Business Succession Planning

A business succession plan is a blueprint for the orderly transition of a family owned business to the next generation, a partner or a key employee. The transition could be the result of a disability, retirement or death of an owner or partner.

Smooth and profitable transition is possible if well planned and executed in advance. Without a plan there
can be significant monetary losses or even an entire loss of the business.

Visit our Business Planning Services page for more information on how Bircher can help you.

Cash Flow

The first step is the determination of how much cash would be required to cover estate taxes, the purchase of a partners share in the business or to survive an extended period of reduced sales.

Next, determine where the additional cash will come from. The effective use of life insurance, annuities and disability insurance can provide simple solutions if executed in advance. Waiting too long could result in the un-insurability of owners or key employees.

Loss of Business

Another consideration is the potential loss of trust, respect and goodwill, which could occur when the deceased has been a major contributor to the reputation of the business. While the owner is still active in the business, introduce potential successors and allow them to establish a relationship with clients. Reassuring clients they will continue to receive the same quality of goods and services and making them comfortable with the next generation could mitigate a sales slowdown.

Employee Retention

Your successors will also have to earn the confidence and trust of employees. Making the right decision to retain good employees prior to the transition is a good step towards mitigating the effects of change on your staff and potential losses of key staff.


Clear communication with family and business partners during this process will also facilitate a smooth transition. Communicate who will be managing the business and ensure they are prepared.


Investigate other options. Selling may be a more viable option in which case you will want to have your business evaluated in order to better understand the tax implications, financing options, life insurance strategies and special corporate structures.

Another option would be to have your heirs retain ownership and have the business managed by professionals.


Major life events and changes to tax legislation could affect your plan. Your succession plan should be reviewed in the event of a birth, marriage, death or family member joining the business.

  • Team

    Bircher Financial

    For over 20 years Bonnie Bircher and associates have guided clients through every aspect of their financial life. From investing and saving to retirement and estate planning, Bircher takes pride in offering the highest levels of service and ethics.