Retirement for Business Owners


What Do You Really Want? Retirement for Business Owners

By Alex Knaub

Small business owners inevitably reach a point in their lives when selling their business becomes a reality.

Planning is important for the retirement stage in a business owners’ life, but most people don’t like planning for the end. Hopefully, after reading this short article, small business owners will realize that the sale of their business is not the end, but rather the beginning.

The question becomes: what do you want your life to be like after the sale?

Retirement for employees can be much easier than for owners. An employee will tender a resignation and two weeks later: retired.

Simple, right? 

Besides issues with being able to continue a standard of living through savings or a pension, this process is simple.

But for the business owner, retirement isn’t so simple. There is no one to tender a resignation to; they have their business to think about.

What will be the fate of the company once they leave? How does the owner retire?

I bet you guessed the most obvious option: sell the company. And if you’re a small business owner, that idea likely gives rise to some anxiety.  Most people only sell a business once in their lifetimes, if at all.

The best thing the owner can do before approaching any sale of their business is to figure out what they know their business is worth and then decide what they want from the sale. Figuring out the end result from the sale is the most important role of the business owner in selling their business.

The structure of the sale (asset, stock, etc.), tax consequences, indemnity provisions, and all other transaction details are better left to the professionals. The role of the business owner is to decide what they want; a lawyer decides how to achieve what the owner wants.

With this in mind, and with the right professional, retirement for owners can be a less daunting venture. Business owners are good at creating a vision of the future, and the right professionals can help them figure out the best way to get there.

Trying to do it everything yourself, maybe to save money, can quickly become overwhelming. Attempting to save money at this stage by doing it yourself can quickly become penny-wise and pound-foolish — the cost of having things done right the first time is minimal compared to the potential pitfalls of doing things on your own.

The business counseling services offered by Stone | Dean’s Business Transaction Attorneys are able to guide business owners through the daunting process of selling their business. We work with our clients to ensure the strategies employed achieve what they want from the sale.  Retirement for business owners, after all, is the beginning of a new chapter in their life — our attorneys can help you write this new chapter and create the future you desire.

Contact Stone | Dean’s Business Transactions Team for more information on the full-range of business and commercial legal services we offer, and how they might work for you and your business needs.

This is part-1 of a multi-part series. You can find part-2 by clicking here.

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