Selling a company is a complex and time consuming process. Therefore, it is critical to assemble the right team of advisors to manage the process for the owner(s) of the company being sold. The right team can be the difference between receiving full value for your company and selling at a discount. With the right advisors, you are likely to see a noticeable contrast in your results, including keeping much of the proceeds vs. giving large sums up in taxes, protecting shareholders post-transaction vs. dealing with potential liabilities for years after the transaction, meeting your personal financial goals vs. being disappointed in long-term prospects and even whether or not the transaction takes place. One key member of a transaction team is the Wealth Advisor.
Selecting a Wealth Advisor
For many sellers, the sale of a company represents the single largest financial event of your life. Proceeds from a transaction can be substantial, and creating a plan before the transaction is very often in your best interest as the owner. Proper planning can help sellers understand how much wealth you will need to get from a transaction to accomplish your post-transaction goals, which could have an impact on when you decide to sell and what your investment banker will focus on during the process. Planning will also generate ideas on what may be done with the wealth created by a transaction to support those goals. Proper planning may even aid in reducing the tax burden sellers will experience.
Consider the Advisor’s Experience
When selecting a wealth advisor, you should take into account their relevant experience. A wealth advisor that has a history of helping clients with their succession planning is highly desirable, as their experience focuses on supporting clients through life transitions associated with retiring or selling a company they have built. A knowledgeable advisor will take time to understand a seller’s current financial situation as well as your goals post-transaction. The wealth advisor may work with the investment banker to understand possible transaction outcomes and prepare a series of options for you to consider.
In addition to the immediate transaction, there are several aspects that should be taken into consideration. An experienced wealth advisor will determine more than just the obvious financial goals. They will examine what an owner plans to do after retirement, what your charitable goals are, how an owner plans to take care of children or grandchildren and more. Part of this is identifying where money goes within the estate itself and making sure the allowances to various categories align with financial, legacy and life goals.
Considering this ahead of the transaction will optimize the final resolution and maximize the potential to meet yours goals. For example, there is a high chance that the most tax favorable year to give to charity is the same year in which a business is sold.
Build the Right Team
A successful transaction is made up of several components. Building the perfect team is one of them. To learn more about Sikich’s wealth management professionals, click here. As is the case with the entire transaction team, your investment banker can provide a list of qualified individuals to consider in helping you plan your wealth strategy.
To read about selecting an investment banker and attorney to drive a successful transaction, read the following articles:
Building an M&A Team: Selecting an Investment Banker
Building an M&A Team: Selecting an Attorney
As always, we are here to help. Please contact our team with questions or help during the sale or purchase of a business.