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Director and Senior Investment Counsellor
BMO Private Wealth
1340 Pickering Parkway
Pickering , ON
The shareholders' agreement is of great importance and value when a business is owned by two or or individuals. It ensures sustainability and continuity in the event that one of the owners were to pass away.
Predictability and continuity are the gold standard of business operations. Nothing is more disruptive than an unplanned event that sends shock waves throughout the enterprise. One of the greatest disruptors is the death of a principal owner or employee. Having solid business agreements in place provides better clarity and certainty for you and all stakeholders, including business partners, family members, employees, customers and suppliers. Regardless of the size and structure of your business, understanding and strengthening agreements, with contingencies in the case of your incapacity or death, is a vital part of estate planning for all business owners.
Whether you’re a new start-up business or a mature company looking to meet annual growth targets, a business plan can be an effective tool to meet your goals and achieve success. A key benefit of business planning is the ability to create a united team, focused on a specific direction set for the company.
When we speak of “business succession planning” for private companies, some people think only of tax and estate planning, while others may only consider a transition in the share ownership of a business. While those are each important elements of succession planning, on their own they do not cover everything that needs to be included in an effective succession plan.
Retiring from your own business can be difficult after having invested the better part of your working years to achieve success. And, business owners who want to pass on that successful business may be faced with a bigger dilemma of if and how to transfer the wealth they have accumulated through their business. A number of critical factors need to be considered including how they will exit from their business, the valuation of the business, family considerations and expectations and their own retirement plans.
As a business owner, the decision of when to sell your business must be carefully planned, and included as part of a long-term succession planning strategy. Planning for the sale well in advance allows you to prepare your business to ensure you’re in a position of strength to negotiate and maximize the proceeds of the sale.
EBITDA or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization is one of the most commonly used measures of a company’s overall financial performance. It is often a key measure in the valuation of a company. EBITDA is calculated by adding back interest, taxes, amortization, and depreciation expenses to the net income.
Selling their company is usually the largest and most challenging financial transaction of a business owner’s life. For most owners, selling a business only happens once and selling the business represents the culmination of their life’s work. Often the business bares their name and holds a place in their heart right next to the kids. For these reasons, selling the business is not just a technically challenging process, it’s also emotionally complex.
In the absence of planning, when an individual passes away owning shares of a private company, they could be exposed to double or triple taxation.