If you run or manage a business and have not made a business succession plan, you may want to consider doing so soon. Not only can a business succession plan protect you and your family, it also can provide peace of mind that your business will continue running.
What Is a Business Succession Plan?
A business succession plan covers what happens to your business if you die or become incapacitated. Business owners – especially those who own smaller companies – often don’t think about the possibility that they will not be able to manage their businesses at some point. The fact is that some businesses fail because their owners died or became ill suddenly. Although making a plan can take time and energy, it is well worth it for businesspeople and their families.
Business succession plans can have different kinds of structures depending on the owners’ wishes. For example, your plan might incorporate some or all of the following:
- A buy-sell agreement allowing co-owners to take over management
- A will explaining who will inherit your interest in the business
- A business succession trust designed to protect assets and pass on your shares
- Powers of attorney allowing others to make decisions for you
- A partnership agreement or management agreement detailing what happens if an owner dies
- A written plan explaining how to run the business
How to Make a Business Succession Plan
As you can see, a succession plan could have many parts varying by the type of business and your wishes. A good way to start your business succession plan is by visiting an estate planning lawyer. He or she can prepare a will, trust, or power of attorney that meets your needs. In addition, you may want to speak with a business lawyer, especially if you need agreements prepared or have questions about your business’s structure.
While you wait for your appointments with lawyers, you may want to start documenting business processes or thinking about an appropriate successor. For example, you can write down passwords and store them in a secure place, make a list of suppliers and contacts, or appoint a manager to do payroll if you are absent. That way you can have peace of mind that even in an emergency, your business will keep running.
Want to start planning your estate? Local attorney Andrew Szocka, Esq. provides thorough and speedy estate planning help in the Chicagoland area. To schedule a free initial consultation, visit the Law Office of Andrew Szocka, P.C. online or call the office at (815) 455-8430.