The current coronavirus epidemic has brought business planning to the forefront of every business agenda. The most immediate focus is, undoubtedly, continuity planning in order to enable business owners to guide their businesses safely through the coronavirus outbreak.
It is likely that most businesses will have adjusted their business plans, including any exit strategy, in one way or another as a consequence of the coronavirus. Where business owners have no defined exit strategy for their business, the coronavirus outbreak may have made some or all of them give this subject greater consideration.
A business exit strategy is simply a business owner’s plan for how, when and in what manner he will cease to be involved in the business. This strategy should describe and outline the intended form that the transition from business owner to former business owner will take. In much the same way as you would prepare a business plan prior to starting a business and adjust that plan as your business develops, your exit strategy should guide your ownership of the business to a conclusion.
No matter how you wish to exit your business, the earlier you create an exit strategy and start preparing for your exit, the better your chances are of getting more value from your exit. In order to maximise your return, you need to be in control of the process from start to finish, which requires detailed thought, preparation and planning.
There are many ways in which business owners can exit their businesses including:
1. Share sales – Where the business is owned through a company structure, the owners of the company may sell their shares in the company.
2. Business sales – Where there is no company structure, the business owners may sell their business as a going concern. Alternatively, where there is a company structure, the company may sell its business as a going concern.
3. Asset sales – Rather than selling the business as a going concern, the business owners may sell some or all of the assets of the business (for example, intellectual property).
4. IPO – Where appropriate and where the business is owned through a company structure, the owners of the company may seek to list their shares on a stock exchange and sell their shares to the public.
Similarly, there are many potential buyers to whom business owners may be able to sell their shares or business (or part of a business) including:
1. Family members.
2. Other shareholders or business partners.
3. Management through a management buyout.
4. Employees through an employee buyout.
6. Third party businesses (for example direct or indirect competitors, or suppliers or customers).
Need to talk?
If you would like to discuss your exit strategy, please contact us. We can help you to plan and prepare for your exit in a way that is right for you and your business.
Whatever stage of the exit process you have reached, we can help you to understand the process, to choose the option that is right for you and to realise the value of your business.
If you would like more information about exiting your business or would like to discuss your exit strategy or a potential or existing transaction, please contact us by telephone on +44 (0)20 3126 4520 or +45 38 88 16 00 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full Legal Notices on our website.
©Orr Litchfield 2020