Let’s Start a Conversation

We want you to achieve everything you spent your life working to build. Our expert advisors look forward to speaking with you about your business and future goals.

Schedule a 30-minute call with Erica Gilson, Chief Operating Officer, to discuss how True North M&A can assist you with your exit strategy or acquisition plan.
Erica Gilson
Chief Operating Officer
Available 8 am to 5 pm CT

5 Ingredients to a Successful Transfer of Business Ownership

True North Mergers & Acquisitions

May 10, 2023

Transferring business ownership can feel overwhelming—especially without a clear roadmap. That's why we've broken down the process into small, manageable steps, similar to a recipe.

In this article, we'll explore five essential ingredients that will help you establish clear objectives, determine your company's value, prepare customers and vendors for your exit, and ensure a smooth and successful transfer of business ownership.

Establish Clear Objectives

Transferring business ownership without clear objectives is like baking a cake without eggs—it falls apart. Begin by developing a list of personal and professional goals, and keep the following questions in mind as you do it:

  1. What does “financial independence” mean to me? To my spouse?
  2. How do I want to distribute wealth, including the business, to my heirs?
  3. What is my timeline? When do I want to transfer control of my business? Does my timeline align with that of my spouse?

By clearly outlining these goals and objectives, you lay solid groundwork for the rest of your planning process, ensuring a more organized and successful transition of business ownership.

Determine the Company’s Value and Cash Flow

Many business owners do not know the value of their own business. How can you sell or transfer business ownership if you do not know what your company is worth? You can’t!

Review financial statements, assess revenue and expenses, evaluate assets, develop cash flow projections, and consult a professional business appraiser to determine your company's worth.

Build Business Value

Building business value is crucial before, during, and after an ownership transition. To achieve this, implement a well-designed incentive plan to motivate key employees and drive company growth. This can include performance-based bonuses, profit-sharing arrangements, stock options, or other rewards linked to company performance.

Next, focus on maintaining operational efficiency throughout the transition. Streamlining processes, optimizing workflows, and investing in technology can improve productivity and reduce costs.

Determine the Structure of the Transfer

Choosing the succession path for your business and family requires careful consideration. Evaluate the risk profile, business value, and management team when considering a sale to a third party. For an insider transfer, focus on planning the method and timing of the ownership transfer, such as gifting or incremental sales.

Prepare Customers and Vendors for Your Exit

Communicating your exit to vendors and customers who contributed to your business's success is essential. Notify them in advance, highlight the reasons for the transfer, introduce the new owner or management team, address concerns, honor agreements, and maintain consistent communication throughout the transition.

Access Our Experience to Achieve Your Goals

Whether you want to set long-term goals, scale your business, or build an exit strategy, our experienced business advisors can help. With decades of experience and a track record of successful mergers, acquisitions, and growth, we have the expertise to ensure the long-term success of your business. Contact us today!

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Sign up for the latest industry insights from True North Mergers & Acquisitions.


How Do I Get My Tech Business Ready to Sell? Understand These Factors Before You Sell Your Tech Business


How to Jumpstart the Planning Process Following a Process Ensures Positive Results


If You Don’t Uncover the Skeletons in Your Closet, Your Buyer Will Don’t Miss This Important Step in Selling Your Business


Access Our Experience. Achieve Your Goals

Let our elite team of advisors, who provide leading mergers and acquisitions services, guide you toward
a better solution for your financial future.

(888) 509-2007