Business Exit Planning Solicitors in Scunthorpe & Goole
Most business owners will consider their exit at some point. Whether it is time for a new venture or time to retire, we can help you be proactive and prepared with an effective exit plan that will secure your future interests.
If you are thinking of handing over the reins to a family member or selling your business or part or all of your shares, having a clear idea of what you want to achieve will help you formulate your plans. We can help you mitigate risk with a carefully planned strategy that ensures your interests are protected.
At Symes Bains Broomer, our commercial team can advise you of your options and explore various business exit routes to suit your aims, helping you structure the perfect plan. We can review your plans, focussing on the most important commercial aspects that will enable you to optimise your position.
We can help you with a range of key exit strategies, including:
- Selling your company
- Passing your company on to a family member
- Negotiating a management takeover
- Closing your business
As a full-service firm, you can benefit from the extensive knowledge and experience of our entire Commercial team, including related expertise in the areas of tax, inheritance planning, property conveyancing and employment law.
If you would like to have an initial no-obligation conversation, please call us on 01724 281 616.
How we can help
Selling your company
Selling your business could be a good exit route to take if you want to:
- Realise some, or all, of the value in the business
- Invest in a new venture
You will need to decide whether you will be selling the shares in the company or the trade and assets before finding the right buyer. Your accountant will be able to assist with maximising and showcasing the business’ value in readiness for sale. Competitors or related businesses could be good potential buyers.
If you decide to sell your business, we can help you with all the necessary due diligence, contractual negotiations, and a robust sale purchase agreement (SPA) for a smooth and successful transaction.
Passing your company on to a family member
Passing your company onto the next generation of family is one way to deal with the issues of succession and the process of transitioning management and ownership of the business for the future.
There are several important considerations to make when passing a business onto family members, which will include various legal, tax and family issues.
If you want to extract value from your business by passing it on to family, we can help with the transfer of assets, which can be a complex process, advising and supporting you throughout.
Negotiating a management takeover
Management takeovers can be a quick and efficient business exit, especially where a team has a good knowledge of the business.
A management team can buy your business in the following three ways:
- Management buy-out (MBO) - where the existing management team buy the business.
- Management buy-in (MBI) – a new external management team take over
- Buy-in management buy-out (BIMBO) – an existing team and an external manager buy the business.
If you are considering a management takeover as a possible exit strategy, we recommend you seek independent financial and legal advice at the earliest opportunity since there can be considerable costs from the outset.
Closing your business
If you cannot find a suitable buyer and there is no clear successor in your family or your management team, then you could consider winding down your business.
Voluntary liquidation (MVL) is a possible exit strategy for a solvent business operating at a loss and is unlikely to be profitable again.
This could be a good time to close your business before it becomes insolvent, thereby minimising any losses and returning any capital to shareholders.
Common questions about business exit planning
When is the right time to plan your business exit?
The value of your business will depend upon several factors, including historical performance and future prospects, recent sales, the health of the sector, and your management team, as well as key metrics on cash flow, turnover and profitability.
The best time to exit will be when the business is in a strong financial position with proven growth metrics. The ideal time in the business lifecycle is when profits are growing and where there is confidence in the market opportunity, the sector and the wider economy.
By having a good exit plan in place, you will be able to boost the value of your business prior to exit, thereby enabling you to extract the maximum value later on.
What do you need to include in a business exit plan?
A business exit plan will set out the strategy for selling your company or shares to other investors or another company. Where a business is performing well, an exit strategy can help you reduce your stake or exit the business profitably. If a business is in difficulty, an exit plan can help minimise losses.
You need to consider the length of time you wish to stay involved in the business, your financial objectives and prior commitments to investors or creditors. In the short term, you might consider angel or private equity investments to realise some of the value in the business, whereas more permanent realisations come from selling your majority stake in acquisitions/ trade sales/ or an IPO.
Whatever you decide, researching the benefits and drawbacks of the different exit routes before formulating your business exit plan will help you find the best option.
What risks do you need to consider when exiting a business?
It is highly likely that even after the exit, the seller will have continuing obligations to the buyer. There are several risks to be aware of:
- Deals can fall through at any stage up to completion, potentially leaving the seller with sunk costs.
- In the Sale Purchase Agreement (SPA), the seller will sign up to warranties and indemnities, whereby the buyer can make a claim for a refund if it is established that facts at the time of the deal were incorrectly disclosed or not disclosed to the buyer.
- The seller needs to be accurate in providing business information to the buyer to avoid any claims of misrepresentation.
- Some deals may be dependent upon post-deal performance, and so there is a risk that business performance does not achieve the expectations, and it impacts the value realised by the seller.
- Many buyers like to ensure the key skills and experience of the owners and management are retained for a period after the deal. This can come in the form of consultancy or employment agreements. The working dynamics and culture may change after the transaction, so it is important that expectations are set, and agreements are clear.
We can help you take the necessary steps to limit your exposure and that of the business in your business exit by close attention to detail in the legal agreements.
What is the best exit strategy for a business?
The business exit strategy that is best for you will depend on your personal circumstances and the business lifecycle, your individual aims and ambitions and the current circumstances of the business.
- An ambitious entrepreneur might consider angel or private equity investment to help power their ideas and business growth.
- A trade sale might suit an owner looking for a new venture and ready to cash in on the value of the business and to capitalise on going to market at the most opportune time.
- An MBO or MBI might be appealing to an owner keen to pass on the business to time served management or as part of a family succession plan.
- A company that is struggling might lead the owner to consider winding down the business – perhaps through a Members Voluntary Liquidation.
Our company share sales advice fees
We are able to offer a range of flexible and competitive pricing options to suit your individual business needs and budget, including fixed fee arrangements.
Our business exit planning solicitors will be happy to provide a realistic estimate of costs at the outset and will always keep you up to date about the cost of any ongoing legal work we carry out for you.
Contact us about a company share sale or purchase
If you need help with business exit planning and would like to discuss your options with one of our expert business exit planning solicitors, please call us on 01724 281 616, email us at email@example.com or fill in our enquiry form.