The Time for Business Succession Planning Is Now

business succession, succession planning, Illinois Business Planning LawyersFor many business owners, it can be difficult to truly comprehend that, at some point, they will no longer be in control of their company. The day will come that, due to declining health, a sudden inability to work, or untimely death, their business legacy will be left in the hands of someone else. As I remind my commercial clients on a regular basis, however, failing to address succession planning for your business can be devastating to your company’s future if and when the unforeseen happens.

Take the Time for a Business Succession Plan

Like many successful business owners, you are committed to your company. You put in long hours, often working for weeks straight without a day off. Such dedication is certainly admirable, as the day-to-day operations of your business are its lifeblood. Much like planning for your own personal future, or that of your children, however, planning for the future of your company is just as important.

Business succession planning requires you, as an owner, to look toward the day that you are no longer able to work 16-hour days and 80-hour weeks. While a qualified business attorney can certainly help you with the process, you will be required to make some difficult considerations regarding your own limitations and the future of the company. It can take up to a year, in some cases, to fully draft and implement a succession plan, so the time to begin is now.

Prepare Yourself and Your Successor

While there are countless specific details that may be addressed in a business succession plan, choosing the most appropriate successor or successors for ownership is among the most important. As an owner, it is your prerogative to select the person with whom you are the most comfortable, whether that person is your son or daughter, a long-time trusted employee, or an outside party interested in buying your company.

Naming a successor, however, is only the beginning. Your company’s next owner must be ready to embrace the inherent challenges, and ensuring that he or she is qualified for such a role is your responsibility. You must also recognize that your successor’s vision for the future may differ from yours, and understanding the potential differences prior to making a decision will likely be vital to your peace of mind.

To help with a smooth succession, many owners plan for their own eventual role within the company. Just because you will no longer be “in charge” does not mean there will not be a place for you. Your succession plan can certainly include considerations for you as a well-paid manager or consultant, and may even allow you some continued level of authority within the business. It is important, though, to discuss these ideas with your attorney and your successor so that nobody is taken by surprise when the time comes to implement the plan

A Business Planning Lawyer is Essential

The decisions you make in developing a business succession plan will impact your company’s sustainability long into the future. Sound business decisions can promote long-term success, while rushed decisions or clouded judgment may have a negative effect. A qualified legal professional like Attorney Denice A. Gierach, however, can help you view your situation more objectively while assisting you in making difficult choices. If you are considering your business’s succession plan, contact an experienced Naperville business law attorney today. We understand the challenges that business owners face and are ready to provide the legal help you need.