According to Legal & General, 58 per cent of SMEs do not have a succession plan in place.

These figures show that many businesses are unprepared for the transfer of ownership and have no clear plan in place to ensure that their business does not suffer when key employees leave. This is despite most businesses believing that the biggest threat to their business would be if senior employees leave.

A lack of succession plan can put the future of the business at risk and implementing one early will ensure the continued success of the business.

Having a solid plan in place can assist in growth and also add value to the business. It will also help identify any weak areas of the business which can then be resolved.

If you are wishing to retire, it is advisable to implement a succession plan and exit strategy at least three years in advance. A potential buyer will want assurance that the business can continue to run successfully without you, and that your exit will not be detrimental to the business.

Considering your exit strategy early can also provide for a number of alternative exit options that might be more appropriate and tax efficient.

If you do not have a succession plan in place and would like to discuss your options, please contact a member in our corporate team and we'd be happy to assist