How Long Does it Take to Create a Business Succession Plan?

How Long Does It Take to Create a Business Succession Plan?

Succession Planning for the Business Owner

Patrick D. Coen, PC: How long does it take to create a business succession plan? Well that’s again an interesting issue. We’ve had programs that are longer than the nine months it takes to bring a baby into the world. We’ve also had programs that have been done in a matter of weeks. It really depends upon the effort that the employer, the business owner, needs to answer as far as the plan.

Well oftentimes what we want to do to start the program is to bring people together and that means not only the business owner but his spouse and adult children and may be key employees and have a sit down of what are your expectations? What do you want to have happen? How do you want that to happen and is this a good idea if we put together a plan?

And it’s very emotional from the standpoint of typically that business owner has spent his adult life building that business and it’s a part of his family. And having him examine what he wants that business to look like after he’s gone is a very, very difficult decision because he’s been so involved with it, he is the business.

And to a certain extent it’s like a lot of estate planning discussions, it’s discussing your mortality and it gets to be an emotional issue because you are really acknowledging you won’t be around forever and therefore what do you want to leave as a legacy? And that business is certainly a legacy that a lot of business owners take very, very seriously.