Exit Planning Process

How Can Exit Planning Benefit Your Business?

It may be difficult to imagine ever handing over your business to someone else, but it is important to plan for this day. Exit planning is the creation of a comprehensive plan that details what happens when an owner is ready to leave the business. If the owner retires or in the event that they pass away, it is important to have a plan in advance. A solid exit plan will ensure that the value of the business is maximized, and no wealth is lost. Exit planning has a variety of benefits for personal financial well-being including:

  • Facilitating a stress-free and smooth transition from one owner to another
  • Protection and maximization of assets and the value of the business
  • Peace of mind for the current owner, future owner and employees
  • A reduction in the amount of taxes owed
  • Control over the timing and the process

What’s the Process?

Pre Exit Planning

Pre Exit Planning: Issues addressed independently by relevant trusted advisors


Do I need to update my will?

Operational Legal Issues: contracts,
litigation, intellectual property, etc.


What was Company’s financial
performance last year?

How much tax do I owe this year?



What’s my portfolio value
and performance?

How much do I need to retire?

Other Advisors

Do I have enough life insurance?

Are my insurable business risks
appropriately addressed?

What’s My Business Worth? Is it salable? To whom? What would I do if I sell it?
Step 1 – Collaborate
step 1

Collaborate with business owner’s team of trusted advisors

Wealth Management
M&A Advisor:
Exit Planning/
Execution Knowledge
Other Advisors
Insurence Brokera

Collaborative, coordinated
planning process

Wealth Exit Objective
Financial Exit Objective
Legal Exit Objective
Other Exit Objective
Step 2 – Prioritize
step 2

Prioritize and integrate personal and business exit objectives

Owner: Articulate exit related objectives
M&A Advisor: Ask guiding questions, clarify answers, help resolve conflicting objectives
Personal Objective
When do I want to “move on” from
owning and leading business
I am ready for life after sale/transfer
Identity change
Activities change
Will sale/transfer provide me the
funds required to live as desired?
Who will own this business
next- personal estate planning?
Other personal objectives?
Business Objective
When can business be ready for
ownership transition?
Is my business competitively
positioned to maximize value from
its sale/transfer?
Does its historical financial
performance justify expected value?
Who will run this business
next- management succession
Other professional objectives?
Step 3 – Evaluate
step 3

Evaluate three primary exit strategies for business sale/transfer

  • Legacy
  • Timing
  • Business value Higher
  • succession planning
  • financial management/
  • Business Strategy &
    Competitive Positioning
Step 4 – Proceed
step 4

If realizable results exceed exit objectives, proceed with exit

Step 5 – Adjust
step 5

If estimated business value does not meet exit objectives,
address key business value to increase business value.

Estimated Market Value ≠ Target Exit Value