When you started your Georgia business, you probably had many plans in mind. Perhaps you had a goal to expand after a certain time, to branch out into philanthropic causes or to get rich quick so you could retire early. Most importantly, you may have planned for your business to be a solid venture that you could pass on to your children.

Unfortunately, unless you have formally established a plan of succession for your business, you may be leaving your loved ones with years of confusion, anxiety and financial burdens. You may not even realize how intricate the workings of your business are, and without a method in place for handing the business down to the next generation, the results may be overwhelming to your family.

Questions to consider

If you do not have a succession plan in place for your business, you are not alone. In fact, one recent survey revealed that most small business owners do not prepare their successors to take over the business or even create an estate plan that allows them to legally run the company. Understandably, it is difficult for many business owners to think about a time when they are unable or unavailable to handle the affairs of a business they created. Nevertheless, it is worth it to consider the following questions:

  • Does your family have any other source of economic support besides your business?
  • Is there anyone in your family licensed to take over the services you provide?
  • Do your customers and clients know the ones you have chosen to take over the company, and do they trust your successors with their business?
  • Are your suppliers and vendors willing to work with anyone besides you?
  • Is there an employee or family member who is familiar enough with the business to take over the budget, ordering and other critical matters?
  • Have your potential heirs spent any time learning the business and taking on leadership roles in the company?
  • Is there anyone besides you who has access to the business’ bank account information, social media pages, email and other important accounts?

If you answered no to any of the above questions, you may have some urgent work to do. Life is unpredictable, and in the blink of an eye, you may leave your family trying to make sense of your business. By speaking with a skilled business and estate planning attorney, you may learn of the many options available for securing your family’s future and creating a legacy with your business.