Exit Planning

Having an Exit Plan lets business owners prepare for change in a way that works best for them, their family, and their business. Our process shows all the different ways a business owner can leave their business. The options range from selling to another company, selling to the people who work for you, all the way to closing the business in a dignified way.


Why should you create an Exit Plan now?

How and when to exit the business is one of the most important decisions of a business owner’s life. We’ve seen owners make this decision based on an unexpected purchase offer or sudden life event Without a plan, the results are often chaotic and the sale price is often low. Its important to prepare ahead of time for numerous legal, financial, and personnel issues. Top reasons why we encourage all business owners to have an exit plan include:

  • Your business may be the most valuable asset you and your family have.

  • Other people also rely on the long-term survival of the business, including your employees, customers, and vendors.

  • An exit without prior legal and tax planning can subject business owners to legal or financial risk.

  • Unprepared sellers receive a lower price and pay more in taxes.

  • An exit plan can show how you can pass your business to family members while avoiding familial conflict.

Black and white icon with a magnifying glass looking at three people

Exit plans put you in control of the terms and timing of your exit. They create reduce, postpone, or in some cases entirely avoid significant taxes, allow you to plan for and fulfill your philanthropic goals.

Most importantly, an exit plan gives you peace of mind because you are prepared for the future.


Our Approach

We explain each option for your business and show you how it might be worth, including taxes. As part of this process, we work together with you and your other trusted advisors (lawyers, CPAs, financial planners, etc) to create a clear and actionable roadmap. Key parts of our process are:

  1. Understanding your goals: timing, financial goals, important employees, family considerations and more.
  2. Detect who your next leader is: identify if you already have key leaders who can run the business under different exit scenarios.
  3. Perform an in-depth valuation analysis: identify problems that will decrease value, determine what makes your company special, analyze the M&A market for your business, and value the company under different exit plans.
  4. Tax Planning. Coordinate with your other trusted advisors to model what you would receive after-tax for each scenario, and show you what changes you can make today that will increase post-tax value.

Throughout this process, we help you understand all the different options that are available, including:

Sell the Business

Selling your business is the most common option and is typically the most lucrative.

Passive Ownership

With the right leadership underneath you and the right strategic plan, it’s possible to continue to own the business without being active in running it.

 

Liquidation

Exit Planning helps avoid shutting down the business. Liquidation has the worst outcomes for your employees, customers, and vendors. It also leads to the worst value for you.


Why Choose ClearPath?

Exit Planning is core to what we do. No matter what problem we’ve been asked to solve for our client, we always approach it with our business objective in mind: help business owners build a healthy, sellable business whether they plan to sell or not.