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BMO Private Wealth
1180 Columbia Street West, Suite 201F
The purchase and sale of a business is a complicated and challenging process. Once a price has been agreed on, an important hurdle that buyers and sellers often face is the financing of the purchase price. This is primarily driven by the financial capacity of the buyer, and willingness of the seller to accommodate the buyers.
As a business owner, your priorities may change as you transition through various stages of the business life cycle. As priorities change, your focus may shift in areas such as banking, risk management, financial planning, investment management and your family needs. What remains constant is your desire to be successful and to share your success with those closest to you. So, what is on your mind? One of the most common questions that business owners have, is “Who can help me with these transitions?” At BMO we can help you address this question and achieve your financial goals.
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.
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.
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.
Statistics show that family enterprise is the most common form of business ownership in the world. In Europe and Asia, some businesses have been family owned for 10+ generations, or several hundred years. In Canada, it is estimated that some 60% of the GDP is driven by family enterprises that employ more than 6 million people. Ironically research on family business has only gained significant traction over the past 50 years.
A succession plan would detail the business owner’s desires with respect to the management of the business and the disposition of their shares. This is very important because business owners devote a significant amount of time, energy and, in most cases, their own money to building their business. If you’re contemplating a sale to a third party or a transition to family or employees, setting goals, having a vision and developing a formalized business succession plan are critical for success.
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.