Anyone who owns a business may want to hand it over to someone else one day. Do you want to pass the business on to your children? Or sell it to a third party? Start thinking about this well in advance and make your preparations.
Preparing for a sale
Every entrepreneur has dreams now and then of concluding a hugely profitable sale that will bring them carefree old age and financial independence.
What you need to do first of all is ‘bring your house in order’. Make sure that your books, records, contracts and documents are in order, so that you know your potential liabilities and risks. This will ensure that a potential buyer identifies as few problems as possible during a due diligence investigation and has less reason to demand guarantees and indemnities from you as a seller in the sales contract.
The sales contract is an essential document for recording the agreements made. Legal knowledge is indispensable for this. The consequences of a sale may still play a role many years after the transfer has been completed. Think, for example, of guarantees or indemnities which may be invoked by the buyer at a later date.
Always have this contract drawn up by an experienced lawyer or notary. In many cases, this will help you avoid long-running conflicts, court proceedings and considerable costs. The execution of share transactions always require the services of a notary.
The process of achieving a sale may involve much more than drafting a sales contract or deed of transfer. Preparing a business for sale may mean that some restructuring must be done first. This can have tax implications and may involve deadlines.
Timely cooperation between lawyer, notary, tax expert and accountant will ensure that the process runs as smoothly as possible. It can save you a lot of unnecessary costs afterwards and gives you peace of mind. It is also pleasant if you are relieved of as much of your worries as possible during this process, as the management up to and including the closing is taken care of by legal specialists.
Family business succession
There are many aspects to a business succession within a family. To whom do you transfer? When do you transfer? How much do you transfer? Do you want to retain control? Are you making the best possible use of business succession facilities? What is your pension situation? What psychological aspects do you need to take into account?
Again, Start thinking about this well in advance and make your preparations. Think carefully about the way in which you wish to transfer your business. Professional support can make the process easier for you. You may also be able to make many tax savings.
Business succession facilities
There are currently very attractive business succession facilities (BOF), which are fiscal options you can use to get exemptions from income tax and inheritance tax. For example, in 2016, €1,060,298 of the value of a company was exempt from gift and inheritance tax as well as 83% of the excess. Of course, you have to like the idea of business succession and you should take into account your pension and old age.
We can guide you expertly in all aspects of business succession, also establishing a good and trusted cooperation with your tax consultant and accountant. Please do not hesitate to contact us for an interview. We will gladly help you further.