Business succession: Put it writing while there's time

Many small business owners in California have worked for decades to bring their dreams to fruition. As time goes own, thoughts of the future may become more prevalent, especially if a business owner has adult children or other descendants who can continue to build the legacy that he or she has begun. The problem is that it takes a lot more than thought to bring a business succession into action.

If a small business owner retires or passes on before signing a succession plan, chances are the company he or she built will ultimately close up shop. While there may be partners or people to keep things going, if there is no one designated to legally make decisions and there happens to be disagreements as to how things should be run, it can be difficult to resolve such problems and likely that those involved will simply decide to go their separate ways. However, a bit of forethought and customized planning ahead of time can go a long way.

Just because a particular business is family owned and operated doesn't mean a successor has to be a member of the family. In fact, it is better to make such decisions based on leadership skills rather than familial relationships. Once a successor is chosen, it's a good idea to help him or her through a training process so that he or she becomes familiar with every aspect of the company.

A written business succession plan may assign numerous jobs to various people. For instance, one person may become the new owner of the company, while another is designated as an operations manager. There may also be instructions about potential sale of said company included in the succession plan. A California business law attorney is a great asset to have on hand when developing a plan for succession, especially to help address any legal obstacles that may arise.

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