What is one thing all entrepreneurs have in common, besides the fact that they started their own business? At a certain point, every entrepreneur will have to decide what will happen to their business when he or she passes away or decides to retire (whichever comes first). This can be a big decision, and many entrepreneurs find determining the right person to be challenging.

Fortunately, there are many different business succession planning methods available to entrepreneurs facing this decision. With the guidance of a business attorney in mid-Missouri, the process can be easier than you may think. Here is a quick look at some of the different business succession methods available to entrepreneurs in Missouri.

Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP)

If you’re trying to find someone to continue your business after you retire or pass away, searching for a successor within your pool of employees can be an obvious solution. Many entrepreneurs successfully pass their business to their employees via an Employee Stock Ownership Plan. The key factor with these plans is that they must be non-discriminatory – that is, they must benefit all parties equally and not show bias to any party in particular.

Selling Ownership To A Third Party

If there are no obvious successors to your business (such as employees or grown children), you may wish to consider selling your business to an outside party, such as a supplier, competitor, or perhaps even an inspired customer. This can be an attractive option because it will allow you to pocket the proceeds from the sale of your business. The purchase can either be paid in full at one time or in installments over the course of several years.

Passing Ownership To The Next Generation

Many entrepreneurs find the idea of passing their business on to the next generation especially appealing, for obvious reasons. The sense of pride that comes from a family business is unlike any other. Passing your business to your children can present unique financial benefits, and children who grew up around your business may possess a better understanding of your company than other potential successors. It is important to keep in mind, however, that family businesses do pose a unique challenge: if you experience familial difficulties or strife, those issues may spill over and impact the business.


These are only three of the business succession planning methods available – examining all of the different methods would be far too in-depth to cover in a single blog post. Contact Deputy & Mizell Law if you would like to schedule a consultation to discuss your options further!


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