Business Succession Planning Article

Oakland Business Review: Business Succession Planning

We are proud to announce that the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce recently featured us in the September issue of the Oakland Business Review special section entitled, Law Offices of Oakland.

The article highlights how business owners often overlook succession planning when they first start out their businesses.  The reality is you can’t plan your path without first determining your ultimate destination. Are you building a company to pass down to your children or employees? Are you creating a business to be sold to a stranger? Without understanding your intention, you can’t develop or implement strategies and actions necessary to reach your goals. Nearly 80% of business owners say they want their businesses to survive them. And yet less than 25% have any type of written succession plan or “exit strategy”.  The all too frequent result is that businesses devolve into conflict and chaos when a founder dies, becomes disabled, or when business partners fail to share the same vision. Decades of blood, sweat and sacrifice go quickly down the drain, all for want of a simple plan.

A well crafted succession plan is as important as determining the type of entity best suited for the company; utilizing contracts and agreements that accurately reflect and protect business decisions; and understanding the legal requirements and procedures necessary to retain the financial and legal protections a business entity provides.

By preparing for the ‘What Ifs’ before they happen, business succession planning improves the likelihood of your company weathering the storms and quakes of an uncertain world. […] Click here to read more.

Why Should You Have a Business Succession Plan?

Did you know that:

  • 95% of American businesses are family-owned?
  • Family-owned American businesses generate roughly 40% of the gross national product?
  • More than one-third of the 500 largest U.S. companies are family-owned?

A respected national survey established that:

  • 79% of small business owners say that they want to retain their business within the family;
  • 70% of second generation family members share the hope of retaining the business within the family;
  • And yet only 30% of family businesses survive into the second generation.

More than 50% of business owners have more than half of their wealth tied up in their business.  With these statistics in mind, perhaps the most shocking is that nearly three-quarters of all family-owned businesses, or approximately 73%, have no succession plan whatsoever!  The all too frequent result is that businesses devolve into conflict and chaos when a business founder dies or becomes disabled.  Decades of blood, sweat and sacrifice go quickly down the drain, all for want of a simple plan.

Among my greatest passions as an attorney is to ensure that my business-owing clients don’t become a statistic.  Together, we craft a customized plan that preserves the value of the business by establishing a clear transition process while also providing the monetary resources necessary to implement the plan without jeopardizing the ongoing financial stability of the company.

If you’re interested in starting the conversation about what you can do to safeguard your business and your family’s long-term security, join me at one of my upcoming workshops on July 31 and August 6 in Danville and Oakland.  An experienced financial counselor and I will provide an overview of the “why’s” and “wherefore’s” of business succession planning.  We’ll then invite you to schedule an initial complimentary consultation to discuss whether and how you can move forward.

For more information on how to register for one of the upcoming workshops: http://brianaripley.com/business-succession-workshop


Business Succession: Planning for the What If’s Before They Happen

As Winston Churchill famously said, “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”  The statement is particularly relevant when considering why so many businesses fail to survive following the death, disability or retirement of a company founder or owner.

79% of small business owners say that they want to retain their business within the family; 70% of second generation family members share the hope of retaining the business within the family.  Yet only 30% of family-owned businesses survive into the second generation. Some 12% are still viable in the third generation, and only about 3% operate into the fourth generation or beyond. 

The lack of a clear, formal and well-defined business succession plan is most often cited as the primary reason a majority of small businesses don’t survive the death or disability of the founder.  Helping owners understand what they can do proactively to overcome those odds is one of my great passions as a business attorney. 

If your business currently lacks a customized succession plan, I invite you to attend one of two upcoming workshops I am presenting.  At the workshop, you’ll get to know the basic types of business succession plans, how they are funded, and why they are so critical to the long-term survival of your small business.

Further information and registration may be found on the programs page of this website: http://www.brianaripley.com/business-succession-workshop/