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Business Succession Planning

Laying the foundation for your company’s future


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The issue

As a business owner, it is important to continually look forward, to plan for the future success of the business. Moreover, you need to “fit” that success with the goals of the current and future owners of the business, as well as other stakeholders, such as family members, the management team and/or other employees.

Your decisions related to transitioning business ownership and preserving the profitability and competitiveness of your company will run broad and deep, whether your business is a family business or other private venture. Undoubtedly, you will face many important questions as you begin to develop a business ownership transition plan. Which of these challenges might loom on the horizon?

  • The need to provide future liquidity to some/all of the shareholder group.
  • A significant change in executive management coming within 10 years.
  • Pending changes in the ownership group.
  • A need to change the strategic or operational direction of the company.
  • A succession plan that considers the objectives of certain stakeholders.

These are a few examples of the typical challenges that may need to be considered. They indicate the depth and breadth of issues you may need to evaluate, to balance the benefits of the succession plan for you, the business, and the other stakeholders.

Our approach

The professionals of Deloitte’s Private Company Services group can help you address the many tax and other issues involved in business succession planning, arising from events such as stock transfer techniques, business valuation, financing strategies, stockholder agreements, investment strategies and income, and estate and gift tax compliance. Our approach can help you deploy your succession plan in an orderly, timely, and manageable way by laying the groundwork for a process that:

  • Serves as a mechanism to focus stakeholders on succession planning.
  • Relies on objectivity and experience.
  • Is integrated and respectful of both individual and business objectives.
  • Engenders legitimacy through “buy-in” by stakeholders.
  • Adds substance and strategic emphasis to a process that is too-often undocumented and uncommunicated.
  • Clarifies expectations and roles of stakeholders and advisors to provide a consistent game plan.
  • Explores potential tax planning opportunities.
  • Improves communication among stakeholders, reducing misunderstandings and unnecessary expenses.

We use a four-step approach to address the many important issues of business succession planning:

  1. Critical issues assessment. The critical issues assessment provides a systematic approach that assists specific stakeholders of privately owned businesses in identifying and understanding critical issues pertaining to the continuity and growth of the business. We conduct interviews with you and, if relevant, other owners and stakeholders. We review current business and personal affairs, including business structure and financial position, and personal financial and other relevant data (e.g., financial statements, tax returns, and insurance policies). This assessment is designed to help you define your goals.
  2. Analysis and recommendations. We evaluate current circumstances and potential structural and transactional opportunities. Our analysis can help guide you through the tax advantages and disadvantages of the opportunities you may have and ultimately help you decide on a specific action plan that addresses your objectives.
  3. Implementation. We assist you in the execution of the plan, coordinating specific aspects of your transition plan to help ease the change in ownership and management.
  4. Review and monitoring. After implementation, we can help you evaluate on a periodic basis regulatory, legislative, and industry developments to help keep your plan on track and up to date, making modifications as needed.

The Deloitte Difference

The professionals in our Private Company Services group have experience with the many complex issues related to business succession planning, and we can tailor our services to your specific circumstances. We offer:

  • Trained and experienced business succession specialists who can provide an objective point of view.
  • A lead advisor who has many years of experience working with private business owners and the succession planning process.
  • Collaboration among our Deloitte affiliated U.S. firms for ready access to additional valuable resources, which can provide information or assistance relevant to your circumstances, including personal and family wealth planning when requested.
  • Services including family wealth planning, individual income tax planning and compliance, and estate, gift, trust, and charitable planning.
  • Access to the broader resources of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu member firms for additional business needs that may arise.

Our ultimate goal is to develop a deep and lasting relationship with you. Our reputation for quality services is built on long-term mutual respect and trust. We look forward to helping you address your goals in this important planning area.

About Deloitte Private Company Services

Private Company Services is dedicated to providing detailed and objective tax and wealth planning advice and services to private companies and their owners, and affluent individuals and families.

Part of our Business Tax Services practice, Private Company Services coordinates global tax services being provided by member firms of Deloitte Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL) that are dedicated to addressing the range of challenges that affect the success of the business, and influence the professional and personal goals of a business owner and individuals and families with significant assets. Our goal is to work with you to plan and execute effective business and tax planning, responding appropriately to new legislation and evolving market conditions. As your trusted advisor, we understand that integrated tax planning is critical and offer a range of services including entity income tax planning and compliance services, individual tax and wealth planning matters, international tax, and family office services.

We also draw on the extensive resources of the Deloitte U.S. firms through Deloitte Growth Enterprise Services (DGES). DGES delivers a distinctive client experience through service offerings tailored to address the needs of companies ranging from start-ups to those with up to $1 billion in revenues. The depth and breadth of DGES services crosses Deloitte Tax, Audit and Enterprise Risk Services, Consulting, and Financial Advisory Services to address your evolving and complex needs.

To find a member of the Private Company Services group who specializes in your area of interest, please contact us at PrivateCompanyServices@deloitte.com. Learn more about our Private Company Services practice by visiting our website at www.deloitte.com/us/privatecompanyservices and learn about Deloitte Growth Enterprise Services at www.deloitte.com/us/DGES.

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