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Business Exit Strategy Checklist

Business Exit Strategy Checklist

It is never too early to start exit planning.

For the best results, start your planning at least five years before you wish to exit. Your plan will need to be flexible to accommodate circumstances beyond your control.

Exit Planning Strategy Checklist

Use this checklist to help guide you through the high-level discussions and planning you will need to prepare for your eventual business exit.

Develop Your Personal Goals

  • Create your advisory team with a financial planner, accountant, legal counsel, valuation expert, and business broker, if applicable
  • Work with a financial advisor to determine your post-exit income goals
  • Calculate how the business exit will fund your retirement income needs based on the current value
  • Review your supplemental retirement income opportunities in case the business doesn’t provide enough income to meet your needs
  • Review/establish your estate plan
  • Create a retirement plan including:
    • Personal statement of exit objectives
    • A schedule for transferring ownership
    • Defined roles for management and family members
    • Communication plan for stakeholders and employees
    • Communication plan for customers and suppliers
    • Contingency plans in case of unexpected scenarios

Decide On Your Exit Strategy

  • Meet with your advisory team to discuss which of the 6 exit strategies you will choose:
    1. Pass ownership to family
    2. Sell to key employee(s)
    3. Create an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP)
    4. Sell to a third party
    5. Merge with another company
    6. Sell assets and liquidate

Get the Business Ready

  • Create a business analysis of financial and operational performance
  • Review your buy-sell agreements
  • Hire a business valuation expert
  • Develop a succession plan for family members employed with the business
  • Develop a succession plan for key management personnel
  • Compare business valuation to financial goals and develop a strategy to close the financial gap if necessary
  • Develop a plan to preserve the company value until the sale
  • Prepare for the due diligence process and shore up any areas of concern
  • Develop a business continuity plan

Develop a Tax Planning Strategy

  • Discuss options to minimize tax liability using gifting or trusts
  • Compare the tax implications of each type of sale:
  • Review taxation issues for C Corp or S Corp entity choices

Download Exit Planning Checklist

SVA Can Help

SVA has the expertise and resources you need to tackle your exit planning. We know as a business owner you are busy running the day-to-day of your business. The transition of your business might not be top of mind today.

We will help you develop a plan to exit your business when you want, with the income you need, and transfer to the successor of your choosing.

Request More Information

© 2022 SVA Certified Public Accountants

Biz Tip Topic Expert: Nicole Gralapp, CPA, CExP™

Nicole Gralapp, CPA, CExP™

Nicole is a Principal at SVA Certified Public Accountants working primarily with closely-held businesses and individual clients. Nicole performs a variety of tax, assurance and business consulting functions. She provides clients with technical expertise in areas such as tax planning, financial reporting, financial projections, budgeting, financial and estate planning and review of internal controls. Her experience in the hospitality, restaurant, construction and professional services industries gives her the ability to consult with clients in a variety of areas.

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