Succession Planning for Now, and the Future
Call it succession planning, or exit planning. Either way, it’s important to take actions to determine how your law firm evolves and grows, and what its ultimate future will be. Some owners plan to keep “working to the end.” Others wish to exit at a certain age, whether transitioning the business to family members or key employees, which could include gifting or selling. Even if you have no plans to sell your firm, succession planning provides numerous benefits, including minimizing taxes, increasing your firm’s growth and building overall firm value.
Many law firm owners are so wrapped up in running their successful businesses that they don’t take time for some deep contemplation and creating a well-crafted plan for its eventual transition. We encourage you to gain an understanding of the many, many facets of planning that will allow your business to thrive more than ever, with or without you going forward.
The Vista team has led many firms through the succession planning process, and it is a process. Especially if the goal is to sell the firm, there are key strategies to maximize its value:
- Making sure you have the right team members in the right places, doing the right things.
- Implementing marketing strategies to best position your overall firm brand.
- Developing a firm that can exist without your hands on the day-to-day operations.
Vista can help you navigate the succession planning landscape, including:
- Fully reviewing firm finances, as well as other non-financial information.
- Assessing and calculating an estimate of firm value based on firm-specific scenarios [e.g., sale to a third party, sale to a related party and sale/transition to current team member(s)]. Each scenario must take into account tax consequences, as well as personal and estate planning goals.
- Refining the valuation estimate through the negotiation process.
- Aiding a potential “seller” in search of a “buyer,” as well as evaluating the skills/aptitude of any potential external/internal “buyer.”
Succession planning should be an integral part of your firm’s planning process for now and the future. Please contact the Vista team for more information at 225.383.2974. We promise our discussion will be quite insightful, and you’ll be amazed at the impact quality succession planning can have.
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