Who’s On Your Exit Team? Yes Attorneys / by Kerri
Whether you currently surround yourself with a strong team of advisors or not, when you start planning your exit, they are essential to every goal you want to achieve in this exit transaction.
Meet The Team Members You Need to Achieve Your Exit to Reinvention
Most business owners are not prepared to exit their own business. More than likely, that includes you. It’s not your fault. No one taught you. No one showed you how to prepare for your exit. In fact, no one is really talking about any other parameter of your business except income.
Are you in business to produce income to pay yourself, or enough to cover payroll? Or are you in business to make a profit? If you intend your business to make a profit, that means you expect to monetize the business at some point to produce the wealth you need for your reinvention.
When you decide you are ready and committed to an exit strategy, only then can your exit transaction team go to work on your behalf.
You’re familiar with the phrase “It takes a village to raise a child”. The analogy fits your exit planning well. It takes a team to exit your business successfully.
Here’s a brief list of the legal experts you must consider for your exit team and their possible contributions. We’ll continue the list of expert advisors tomorrow.
Until now, most likely, one attorney was enough. For your exit, you want to raise the bar and engage very precise experts.
IP Attorney – You want an intellectual property attorney to help you identify, document and protect the unique ideas, processes, products and services you provide. Your IP attorney is a powerful expert resource to help you recognize and protect the real value in your business in the form of copyrights, trademarks, patents and other forms.
Business Attorney – Your business attorney is an expert on business and commercial transactions. This person or team understands corporate contracts, hiring practices, and negotiations as well U.S. and state specific commercial law.
Governance Attorney – Your corporate governance is a system of structuring, operating and controlling the company with a view to achieve long-term strategic goals that satisfy all stakeholders, and comply with all legal and regulatory requirements. To be buyer ready, you need a legal team to review, update or correct and document your corporate governance practices, processes, customs, policies, laws and institutions including the relationships among stakeholders such as shareholders, board of directors, employees, customers, creditors, suppliers and the community. According to Gabrielle O’Donovan, in A Board Culture of Corporate Governance, says: “the perceived quality of a company’s corporate governance can influence its share price as well as the cost of raising capital.” Your corporate governance is a system of structuring, operating and controlling the company with a view to achieve long-term strategic goals that satisfy all stakeholders, and comply with all legal and regulatory requirements.
Personal Attorney – You must bring your own personal attorney into the exit transaction to protect your own interests. You are this attorney’s client. YOU hire this attorney to watch out for your best interests through the exit process. The business hired the business attorney to protect the business’ interests, not yours. He/she cannot adequately serve in both roles.
Estate Attorney – You need your estate attorney to be an integral player in the discussions of your exit options to voice the legal impact on your estate of each choice and protect your long-term best interests.