Business succession planning is closely related to the estate planning process and overlaps it to a certain degree. The purpose of business succession planning is to provide for the orderly transfer of ownership and management (although not necessarily together) of a business when the existing owner wants to move on to other things, retires, or dies. For many business owners, a key component of the value of their estate is their interest in their business. Therefore, in order to optimize their estate plans they need to carefully consider how the business will be handled including financial planning and tax implications.

Family business succession planning is a special sub-set of business succession planning that can require a unique approach due to the personal dynamics involved. There are professionals that focus on this type of planning as well as organizations that assist professionals in developing the required skills and there are organizations that work with professionals together with their clients to facilitate optimal planning opportunities.

The information below is a basic introduction to the concept of business succession planning. It is a complex subject that is beyond the current scope of the materials provided but they may be expanded in the future.