The ownership transfer involves several issues that must be taken into account very rapidly during the Ground Rules and Planning stage of the transfer. To help you reflect on these issues, you can ask yourself the following questions:
- Will you keep some shares in your business?
- To whom will you transfer ownership? Your children? Your employees? A third party?
- What is the real value of your business? (See the section on due diligence)
- What is the price that you are asking for your business?
- If it is a transfer within the family,
- Do you intend to give or sell shares to your children? And if so, when?
- How will you divide up the shares among your children?
- • If it is an employee buy-out,
- Which form of share transfer and ownership division would be most appropriate to maximize your interests in this transaction?
- Management buyout? Collective employee buyout?
- How will you divide up the shares among your employees?
The financial, the tax, and the legal issues related to the ownership transfer will make it necessary for you to consult one or more experts because this complex process should be well thought out and planned in advance. Through their respective forms of expertise, lawyers, tax experts, financial planners, and sometimes even organizational psychologists can help facilitate an ownership transfer.