Most business owners dream of either selling their company orpassing it onto the next generation. Whateverthe plan, the goal is a successful transition for all involved.

Exit planning is the process of an ownerobtaining his or her definition of business independence, and thiswill mean something different to each owner. As with any long-termstrategic business planning, the owner will need to consider andestablish business and personal goals as part of the planningprocess.

The ultimate goal of exit planning is for a business to survivewithout its owner and for the owner to live without the business.For the owner, the ability to live without the business is bothfinancial and emotional. For the business, it is operational andfinancial since the company cannot rely on the owner's ability torun the company or on personal guarantees for debt and loans.

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