Follow Dallas Linkedin
Email Dallas Email
Financial
Jul 2, 2018

The Dangers of Transferring to Children Without Planning

Sponsored Content provided by Dallas Romanowski - Managing Partner, Cornerstone Business Advisors

After building a successful business, many business owners decide they want to transfer their ownership to their children.

Too often, those owners assume that a transfer to children will go smoothly and simply, requiring little more than informing their kids of the date they’ll be taking the reins. Owners who make this assumption commonly realize that, without planning, they can harm their businesses, business exits and long-term relationships with their families.

Without proper exit planning, ownership transfers to children can produce negative consequences in three areas of your life.


Money

It’s likely that your children don’t have the capital to purchase their shares of ownership outright. This means that when transferring to a child, you’ll likely need to accept a promissory note and rely on your child to maintain or grow the company to receive your business’s full sale value.

If something goes wrong – such as your child not having the ability to run the company as successfully as you did – you may receive less than what you expected from the transfer of your ownership interest. Since the goal of an exit plan is to position you to exit with financial security, transferring ownership to a child without a thoughtful plan can threaten that goal.

Another common money-related problem concerns how you’ll parse your assets between your business-active children and non-business-active children. Transferring ownership shares to non-business-active children can lead to two problems.

First, it can create resentment among any business-active children, because those children have worked hard to build the business, only to watch a sibling who did nothing to build the business get a share of their hard work.
Second, it can make non-business-active children feel forced to do something they have no interest in doing to receive their share.

In both cases, your company’s cash flow can be affected, potentially harming your ability to exit your business with financial security.


Time

Ownership transfers to children usually require owners to wait longer before receiving full sale value. This means that your finances may be exposed to general business risk for longer. If the company or economy experiences a downturn, you might need to wait longer than you had anticipated to receive the full sale price, which can affect your post-exit plans.

Another time factor many owners overlook relates to how much time they’ll need to spend training their children or refereeing squabbles between them. If your children aren’t ready to run the business without your help, you may find yourself doing more work for longer, which can prevent you from doing other things you want or need to do to achieve your exit goals.

Additionally, if you need to mediate fights between children – whether it’s related to who should do what within the business, or asset allocation between business-active children and non-business-active children – you may end up spending more time cleaning up messes or, worse, end up having to take the reins back to prevent your children from doing permanent damage.


Values

Although many owners assume that their children will run the business similarly to how they ran it, this isn’t always the case. If a child decides to run your business differently than you, it can create discord or amplify existing friction among your family members. This can cascade into problems that affect the money you receive and the time you spend in the business.

Differing values can also create hard feelings among in-laws, who might feel that you aren’t treating their interests fairly. In the worst scenarios, in-laws can use access to grandchildren as bargaining chips to get what they think they deserve out of your ownership transfer.

Business owners often fail to identify the consequences of a poorly coordinated ownership transfer to children until it’s too late. If you’re considering transferring your ownership to your children but aren’t sure whether you’ve addressed these potential problems, contact us today.

© Copyright 2018 Business Enterprise Institute, Inc. All Rights Reserved

As a member of the Business Enterprise Institute (BEI), Cornerstone Business Advisors is an authorized distributor of BEI’s content and Exit Planning Tools.

The Cornerstone team includes former C-Level executives, successful entrepreneurs and advisers who offer unmatched experience in delivering advanced, custom-tailored, results-oriented solutions for business leaders. We developed the Performance Culture System™ to help clients implement best practices and drive high performance throughout their organization. For more information, visit www.launchgrowexit.com, call (910) 681-1420 or email [email protected].
 

Other Posts from Dallas Romanowski

Bizjournalblockad
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Cd

Don't Forget the "B"

Hoop Morgan - The Forté Institute, LLC
Katiebraskett web

September 2022 Freight Market Update

Katie Braskett - MegaCorp Logistics
Brookeskipper saltair headshot2

Improving Indoor Air Quality Requires a Systematic Approach

Brooke Skipper - Salt Air

Trending News

Group Planning Indoor Skydiving Facility On Eastwood Announces Updates

Staff Reports - Mar 21, 2023

Possible Writers Strike Could Be Felt In Wilmington Film Scene

Jenny Callison - Mar 20, 2023

Former County Commissioner Woody White Appointed To UNC System Board

Jenny Callison - Mar 22, 2023

City Takes Next Steps Toward Possible Purchase Of Thermo Fisher Building

Staff Reports - Mar 22, 2023

Oklahoma Onion Burgers Planned For The Pointe

Miriah Hamrick - Mar 22, 2023

In The Current Issue

Southport Brisket By Way Of Texas

Open since April 2014, Southport Smoke House has been introducing guests to owner Troy Knight’s home state of Texas brand of barbecue: beef...


Brunswick Rides Wave Of Tourism Boost

This spring, new TV advertisements for Brunswick County’s island beaches will run in markets across the mid-Atlantic region, including citie...


New Makerspace Is Born

Doug Hamerski is a nephrologist who likes to spend his free time on other sciences, from circuity to radio. This pastime has now grown to a...

Book On Business

The 2023 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2023 Power Breakfast: Major Developments