Do you have more than the occasional daydream about retirement? Relaxing on the beach or climbing mountains, spending time with grandchildren—however you see your “second chapter”—are you ready for it to begin? Or, maybe you’re an entrepreneur who enjoys the challenge of a startup but finds no satisfaction in the day-to-day operation of your now-established business. Perhaps you’ve just had an unexpected but exceptional offer presented to you for the sale of your business.
Whatever your reason, if you’re thinking of selling your business, we often advise our clients to start with the end goal in mind. That’s because the earlier you plan, the bigger the set of opportunities for your personal and family goals. We’ve had clients come to us just a month before the sale of a business and, while there are tactics we can help implement, it’s far more limited than if we have a year or more.
One of your first actions to get ready for a sale should be to review your company’s balance sheet from the point of view of a potential buyer. Are any family expenses run through the business that really shouldn’t be? What about loans you made to family members? Also, what about family members who work in the business? How do they fare in the sale? And that’s just the start. What about your own plans? Do you know what kind of cash flow you’ll need in your life after the sale? Have you planned your “what’s next”?
The Spring 2017 edition of The Advisor, CIBC Atlantic Trust’s quarterly magazine, includes two pre-liquidity checklists, one for your business and one for you, as well as other information to help you prepare for a planned sale or for that unexpected “too good to refuse” offer.
To learn more about pre-liquidity planning—and to view other informative, timely articles in the Spring 2017 edition of The Advisor—click the button below:
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Ryan Christine Coulson is a wealth strategist for CIBC Atlantic Trust Private Wealth Management's San Francisco office, with more than 12 years of industry experience. In this role, Ryan is responsible for developing integrated wealth management solutions, providing comprehensive estate and financial planning services to high net worth clients, as well as serving as a fiduciary representative for individual trusts and foundations.