Our Exit Planning team Delivers on the Promise by being your trusted advisor by delivering a robust exit plan that allows you to exit your business on your own terms and likely with greater value.

With so many tasks competing for a business owner’s time, it’s no wonder that exiting the business one day seems like something to deal with later. Still, exit planning can be one of the most exciting and financially rewarding activities a business owner can undertake. When done correctly, it can increase the value of the business while planning for your future wealth.

An exit plan is a comprehensive roadmap that addresses all the business, personal, financial, legal and tax issues involved in selling your privately–owned business. Its purpose is to ensure the survival of the business; to provide continuity to your employees, customers and vendors; and to preserve wealth for your family.

Skoda Minotti expertly guides business owners through the entire process. Our multi-disciplinary Exit Planning team eliminates the need for multiple sources with in-house capabilities to meet all of your needs including:

  1. Business Valuation
  2. Financial Planning
  3. Estate Planning
  4. Due Diligence
  5. Tax Structuring
  6. Insurance Planning
  7. Wealth Management

We’re one of very few firms offering Exit Planning services under the leadership of a Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA) and his team. This rare distinction means our clients have access to the deeper knowledge and client service a specialized team can offer.

Exit planning outcomes have proven that business owners will leave with greater wealth, pay less in taxes, retain more influence and have a smoother transition than if left to chance. Skoda Minotti has the knowledge and experience to develop your exit plan.

Questions? Contact Michael Trabert by filling out the form below.

What is the difference between exit planning, succession and transition planning?

In addition to exit planning, succession planning and transition planning are terms associated with an owner exiting a business. Exit planning is slightly different from succession planning because it could involve the sale of the business to a third party while succession/transition plans typically involves transferring the business to a family member or key employee.

When does a business owner begin to plan?

While a business owner can start the formal exit planning process at any time, planning far in advance, between 2-4 years, will significantly maximize the value to the company and business owner. At a minimum, an owner needs to consider:

  • Estimated timing of exiting/transitioning business which includes:
    • Anticipated time it will take to sell the business
    • Time it will take to transition their business to the buyer (post transaction)
  • Structure of transition (family member vs. third party)
  • Value of business and savings needed for retirement
  • Do I have the appropriate insurance coverage

By planning early, your Skoda Minotti Exit Planning Team can also create a contingency plan for unexpected circumstances, such as illness, burnout, divorce and death.

What Questions Should I Be Prepared to Answer?

Using our free, no obligation, Assessment your Skoda Minotti Exit Planning Team will walk you through a series of questions to determine your exit readiness. For example:

  • Have you determined an exit time-frame when you will be ready?
  • How much cash will you need to live on after exiting your business?
  • How much is your business worth today?
  • How can you ensure financial security for your family if the unexpected happens to you?

The Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA) designation is the oldest and most respected credential in the growing field of exit planning.

Skoda Minotti is one of few firms in the U.S. with an advisor with a CEPA designation; that means our clients will work with an exit planning team uniquely qualified to expertly guide them toward success. The CEPA and his team will coordinate all of the disciplines required for exit planning, saving our clients time and creating efficiency that comes with bundled services.

Assess Your Exit Plan Readiness: our service comes with a value-added tool to help guide clients through the first steps of the plan: readiness assessment. We will review your report with you to consider all the different paths you need to be considering before transitioning the business. We offer a no-cost assessment to help us get started.

  • Business Valuation: As one of the first steps in the exit planning process, obtaining a business valuation gives business owners clarity about what their business is worth from an outsider’s perspective.
  • Financial Planning: The business valuation must be linked to a sound financial plan that will drive the rest of the exit plan. Our advisors will build a no-cost plan that analyzes your retirement expenditures and calculates a probability factor of running out of money.
  • Estate Planning: An improperly planned estate can result in significant tax consequences or even frozen assets. We can help you utilize your estate plan to create, leverage, and protect your wealth. Well thought-out estate plans can help business owners meet their exit plans through:
    • Leveraging gifting by proper use of discounts
    • Trust planning to address non-tax needs
    • Minimize transfer tax burden
    • Proper preparation of a will
  • Pre-Sale Due Diligence: Due diligence is not just for your potential purchaser. We can review your books to ensure they are in order before a potential buyer reviews them. If we spot a problem, we’ll work with you to resolve it well in advance of the sale. The benefits of completing pre-sale due diligence include:
    • CPA’s can identify risk areas within the company early
    • Business owners can pull together necessary documents well in advance
    • Business owners can mitigate identified risks, which will increase their return on investment (ROI) when they sell their company.
    • Buyers are willing to pay premiums for low-risk companies.
  • Tax Structuring: Tax minimization is a central goal in each exit plan. You need a well thought-out structure to help minimize taxes. Our tax experts will review your current structure and provide opportunities to minimize taxes based on your exit plan strategy.
  • Insurance: You may have life insurance, but is the policy appropriate for your needs? We’ll help answer these questions as we walk you through the various forms of insurance:
    • Life
    • Disability
    • Income replacement
    • Estate tax liquidity
    • Key person
    • Buy-sell funding
  • Wealth Management: Similar to our exit plan, our wealth advisors design client-specific financial plans for business owners to meet their long-term financial objectives around retirement, philanthropy and generational needs. The planning and investment process are continually monitored, keeping business owners apprised of the progress towards each financial goal.

Building an exit plan is just not about getting ready to exit your business; it’s about adding value to your company. An exit plan will help you:

  • Achieve your business and personal goals
    • Being well prepared for your exit will allow you to exit your business on your own terms. Business and personal goals will already be established and linked to your eventual exit which will make meeting them more realistic.
  • Facilitate your retirement
    • Knowing how much cash flow you will require to retire with your preferred lifestyle helps you understand the value you need to sell your business at. If the value is not high enough, we can help you implement strategies to improve the value of your company.
  • Control how and when you exit
    • A well designed exit plan helps you understand in advance how the transaction needs to be structured for you to meet your business and personal goals.
    • Thinking about when you want to fully retire is important as third party transactions and succession planning take time.
      • A third party sales generally takes between nine months to a year for a transaction to close along with some time post transaction to transfer knowledge.
      • Similarly, if succession is the ultimate goal there is time involved (Could potentially be more time than third party sale) to transition the business to the successor.
      • By understanding the amount of time it takes for a transaction to occur, a business owner can work backwards to see when they need to start transitioning their business.
  • Ensure survival and growth of your business
    • Generally, business don’t survive second generation ownership. A well designed exit plan helps business owners:
      • Select a successor and determine if that successor has the knowledge and experience to run their business
      • Understand if the chosen successor is interested in this role.
      • Understanding these items up front is vital to the succession plan
  • Reduce employee and family uncertainty
    • Employees and family members are aware that the business owner is getting older, and the unknown future can be quite daunting.
    • By having a documented exit plan can give employees and family members some clarity of what will happen with the company in the future. Specifically, if the business owner is unable to carry out the transition there is a document outlining the business owner’s wishes.
  • Maximize company value in good times and bad
    • Value is all about mitigating risk. Exit plans allow business owners to work on their business, and not just in their business. This allows owners to create a solid company that can withstand economic downfalls.
  • Minimize, defer, or eliminate capital gains, estate and income taxes
    • In the end cash is king. By having an appropriate plan in place helps reduce (eliminate) the amount of tax the business owner will be required to pay, which will increase their wealth and help them meet their business and personal goals.

The exit planning process requires collaboration between the business owner(s) and multiple advisors in various disciplines including:

  • Accounting and Auditing
  • Taxation
  • Business Valuation Specialist
  • Estate Planner
  • Financial Advisor
  • Insurance Services
  • Legal

Skoda Minotti offers all of these services in-house, other than legal which we have established partnerships with law firms that have an expertise in the exit planning process. This competitive advantage allows us to streamline the entire exit planning process, resulting in improved readiness and greater efficiencies. Our exit planning work is not completed once the sale is complete. We’ll provide wealth management and ongoing financial planning to help once the transaction is complete.

Questions? Contact Michael Trabert:

Michael Trabert / CPA / CVA / CMAP / CEPA / CM&AA

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