Ownership transition is an issue that many businesses will address in the years ahead, either directly or indirectly. According to the US Census Bureau, nearly two-thirds of the four million U.S. companies are owned by baby boomers who are often looking to retire or scale back their work.

While it takes years and years to build a company beyond its founder(s), most owners have a difficult time thinking through viable options and making plans for ownership succession. Many owners are not prepared to consider life after their company, as it's often a very emotional discussion and very few people can add value to such a discussion.

Who does an aging owner talk to? This subject goes well beyond estate planning and your lawyer or your CPA. It's also difficult to discuss your options with key employees. To openly discuss this topic with your spouse, adult children, general business friends or key employees may lead to inappropriate expectations and it may expose an element of weakness in the owner as a leader of the enterprise. I often say, ownership/leadership is often lonely at the top.

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to BenefitsPRO, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical BenefitsPRO information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and BenefitsPRO.com events
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.