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Succession in family-owned companies: A guide for business owners handing over the ownership of their companies

As a business owner, handing over the ownership of your company to the next generation is a big step. Therefore, it is important to ensure that your life's work is handed over under the right conditions. A succession can be carried out in different ways - for example, by transferring ownership shares to family, employees or a third party. Ownership can also be transferred to a fund. A succession can involve both the transfer of full ownership or just parts of it.

Are you considering completing a succession in your company?

Prior to a succession in your company, it is important that you think carefully about the following:

  • Do you want to transfer the full ownership or just parts of it?
  • Do you want to continue in a managing position in the management team or on board of directors?
  • Does the corporate structure of your company need to change prior to the succession? 

If you are thinking about such changes or wish to sell your company, Grant Thornton Corporate Finance can help you calculate the value of your company, prepare the right sales strategy, and find the right buyer.

Thorough preparation is a crucial prerequisite for a successful succession

To achieve the best possible terms for completing a succession, it is important to start your preparations well in advance in order to draw up a structured plan for how you want the process to proceed. A structured plan together with thorough preparations are important elements for a smooth completion of the succession. This includes:

  • Analysis of essential company matters, such as competition, industry, customers, suppliers and the company's organization, etc.
  • Valuation of your company, ensuring that you as a business owner get the right price for your shares. 
  • Tax planning and advice on relevant tax rules. 
  • A plan for the period after the transfer of ownership has taken place.

Experienced advisor with a focus on your specific needs

Grant Thornton's Corporate Finance department holds many years of experience in successfully advising business owners through various transactions, whether it is selling to a third party or completing a succession. As an advisor, we provide sound advice and guidance to help you make difficult decisions. We guide you through the entire process.