Business Succession – Learn from the Errors of Others (Part 2)

business02Whether a business is worth $1 million or $100 million, the same principles apply when it comes to business succession.   After many years of experience in private company succession (and with over a third of a billion dollars of transaction value behind me) I see business owners falling into the same predictable patterns time and time again.

It’s understandable because while business owners are skilled at business operations, they have little experience in succession planning. After all, most business owners will sell or transition out of a business only once. Let’s take a look at some more of the key lessons to be learned (see Part 1 here). Continue reading

Business Succession – Learn from the Errors of Others

business01

Whether a business is worth $1 million or $100 million, the same principles apply when it comes to business succession. After many years of experience in private company succession (and with over a third of a billion dollars of transaction value behind me) I see business owners falling into the same predictable patterns time and time again.

It’s understandable because while business owners are skilled at business operations, they have little experience in succession planning. After all, most business owners will sell or transition out of a business only once. Let’s take a look at some of the key lessons to be learned. Continue reading

Succession Planning: 0930032 B.C. Ltd. v. 3 Oaks Dairy Farms Ltd.

For those who pass their business on to the next generation, particularly to family, it is undoubtedly the hope that the successors will work together to ensure that the business continues to thrive for many years to come. It’s hardly anyone’s plan to see their children in court against one another.

However, such situations regrettably do happen. Recently, the Court of Appeal affirmed the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in the matter of 0930032 B.C. Ltd. v. 3 Oaks Dairy Farms Ltd., and the Supreme Court’s interpretation of a promissory note in respect of a shareholder loan.

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Succession and Minority Shareholders

business02

I help many business owners with their business succession planning and as a result I run into many different situations. Sometimes the owner is ready to sell the business and just can’t wait to retire. Sometimes the owner is nowhere near retirement and doesn’t want to even discuss succession. Then there are those business owners that are going through tough times and tell me they just don’t have time to plan for succession. Rather, they want to focus on “righting the ship” and don’t want to think about exit until they have re-built the value of their business.  In these circumstances, I point out that if the business has not done well in the last few years, there is still an opportunity for some serious planning. Even in bad times, opportunities exist, although they might not be so obvious.

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