There are multiple ways a business owner can exit from his/her business. Each business owner must decide which exit path is most aligned with his/her objectives and then develop a plan that when implemented will lead to the desired outcome -- the ability for the business owner to exit in the manner planned and with the resources desired.
If you are contemplating exiting from your business in the next three to ten years, there are a number of options that may be available to you. You can sell or transfer the business to company insiders. You can sell or transfer the business to a third-party. You may be able to retain ownership and become a passive owner. You can liquidate the company and walk away.
Selling Your Business to Company Insiders
Selling your business to company insiders may mean selling the business to one or more key employees, business partners, co-owners, or family members. It can also mean selling the business to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).
Selling Your Business to a Third Party
Selling your business to a third party differs from selling the business to a company insider because the third party is.
Retaining Ownership and Becoming a Passive Owner
Under certain circumstances, a business owner will want to retain ownership and transfer the leadership of the company.
Liquidating the Company and Walking Away
Under certain circumstances, a business owner may determine that the best way to achieve his/ her desired outcome is simply to liquidate the company, close the doors and walk away. This option is particularly important for those business owners that have a pressing need to extract themselves from the business and did not have a continuity plan in place to allow the business to continue operating without them.