continuity. We ask, “What happens if the owner ‘passes on’ or ‘leaves the scene?’” We talk about the consequences of an owner’s death upon the business in theoretical, third party terms:

“Should an owner die …” Unfortunately,


When business owners start to think about exiting their companies, the number of possible exit routes can seem limitless, but in fact, there are only eight:

  1. Transfer the company to family member(s)
  2. Sell the business to one or more key employees
  3. Sell to employees using an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP)
  4. Sell to one or more co-owners
  5. Sell to an outside third party
  6. Engage in an Initial Public Offering (IPO)
  7. Retain ownership but become a passive owner
  8. Liquidate

To read more please check out the details in this PDF.


What could be easier than transferring a family business to its natural successor, the owners’ heirs or offspring? If some of your first guesses were peace in the Middle East, ending bureaucratic inefficiency, or the Chicago Cubs winning the next World Series, you have probably witnessed your share of family business transfer disasters.

To read more please click on the following PDF


Owners wishing to sell their businesses to management (key employees) face one unpleasant fact: their employees have no money. Nor can they borrow any—at least not in sufficient quantity to cash out the owner. As a result, each transfer method described in this White Paper uses either a long-term installment buyout of the owner or uses someone else’s money to affect the buyout.

To read more please check out the details in this PDF


In their desire to pass wealth to children, business owners are no different than nonbusiness- owning parents. Business owners are different, however, in the tools they can use to transfer wealth. Whether you own a business or not, the fundamental questions are the same:

  1. How much wealth do you want to keep?
  2. How much wealth do you want the kids to have? How much is too much?
  3. What tools minimize the Estate and Gift Tax consequences of transferring wealth?


An Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) is a tool business owners use to achieve many common Exit Objectives:

  1. Provide partial or full liquidity for existing shareholders;
  2. Leave the business gradually;
  3. Provide employees with a stake in the future growth of the business; and
  4. Keep the business in the community.

To read more please check out the details in this PDF.

What Is Your Business Really Worth?

For many owners, the answer to one question determines whether they can leave their companies: “How much money will I get when I sell?”

This question is critical, and answering it is Step Two of The Seven Step Exit Planning Process™. Realistically, you can’t exit your business unless you achieve financial independence, and the primary source of that independence is likely to be the funds you receive for your business when you leave.


If the value of an Exit Plan isn’t already obvious, let’s look at a few hard, cold facts…

First, you are far from the only fish in the sea. As the wave of Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) reaching and passing retirement age crests, the departures of those who own businesses could result in a glut of companies for sale, driving down valuations and giving new leverage to buyers. Simply put,

TAX UPDATE: Proposed Regulations May Impact Family Entities

Family-controlled corporations and partnerships are often utilized as part of a family wealth transfer plan as vehicles for managing and controlling family assets, especially in the context of succession planning for family businesses. Family-controlled entities are attractive, in part, because of the ability to make gifts or bequests of interests in the entity to family members at a reduced tax cost using valuation discounts. The value of the interests transferred to family members is often subject to valuation discounts because of various restrictions imposed on the recipient’s ability to participate in management,

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