Developing the Exit Strategy

Exit Planning for Business Owners

High Point Financial Group helps business owners set, sort through, and achieve their exit objectives. This process enables owners to leave their companies when they want, to the successors they want, and with the amount of cash they need.

Without exception, every owner leaves his or her company. Whether you do it in style depends on the specific exit planning actions you take before you leave.

"By the year 2005, virtually all closely-held and family-owned businesses will lose their primary owner to death or retirement."
- Dr. Joyce Brochaus, author of Succession Planning

If you see ownership change in your future, HPFG can help you plan a successful business exit. He can help you answer the seven planning questions located on this page and identify qualified advisors to help you through the process.

What High Point Financial Group offers business owners:

HPFG has guided numerous owners through "The Completely Revised How to Run Your Business So You Can Leave It In Style Workbook for Owners and Advisors," the blueprint for an owner's exit success. When HPFG helps you complete the Workbook, you will have a clear Action List stating actions to be taken, due dates for each action and the name of the advisor responsible for its completion.

  • No-cost initial consultations to explain how the Exit Planning Process works.
  • Access to state-of-the-art Exit Planning resources.
  • HPFG maintains relationships with professionals in other disciplines experienced in the Exit Planning process. We can help you to find the advisors you need.

Click here to contact HPFG.

Exit Planning Questionnaire

Exit planning involves answering "yes" to the seven following questions:

  1. Do you know your exact retirement goals and what it will take—in cash—to reach them?
  2. Do you know how much your business is worth today, in cash?
  3. Do you know the best way to maximize the income stream generated by your ownership interest?
  4. Do you know how to sell your business to a third party and pay the least possible taxes?
  5. Do you know how to transfer your business to family members, co-owners, or employees while paying the least possible taxes and enjoying maximum financial security?
  6. Do you have a continuity plan for your business if the unexpected happens to you?
  7. Do you have a plan to secure financial independence for your family if the unexpected happens to you?

Exit Strategy White Papers

If you'd like to receive a complimentary copy of any of the following white papers, please send an email to High Point Financial Group and let us know which one you'd like!

Business Valuation

This White Paper discusses having your business owner client use the services of an experienced business appraiser to value their company as they transfer it to successor may help them avoid an unpleasant encounter with the IRS and help them to reap all of the value of their life's work. It also highlights the importance of how obtaining a value helps to dispel many of the common misconceptions that owners have about the value of their businesses and what the values mean to their overall exit plan.

Business Continuity White Paper

This White Paper discusses four primary problems sole-owned and co-owned companies face when an owner dies or becomes disabled. It proposes solutions to each one of the four problems. This White Paper includes the "Business Continuity Instruction Form" for sole-owners.

C vs. S Corporation White Paper

What Difference Does It Make? Use this White Paper to explain why the best form of business entity (C or S) for tax purposes during a business's start up and operational years may not be the best when it comes time to sell the business. Descriptive case studies and clear tables help show owners why entity choice is so important.

Employee Incentive Planning White Paper

This White Paper discusses the paths which allow a business owner to leave a company in qualified hands. Incentives can be equity-based or cash-based, but all plans handcuff employees to the business and help it to accrue value. This White Paper explores several plan options so an owner can determine which path is best.

ESOP Opportunities White Paper

This White Paper uses a fictional business owner to illustrate how an owner can use an ESOP to achieve three ownership objectives: 1) to cash out at fair market value; 2) to pay no taxes on the sale; and 3) to transfer the company to key employees. While examining how ESOPs work, their advantages and disadvantages, readers learn that ESOPs do not work for all owners or for every company. They do, however, provide opportunity for some owners to leave their businesses in style.

Exit Routes White Paper

When owners think about exiting their companies, the number of exit routes might seem unending. In fact, there are only eight. This White Paper discusses the advantages and disadvantages of each one. Most importantly, it describes a process that enables owners to choose the best exit path for them.

Inevitabilities White Paper

At some point, every owner leaves his or her business - voluntarily or otherwise. This issue discusses the proven Seven-Step Exit Planning Process™ designed to achieve an owner's financial and other goals.

Transferring Your Company To Key Employees

Owners wishing to sell their businesses to management (key employees) face one unpleasant fact: their employees have no money. Nor can they borrow any-at least not in sufficient quantity to cash out the owner. The transfer methods described in this White Paper employ a long-term installment buyout of the owner or use someone else's money to affect the buyout.

Using Short Term Key Employee Incentives To Increase The Price

One of a business owner's greatest challenges is to attract, motivate, and keep key employees. Keeping key employees is absolutely critical, however, if the business is to be sold at the highest possible price. This White Paper describes the design elements of a Stay Bonus Plan as well as how to convert a long-term key employee incentive plan into a short term plan.

Value Drivers

It is the job of every business owner to create value in his or her business prior to any transfer or sale. Exactly how do owners do that? read this White Paper to learn about those characteristics (or Value Drivers) that buyers look for when deciding how much to pay for a business.

Transferring Wealth To Children - A Primer for Business Owners

Successful business owners often wrestle with the issue of how to pass wealth to children in a way that minimizes - legitimately - their tax bills. This White Paper explains to owners how such a transfer can be designed as well as:

  • why fixing their own financial objective precedes any transfer; and,
  • how to determine the amount (and if that amount is too much) to be transferred.

This White Paper uses a case study to illustrate the plan design and includes an explanation of GRATs.