35 Exit & Succession Planning Terms

35 Exit & Succession Planning Terms

35 Exit & Succession Planning Terms



In this document, we will break down 35 important terms that you need to know when it comes to planning for the future of your business. Whether you’re a small business owner or a CEO of a large corporation, understanding these terms is crucial for ensuring a smooth transition and achieving long-term success.

So let’s dive in and learn about the key concepts and strategies that will help you secure a stable and profitable future for your company. We’ll cover topics such as buy-sell agreements, key person insurance, capital gains tax, and many more.


  1. Exit Strategy: A plan outlining how an owner intends to leave the business, whether through sale, merger, or other means.


  2. Succession Planning: The process of identifying and developing future leaders within the organization.


  3. Buy-Sell Agreement: A legally binding contract that outlines the terms and conditions of selling a business interest.


  4. Valuation: The process of determining the worth of a business, often required for sale or succession planning.


  5. Business Appraisal: A professional assessment of a business’s value, often conducted by a certified appraiser.


  6. Exit Team: A group of advisors and experts who assist in the exit or succession planning process.


  7. Exit Timing: The decision regarding when to execute the exit or succession plan.


  8. Exit Options: The various strategies available for leaving the business, such as selling to a family member, employee, or competitor.


  9. Estate Planning: Preparing for the transfer of assets, including the business, to heirs or beneficiaries upon death.


  10. Due Diligence: The process of thoroughly examining a business’s financials, operations, and legal status during a sale.


  11. Transition Period: The time frame during which the departing owner and successor work together to transfer responsibilities.


  12. Continuity Plan: A strategy to ensure that business operations continue smoothly during the transition.


  13. Key Employee Retention Plan: A plan to retain key employees during and after a change in ownership.


  14. Buyer Profile: A description of the ideal buyer or successor for the business.


  15. Tax Implications: The financial consequences of an exit or succession plan, including capital gains tax.


  16. Business Exit Checklist: A detailed list of tasks to complete during the exit planning process.


  17. Family Business Succession: Planning for the transfer of ownership and leadership within a family-owned business.


  18. Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP): A plan that allows employees to become partial owners of the company.


  19. Management Buyout (MBO): A transaction in which the existing management team acquires the business.


  20. Financial Advisor: A professional who provides guidance on financial aspects of the exit or succession plan.


  21. Legal Advisor: An attorney specializing in business transactions who assists with legal aspects of the plan.


  22. Exit Funding: The financial resources required to execute the exit plan, including capital for the buyer.


  23. Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA): A legal contract that protects confidential information during the sale process.


  24. Letter of Intent (LOI): A preliminary document outlining the proposed terms and conditions of a sale.


  25. Seller Financing: When the seller provides a loan to the buyer to facilitate the sale.


  26. Earnout Agreement: A deal structure in which the seller receives additional payments based on future performance.


  27. Asset Sale: A type of business sale where only specific assets and liabilities are transferred.


  28. Stock Sale: A type of business sale where ownership shares (stock) are transferred.


  29. Business Broker: A professional who assists in the sale of small and mid-sized businesses.


  30. Retirement Planning: Financial planning to ensure a comfortable retirement after exiting the business.


  31. Buyer Due Diligence: The process by which a buyer evaluates the business before purchase.


  32. Exit Interview: A conversation with employees and stakeholders to discuss the exit or succession plan.


  33. Goodwill: The intangible value associated with a business’s reputation and customer relationships.


  34. Liquidation: The process of selling off assets and winding down a business.


  35. Post-Sale Transition Plan: A plan to ensure a smooth transition for employees, customers, and suppliers after the sale.




These terms are essential for understanding and navigating the complex process of exit and succession planning in businesses of all sizes and types.

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