Leaving or selling a business that you have established and grown yourself is a big decision. It requires a strategic plan to ensure you can optimise the financial benefits and assets you have built over the years. But for many business owners and entrepreneurs, a business transition plan or succession plan is the last thing on their mind.
As you focus on the day-to-day running and growing of a business, an exit strategy is usually left to the last minute or not even considered at all. This leaves the business as well as the business owner in a not so ideal situation. The lack of succession planning can cause business disruption and can also dilute the value of the business to the detriment of the business owner.
But this should not be the case as there are ways to transition your business wealth to personal wealth effectively, and it all starts with knowing what you want to achieve for your retirement.
This article sets out some of the key items you should consider as you transition your business wealth to personal wealth to fund your retirement.
Components of an exit or succession planning strategy
1. Timing of your retirement
Knowing when you want to retire will give you a clear direction and a realistic goal setting timeframe. Planning your retirement is best done early instead of the last few months before you want to actually exit the business.
Having a clear and defined time frame for your retirement can help you focus on the necessary structures and business goals, allowing time to determine what systems to put in place and to hire a team of people to help in the transition process.
Setting a time for your retirement can also help in coming up with realistic goals and projects that can be put in place or completed before you retire.
2. Who will take over your business?
Is there a family member who will continue the business? Do you have a team of people who can take over when you retire? Are you selling the business to a third party?
Whether you will be completely stepping away from the business or will continue to be partially involved in it when you retire is also a big consideration. Whichever path you choose, you need to have a reliable team of people who can continue the business once you retire.
3. Tax implications
Whether you’re selling the business or a family member will continue to run it will have different tax implications for you as the business owner.
This is where an accountant and taxation expert can play a critical role in providing advice to optimise the tax and wealth transfer from the business to yourself. A team of business advisers and wealth management experts can also provide in-depth knowledge and expertise in exploring the optimum scenarios for the business and your retirement fund.
Transferring your business wealth to the next generation
Passing a business to the next generation is one of the most effective ways to optimise the wealth created by the business. But it has its challenges particularly if there are several family members involved. However, if done the right way and planned in advance, this will ensure the continuity of the business and could also provide a strong foundation for ongoing wealth creation for the family.
Key considerations in transferring business wealth
Part of the money from the sale of your business could be used to boost your superannuation fund. Business and financial advisors agree that where appropriate to your personal circumstances, topping up your superannuation contribution can be one of the easiest ways to build your retirement fund.
It’s important to check your superannuation balance before you top it up as different contribution tiers apply to different age groups and existing levels of contribution.
Capital gains tax
While the prospect of receiving a large sum when you sell your business could be exciting, you also have to consider the potentially large tax bill.
Consulting a taxation expert on how to structure the sale of the business will go a long way to optimise the wealth you’ve created over the years and potentially minimise the tax bill.
Will you be transferring a business as a gift or inheritance to the next generation? Consider the tax implications and find the most appropriate structure both for you and the inheritor.
Setting up a trust
Another option to efficiently transition business wealth to personal wealth could be by setting up a trust. A trust structure may give the business owner the flexibility to consider different aspects of wealth creation and management.
A trust may also be helpful in considering and planning for inter-generational wealth transfer. This means you could plan and put in place a structure that will protect your wealth that can be passed on to your family members.
You may think that transitioning your business wealth to personal wealth is a daunting task, particularly if you’re running and growing your business. But this is when you want to tap into the expertise of those who have been advising business owners and entrepreneurs.
This is an area where it’s best to use a team of business advisers, accountants, taxation experts and financial planners who can help you navigate the situation.
If you want to know the most effective ways to transition your business wealth to personal wealth but don’t know where to start, an ANZ Financial Adviser can help. Find out more and book an appointment.