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Who is your next leader?

At this stage, the owner is planning to or has decided to exit the business. This many be done through: selling to employees, selling the business outright or having family assume ownership. It is important to plan ahead so your wishes are followed just in case something unexpected comes up. It is advisable for these plans to be developed ahead of time since they take time to implement and there are important factors to consider, such as tax implications.

Small business/ ag owners have a range of options to successfully sell their business and reap the rewards of their hard work. Owners who hope to sell their business often must provide transferable equity to the prospective buyer, including the likelihood of retaining key employees.

As a group, the owners of Canada's private companies are not well prepared for their next stage of life - or the life of their company. That's the warning from consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers. PwC reports that 54% of the privately held incorporated companies it canvassed did not have a succession plan. And that's despite the fact that 62% are run by a CEO aged 51 to 70, and one-third expect that person to retire within five years. Ominously, more than 70% of smaller companies - those with annual revenues of less than $10 million - have no succession plans. If you don't have a succession plan, start working on one now. PwC cautions that it can take several years for a family business to develop a proper plan, especially if there is no heir apparent among the owner's children.

We're here to help. We've got the plans, tools and expert advice so you can end up with more money now - and for years to come.

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Up Next: Blueprint for small business success

Small businesses are crucial to every region’s economy. Often, they are started by people who followed their passion, drafted a plan and went to work - hard.
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