Exit Planning Process

What is exit planning?

As stated above, exit planning is the process of developing a plan that will go into effect at the point at which the owner is ready to exit the business. The exit time could be by choice–i.e. retirement–or as a result of death. Regardless of the cause, however, having a sound plan in place that is designed to maximize business value at the time of exit is key for financial wellbeing, and is a smart part of a well-developed estate plan. Exit planning has numerous benefits, including:

  • Reduction of the amount of taxes a business or individual owes;
  • Maximization of business assets and value;
  • Peace of mind;
  • Control in terms of timing and process; and
  • Easy, smooth, and stress-free transition process when the time comes.

What’s the Process?

Pre Exit Planning

Pre Exit Planning: Issues addressed independently by relevant trusted advisors


Do I need to update my will?

Operational Legal Issues: contracts, ligitation, intelectual property, etc.

Wealth Management

What’s my portfolio value and performance?

How much do I need to retire?


What’s My Business Worth? Is it salable? To whom? What would I do if I sell it?


What was Company’s financial performance last year?

How much tax do I owe this year?

Other Advisors

Do I have enough life insurance?

Are my insurable business risks appropriately addressed?

step 1 – Collaborate

Step 1: Collaborate with business owner’s team of trusted advisors

Wealth Exit Objective

Exit Objective

Exit Objective

business owner
Exit Objective

step 2 – Prioritize

Step 2: Prioritize and integrate personal and business exit objectives

personal objective

  • When do I want to “move on” from owning and leading business

  • I am ready for life after sale/transferIdentity changeActivities change

  • Will sale/transfer provide me the funds required to live as desired?

  • Who will own this business next- personal estate planning?

  • Other personal objectives?

Owner: Articulate exit related objectives
M&A Advisor: Ask guiding questions,
clarify answers, help resolve
conflicting objectives

business objective

  • When can business be ready for ownership transition?

  • Is my business competitively positioned to maximize value from its sale/transfer?

  • Does its historical financial performance justify expected value?

  • Who will run this business next- management succession planning?

  • Other professional objectives?

step 3 – Evaluate

Step 3: Evaluate three primary exit strategies for business sale/transfer

  • Legacy
  • Timing
  • Business value
  • succession planning
  • financial management/
  • Business Strategy &
    Competitive Positioning
sell to
sell to
sell to

step 4 – Proceed

Step 4: If realizable results exceed exit objectives, proceed with exit

step 5 – Adjust

Step 5: If estimated business value does not meet exit objectives,
address key business value to increase business value.

Estimated Market Value ≠ Target Exit Value

Target Exit Value

Estimated Target Value

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