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Step 20 – Asset Protection

Succession Planning

Step 20 – Asset Protection

By , October 20, 2023

Congratulations, you’ve successfully exited your business, securing that substantial payout you worked so hard for. Now comes a crucial phase – protecting your newfound assets. No longer can you rely on the constant inflow and outflow of business finances; it’s time to ensure your wealth remains intact and secure.

For many entrepreneurs, particularly those of the baby boomer generation, the sale of a business heralds a shift in priorities. Now in your 50s, 60s, or 70s, you’ve sold your business and received a significant payout. However, the new challenge lies in safeguarding this asset. Unlike before, you can’t simply inject more funds or sell another business to recover losses.

The Intricacies of Blended Families

To add to this complexity, many entrepreneurs have blended families, with children from previous marriages or those who’ve been married and divorced themselves. Navigating this intricate dynamic necessitates a prudent approach to asset protection.

Seeking professional guidance is paramount in this stage. The core of your strategy should focus on understanding what assets you possess and how they are owned or controlled. Utilizing tools like family trusts, can offer a robust level of protection. These trusts allow the family to control assets without direct ownership, providing a layer of security.

Assessing Risks and Implementing Safeguards

Now that you’ve sold your business, your risk profile has changed. Assessing potential risks, such as accidents or lawsuits related to retained assets like a factory or office, becomes essential. Setting up the right legal agreements, insurances, and estate planning measures can go a long way in safeguarding your assets.

Understanding the ownership structure of the assets you choose to retain post-sale is critical. Whether it’s a factory, office, or investments, determining the appropriate ownership ensures protection and peace of mind. Consider the lease agreements and who should be the legal owner.

Above all, detailed legal and financial advice should be sought before making decisions on asset protection. Crafting a strategy that aligns with your unique circumstances and family dynamics is key. This ensures that your exit remains a triumph, and your financial gains are secure for the future.

In the end, having exited like a boss, let us not falter in securing what we’ve gained. With prudent planning and professional guidance, we can fortify our assets and pave the way for a prosperous and secure post-business life.

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Craig West

Craig West

Executive Chairman | Succession Plus

Craig West is a strategic accountant with over 20 years of experience advising business owners. His background as a CPA in public practice has provided invaluable experience in the key issues of concern to business owners.

In March 2014, Craig was appointed Executive Chairman of the SME Association of Australia, Australia’s largest small business organisation representing over 300,000 business owners.

In October 2014, he was awarded the Exit Planner of the Year at the Exit Planning Institute Annual Conference in Texas, USA, due to his innovative development of an exit planning process to help business owners maximise business value and achieve a successful exit.

Craig’s proprietary structure - a Peak Performance Trust - has won the Australia-wide award for the Employee Share Ownership Plan of the year twice in four years.

In November 2018, Craig launched SME Experts in partnership with Mark Bouris’ Mentored on Podcast One and quickly grew the monthly podcast audience to over 26,500 downloads; in October 2019, he released a new podcast focused on medium-sized businesses - Mid-Market Matters.

In July 2021, Craig joined the NSW Committee for STEP (Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners) – focusing on advising families across generations.

Craig has also launched a SaaS platform, Capitaliz (which captures the 21-step process), to assist other advisers internationally deliver advisory services at scale.

In November 2021, Craig was appointed Executive Chairman of NSW Leaders, a business mentoring group for leading NSW businesses.

In July 2022, Craig West received the award of Doctor of Business Administration for his research thesis titled “Examination of the key factors driving business exit options in Australian Small and Medium Enterprises.”

Craig is passionate about encouraging business owners to think strategically, maximise the value of their business and achieve a successful exit.

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