BUSINESS EXIT AND SUCCESSION PLANNING

     Business exits can take the form of sales or mergers (see Mergers and Acquisitions), but business exits can also involve succession planning involving gifting or selling interests in a business to children, family members or management.  Such gifting or sale programs may utilize valuations in which adjustments to value due to lack of control and/or lack of marketability may apply.  Such business exit and succession planning is the intersection of management, business, corporate, tax, financial and estate planning, and can involve the use of Life Insurance Trusts, gifting of fractional interests, using gift and estate tax exemptions, and utilizing limited liability company, limited partnership or sub-chapter S corporate ownership structures.

     Business owners and their families who successfully pursue this kind of business exit and succession planning always adopt and embrace the planning process as a dynamic -- not static -- business process in itself, which requires care, attention, and coordinated work with legal counsel, accountants and allied professionals such as providers of insurance, and appraisers, over time. With such advanced planning and implementation, some families are able to preserve wealth and maintain family businesses intact from one generation to another.