When a small business is successful, it may continue to operate for years until the owner is ready to retire. If they are busy managing daily operations as well as planning for future growth, some entrepreneurs may be unprepared to step down from running a company. To prepare for eventual retirement, here are a few basic steps every business owner should consider.
Separate Personal and Business Finances
A successful startup owner will keep the company finances separate from personal finances for good record management and to be fiscally accountable. Insurance, taxes, and other financial elements should be reported personally for the individual owner and corporately for the business. A tax expert or an accountant can help to sort the documents and forms that need to be prepared for the owner to retire.
Finalize the Company’s Future
Whether you plan to sell the business, transfer ownership, or hire a manager while retaining ownership, you will need to work out the financial aspects ahead of time. Everything will need to be organized in official business documents that show the final profit-loss statements as well as the adjusted annual budget. Depending on the company’s future, you may need to pay final taxes or transfer that responsibility to the person who will replace you. Make sure the books are in order and up to date for accurate accounting purposes and to ease the final disposition of the business.
Develop a Distribution Plan
Depending on whether you transfer the company’s ownership, sell it outright, or close up shop, there may need to be a final distribution of funds to which you and others could be entitled. This might include profit-sharing bonuses, a retirement package, or other monetary payouts that will need to be explained in the company records. You will want to make it clear that you are entitled to any funds that were received due to the termination of your role as owner.
Consult Financial Experts
To handle these and related financial issues as retirement approaches, consult a financial advisor with experience in small business retirement finances. You can get valuable advice and guidance on how to complete the necessary forms to leave the company that you started, or you can hire the attorney to manage these tasks for you. Correctly-processed documentation is essential for a smooth closeout of the business.
Retirement is an exciting next step after a prosperous career as a business owner. Take care of the financial duties by following steps like these to avoid potential issues.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan