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The Exit Planning Collaborative provides business owners with proactive assistance in connection with their inevitable exit from their businesses.

Many business owners are so busy operating their business that they neglect to prepare to transfer their business to either individuals within their business or to third parties. As a result, such business owners continue to operate their businesses until an event occurs that prompts a change. Such event can be unfortunate – a disability or death of the business owner – or superficially fortuitous – the receipt of an unsolicited offer from a third party.

If the business owner becomes disabled or dies, the business owner’s family becomes burdened with stewarding the transfer and transition of the business. Most often, such family members, while they usually have good intentions, do not have the knowledge or judgment to maximize the outcome to the business owner’s heirs and significant value is lost.

If an unsolicited offer is received from a third party, many business owners negotiate with such third party for a short period of time and then provide a letter of intent to their legal counsel with instructions to document and to close that deal. It would be an amazing coincidence if the unsolicited third party offeror was the best strategic match out of all possible suitors or is the party that would offer the highest price and best terms. In this case, the result is typically not optimal and significant value is lost and/or potential value is not achieved and is instead ”left on the table.”

In contrast, imagine the following situation: a business owner decides that he/she would like to be prepared to exit – on his/her own terms – in three to five years. Such business owner engages The Exit Planning Collaborative to prepare a comprehensive exit plan. The Exit Planning Collaborative performs due diligence and works with the business owner to assemble a multi-disciplinary team, including accounting, financial advisory, insurance and estate planning professionals.

After a business valuation is conducted and a financial needs analysis for the owner is completed, it will be clear whether a successful exit can be achieved in the short term or if certain recommendations will need to be implemented to secure an exit on terms that will satisfy the business owner’s financial needs and objectives. After each team member studies the due diligence information, the team meets and strategizes as to the recommendations that will have the most significant positive impact on the value of the business. These final recommendations are the presented in the draft version of the exit plan.

The owner may choose which recommendations are to be implemented in accordance with the owner’s priorities and preferences. Only after an exit plan has been prepared and all recommendations approved by the business owner are successfully implemented, a structured sales procedure designed to maximize the valuation of the business and to minimize the taxes to be paid at closing shall be implemented (maximizing the net proceeds to business owner).

Engaging in a proactive exit planning process is very challenging. However, the return is great, the impact is meaningful and after a lifetime of work, the business owner can orchestrate their exit on their terms – with appropriate knowledge and complete control.