Are you exit-ready?

3 important questions to ask yourself

Take a realistic look at where you are in your business. Expand the answers to the questions on this page to assist in identifying different business stages. Your answers can help you and your UBS Financial Advisor determine the steps you could be taking.


1. Which best describes you?

“Planning my exit is barely on the horizon. It could be at least 5 years from now.”

  • It’s never too early to start planning; now may be a good time to consider trust and estate strategies with a UBS Financial Advisor and tax and legal advisors to take advantage of strategies that may increase future net proceeds from a sale*
  • Fine-tune your business model to be most appealing to a buyer
  • Make sure business documentation and financial statements are in order
  • Put together a team to prepare the business and optimize value
    Strengthen your management team

“I’m in the early stages of planning my exit. It could happen in the next 3 years or if the right opportunity presents itself.”

  • Consider meeting with an investment banker and begin conducting an analysis of likely buyer interest and sector outlook
  • Monitor trends and business cycles to help identify timing of the sale
  • Build the right pre-sale advisory team including your financial advisor, investment banker, attorney and CPA
  • Check in on your plan: Is it up to date? Have you executed everything? Are you prepared to take the most advantage of gift and estate strategies to maximize net proceeds from a sale?
  • Strategic Exit Services can help you evaluate the full spectrum of options available to your business including strategic alternatives. Should you choose to sell, we can help you prepare for the transaction and assist you in identifying an investment bank that works best for you.

“I would like to sell in the next year. I want to know how to get the most value.”

  • Ask your UBS Financial Advisor about guidance for meeting and interviewing potential investment bankers
  • Finalize your plan and focus your energy on getting the best deal for the sale
  • Work with an investment banker who can help create competitive tension among prospective buyers and meet with potential acquirers, review offers and negotiate the sale
  • When appropriate, prepare employees and managers for the transition
  • Think about your role for after the sale

2. What exit options have you considered?

“I'd like to sell some or all of my business through a merger or acquisition.”

  • Seek professional advice from a professional investment banker. Your UBS Financial Advisor can connect you with UBS Investment Bank or a firm from our Boutique Investment Bank Network that can help bring the following expertise:
    • Assisting with pre-launch activities, minimizing strain on management's time
    • Working to refine the financial model and assumptions
    • Positioning the story in a way to maximize interest from buyers
    • Creating competitive tension by bringing multiple bidders to the table
    • Leading complex negotiations between you and buyers

“I'd like to reward my employees through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).”

  • An ESOP can be tax advantageous to you and your company under certain circumstances. Your UBS Financial Advisor can discuss with you:
    •  Is your company profitable, able to take on debt and does it have a large enough employee base?
    •  Have you accounted for all the steps, from company valuation to ongoing plan administration?
    • Will the proceeds and timeline from the ESOP be enough for your future needs?
    • Will your plans for the proceeds allow you to realize the full tax advantages an ESOP can offer?
  • Speak with your UBS Financial Advisor about how UBS can help with an ESOP

“I'd like to transition ownership to family members.”

  •  A total exit strategy to a third party may not be desirable or possible based on you and your business's individual circumstances. Your UBS Financial Advisor can assist you with considering options to involve the next generation in your transition:
    • Family Advisory services and family meetings to understand and align goals, such as does the next generation prefer the business or sale proceeds to make their own path?
    • Is a sale to a third party or an ESOP of less than 100% a possibility to create liquidity for you and allow a transfer of remaining shares to the next generation?
    • Are there gift and estate strategies that your UBS Financial Advisor, UBS's Advanced
      Planning Group and your outside tax and legal advisors can implement to help transition ownership to the next generation?
  • Speak with your UBS Financial Advisor to start discussing your options.

3. Which goal is most important to you post-ownership?

Providing cash flow to maintain my lifestyle in the near term

We suggest planning along three strategic dimensions: A Liquidity strategy to help provide cash flow for short-term expenses, a Longevity strategy for longer-term needs and a Legacy strategy for needs that go beyond your own.* Organizing your wealth this way can help you pursue what matters most—for today, tomorrow and for generations to come. Your UBS Financial Advisor can help you conduct a cash flow and net proceeds analysis from the potential sale of a business and create a financial plan.

Improving my lifestyle over the long term

  • With the help of your UBS Financial Advisor and within the context of your financial plan, reflect on your passions and plan ahead on what you may want to accomplish. Some things to consider:
    • Traveling more
    • Spending time with family and friends
    • Having more free time for hobbies
    • Starting a new business venture or reinvesting in other business ventures
    • Thinking about how my identity and the identities of my family members may be impacted after a business transition and how that may impact our financial plan

Improving the lives of others (family, philanthropic causes, etc.)

  • Determine what you want to leave for future generations/your employees. How will wealth impact future generations' own drive and entrepreneurialism?
  • Look for a fulfilling cause that you (and your family) will find meaningful and rewarding. What can take the place of your business that may have been a major part to your identities?
  • Determine what you can best contribute: such as volunteering or mentoring to help others in your community or future entrepreneurs
  • Consider incorporating a charitable component into your chosen transition strategy. Your UBS Financial Advisor can help advise you on ways to consider options both before and after the sale of a business to help maximize your impact

Let's talk 

Let our resources help you proceed with passion.

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