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Opportunities for Professional Advisors

The exit planning process is multi-disciplinary, so building a team of professional advisors is essential. Exit planning advisor teams typically include a CPA, business appraiser, business attorney, estate planning attorney, insurance professional, and financial planner. They may also include a management consultant and business broker or investment advisor. The precise composition of the advisor team and the services each advisor will perform depend upon the business owner's needs.


Members of an exit planning advisor team tap into a large and growing market, since all owners someday leave their businesses. Owners often retain one or more of their current advisors as they build their team, providing advisors with opportunities to perform new services, reconfirm their value, and continue being retained after the client's departure from the business.


Equally valuable is the opportunity for advisors to network with and develop cross-referral relationships with advisor team members from other disciplines.


The revenue generating services advisor team members perform during a typical exit planning engagement include, but are by no means limited to, the following:


  • Develops cash flow projections.

  • Performs tax consulting in the areas of: "C" to "S" conversion, ESOP, and CRT, among others.

  • Analyzes finances in preparation for a sale.

  • Prepares financial statements and cash flow projections.

  • Advises owner on potential steps to grow and protect business value and cash flow.

  • Designs management incentive plan.


Business Attorney
  • Drafts documents such as buy sell agreements, employment agreements, confidentiality, non-compete, non-solicitation, and trade secret agreements.

  • Represents the owner in a third-party sale, including negotiations, due diligence, tax planning and structure, drafting of transaction documents and preparation for, and attendance at, closing.

  • Tax planning and structure for insider sale.

  • Generates ownership transfer documents for an insider transaction.

  • Creates and structures related entities, if needed, for insider transaction.


Trust and Estate Planning Attorney
  • Performs estate, income, and gift planning.

  • Drafts estate planning documents.

  • Advises owner on changes in tax law as necessary.

  • Periodically reviews and modifies estate and gift planning documents as needed.


Financial/Insurance Advisor
  • Performs financial needs analysis.

  • Recommends and provides life insurance and disability insurance for, e.g. funding buy sell agreements and insuring key employees.

  • Recommends and provides life insurance to meet the owner's estate planning needs.

  • Recommends and provides long-term care insurance.

  • Designs and funds non-qualified employee benefit plans; designs management/key employee incentive plans, and recommends appropriate funding sources.

  • Designs and implements owner's retirement plan.


Investment Banker/Business Broker
  • Estimates the likely sales price and marketability of the company.

  • Advises the owner regarding preparation of the business for sale and market cycles and trends.

  • Identifies and markets the company to potential buyers (including preparation of the sale book for presentation to potential buyers).

  • Directs or performs the pre-sale due diligence.

  • Negotiates terms of the transaction on the owner's behalf.

  • Directs the controlled auction, if appropriate.


  • Lending Opportunities, e.g. fund purchase of new equipment in anticipation of a third-party sale, interim or final financing for an insider sale or ESOP transaction.

  • Opportunities to enhance current business relationships, as we;; as to develop new ones.

  • Cross-marketing opportunities for a bank's commercial bankers and private bankers.


Money Managers and Private Bankers
  • Money management opportunities.

  • Business development and retention opportunities.

  • Cross-marketing opportunities for a bank's private and commercial bankers.


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The Exit Planning Review© is a twice monthly e-newsletter for business owners and their advisors. Each issue discusses a topic affecting business owners who must plan for likely the single most important financial event of their lives - the transition out of their business.

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