Continuity and legacy planning

If you have built up a successful business and are ready to take a step back, it is vital that you think about what you want to happen to your company. Will it be sold? Go public? Or be passed down to the next generation?

What is business continuity?

As business owners, we know that continuity is a key element for any company to survive. Continuity planning aims to prevent potential threats to a business and plans for recovery from those threats so that your business can continue to operate at all times. Additionally, you might not have thought about what will happen to your business if you are no longer there. Running a business is hard work. In the midst of the day-to-day, it is not easy to find time to think about when you might be ready to take a step back or ask yourself important questions like who is going to run your business when you can’t be there.

How does continuity and legacy planning work?

If you run a successful business you will want to ensure it stays that way, so it is vital you make plans for how it will continue to develop and grow without you. Legacy planning looks at the life of a business after its owner has left. If you want to pass the business on to family, or potentially to people already helping you run the organisation, there are a lot of things to consider. Unividual specialises in working alongside businesses and our advisers take a lot of time to understand what you want. Most importantly, they know the most important questions to ask to be able to give you and your business the best advice.

So many options - where do I start?

We will start by thinking about ownership and control, including leadership and board succession. Then there is income, cash flow and tax responsibility to consider. If the business is passing onto family members you will need to decide how this will work, which can often be emotional. With the right advice and support, you can shield your family from the pressure of making these decisions. Additionally, legacy planning needs to be carefully considered and integrated with the overall business plan because this financial strategy also allows you to pass on your assets. Together with your adviser, you need to understand the different priorities you have for the business and your next of kin. Succession planning identifies and develops people that you have already hired, trained and invested in who could potentially take over the business from you should something happen that stops you from running it yourself. Sound planning is key to a successful transfer of ownership and control in any business, not just family businesses. Without this it will impact on you, your family, the people who have worked so hard for you over the years and, just as importantly, all the clients or customers who rely on your business’s support.

A collaborative approach for business leaders

Legacy planning can be emotional and put extra pressure on a lot of people involved with the business. At Unividual, we spend a lot of time really listening and getting to know people so that our financial planners can help you to release some, if not all, of that pressure. For the last twenty years we have been working with a diverse group of businesses in lots of different industries. Our success stems from the collaborative approach we apply to financial advice and it is one of the key reasons why business leaders choose to invite us into their trusted advisory team.

The FCA do not regulate continuity and legacy planning.

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