9 November 2022

The personal journey to exiting your business

If you own a successful business, succession planning and designing an exit strategy has likely entered your thoughts. However, if it is a family business handed down through generations, these conversations can be particularly emotional and come with the added family dynamic complexity

Engaging with a financial planner at an early stage, irrespective of the structure of your leadership team, can help you get your head round the transition, and provide support for you, your family, and other stakeholders. At Carbon, our methodology and approach is different. We get to know you and your family personally, allowing us to coach you through this journey and into the next phase of your life where you’ll have more time to fulfil those lifelong dreams and bucket list trips.

Visualising your life story

When building your personalised plan, we need to understand the structure of your business. Is there a current leadership team for you to hand over the reins to? If so, how will you extract cash at the point of your exit and how much do you need to fund the next phase of your life?

If a sale of the business is the preferred option, scoping how sellable the business actually is and its potential value, would be the next key stage in your exit journey .

If you have a family business then it is understanding how you wish to pass the business down, coupled with your needs and those of your family. Then working with your other professional advisers to come up with the strategy to achieve this for all the stakeholders involved.

No matter which path you hope to pursue, Carbon seek to understand what you want your life to look like beyond this key life event. We then work back from this dream life to understand the journey necessary to make those dreams a reality. It is essential to have these plans in place as early as possible. This will allow us to assist with the other areas of sensitivity such as assisting family members or other stakeholders with the impact of a business sale. These conversations can be emotionally driven; therefore, it is imperative that you have a clear understanding of your intentions and plans, perhaps years before your planned exit.

Managing the transition

If you have settled on the path of selling your business, the next step on your journey is for us to sense check the options available in relation to your ideal future life. This crucial step is not for Carbon to check whether an offer, for example, is a good one; you will already be working with accountants and lawyers to assess this. But rather to ensure what you are being offered will successfully fund the life you want to live.

The process of releasing monies from the business if you are leaving your legacy to a leadership team or moving the family business to the next generation, will be much the same, with the focus from us being on you and your family. Ensuring you have the financial capabilities to live the life you’ve always dreamed of, whilst considering the ongoing financial health of the business you have spent so much of your life building is essential.

A lasting legacy

After you have successfully exited your business with your personal finances in a comfortable place, you may find yourself wondering how to best spend your money, and your time. Throughout our process, Carbon will coach you through a plan that will allow you to map out the rest of your life and potentially also your legacy. Are there children, or grandchildren that you want to ensure are secure in their future, or perhaps there may be a community project or charitable cause you feel passionate enough about to make a significant contribution to?

Throughout our process, we can help you realise if all these plans are a possibility and then reflect on the best way to ensure they are affordable.

Regardless of what path you choose the important thing is to recognise the need to have these discussions with your colleagues, employees, or family as early as possible. Carbon can help support these by giving you clarity on what your future might look like and what you need in order to achieve this.

If anything in this article has resonated with you, and you would like to discuss further, please get in touch with Mark Christie.

The value of investments and the income derived from them can fall as well as rise. You may not get back what you invest.

This communication is for general information only and is not intended to be individual advice. It represents our understanding of law and HM Revenue & Customs practice. You are recommended to seek competent professional advice before taking any action.

Tax and Estate Planning Services are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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