As business owners in Cumming and across the Atlanta metro area know, planning is key to properly adjusting services or products offered, prudent hiring, meeting competitive challenges and much more. Careful planning can make all the difference between a thriving commercial venture and one that struggles.

Business owners also have to plan for the inevitable, deciding what will happen to the company when they are no longer around. Some entrepreneurs decide that the business should stay within the family, while others understand it will be best to sell it before they pass on. No matter which option an owner chooses, careful estate planning can help protect business assets and loved ones.

There are, of course, options in addition to leaving a business concern to family or selling it. Some opt to leave a business to co-owners. This is often done by crafting a buy-sell agreement among owners that when one of them dies, their interest in automatically purchased by the others.

A buy-sell agreement can ensure that a spouse or family member is not unintentionally thrust into the role of co-owner.

Many business owners prefer to create a succession plan that addresses the transfer of ownership and management of the company.

Succession plans can include:

  • Training and development of a successor
  • Responsibility and authority delegation to successors
  • Objective outside advisors
  • Key employee retention plans
  • Transfer during your lifetime
  • Appropriate insurance coverage

It will come as no surprise to a business owner that there will be several other important matters unique to their business, family, tax status and more to discuss with an estate planning attorney.