As the baby boomer generation continues to reach retirement age, with 10,000 individuals turning 65 every day, the United States is facing a “silver tsunami” of business owners looking to exit their companies. This mass exodus of entrepreneurial talent has made exit planning for retirees an increasingly pressing issue, especially for closely-held businesses.
When advising clients on retirement and ownership transition, forensic accountants and business valuators provide invaluable expertise by highlighting crucial financial considerations that can profoundly impact the success of the process.
In this blog post, we will explore five key points that business owners should keep top of mind when starting their exit plans. From stock options and business valuations to tax implications and ESOPs, our goal is to provide attorneys and their clients with the financial clarity needed to help navigate the choppy waters of retirement and ownership transition.
Stock Options: Stock options are a cornerstone of exit planning. Clients must grasp the significance of these financial instruments, and this is where the expertise of forensic accountants and business valuators becomes crucial. These professionals can elucidate the nuances of restricted stock, stock appreciation rights, and employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), shedding light on the potential advantages and disadvantages of each option, including intricate details such as control retention and tax implications.
Business Valuation: The accuracy of business valuation is paramount in exit planning. Forensic accountants and business valuators possess the specialized skills required to determine the true value of a business. Their expertise in employing diverse valuation methodologies, whether asset-based, market-based, or income-based, can significantly influence the final sale price.
Selling the Business: When it comes to selling a closely-held business, clients must rely on the insights of forensic accountants and business valuators. Whether the intention is to sell to family members, employees, or external buyers, it’s important to identify hidden risks that could potentially impact the deal’s success.
Tax Implications: Clients must be well-informed about the tax consequences of various exit strategies, including capital gains tax, estate tax, and gift tax considerations. Forensic accountants can also aid attorneys and their clients in developing effective tax mitigation strategies, including the strategic use of trusts, to minimize the tax burden during retirement.
ESOPs: Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) are a unique exit strategy that clients should always consider. ESOPs enable business owners to transfer ownership to employees, offering both retirement security for the owner and job security for employees. Assessing the feasibility and intricacies of ESOPs requires the insights of these financial experts.
Leaning on MSG for financial clarity and insights enables business owners to make fully informed decisions. While you concentrate on your legal strengths, you can trust us with the numbers. Click here to schedule a call with Mark S. Gottlieb, CPA/ABV/CFF, ASA, CVA, CBA, MST.