Will your business survive your retirement?

You’re approaching or are already into your golden years. The time has come for you to retire. Yet, you hesitate because you worry about the fate of your business.

Your company has provided a good living for your employees who have become your second family. You worry about them if you sell the company. You also worry about the needs of the community should you wind up shutting down the business entirely.

You must consider your own needs first

Just as in an airplane disaster you are told to put your own oxygen mask on first before assisting others, you must also ensure that your own future is secure before you can secure the futures of others — your company included.

Will you need the proceeds from the sale of your company to feather your retirement nest? If so, you may need to arrange a sale to family members or outside parties. If you are not the sole owner, your partners might need some time to arrange liquidity to buy you out of the business.

Should you keep the business in the family?

If your family members are also employees, now is the time for an honest discussion of what the future portends. Business succession plans will depend greatly on the intentions of those whom you hope will step into the breach when it is time for you to bow out.

What about golden parachutes?

One way to take care of valued employees is by arranging for so-called “golden parachutes” that will provide soft landings for those whose jobs will be terminated or eliminated upon your retirement. To assure the smoothest transition, have a frank discussion with your business law attorney.


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