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Business Succession Planning

Business Succession Planning from the Perspective of a Commercial Lawyer

A Commercial Lawyer sees all sorts of businesses and deal with the effects of human nature in business on a daily basis. They document business ventures, estate and succession plans and we are often brought in to clean up the mess when things don’t go smoothly.
Planned Succession

Planning assumes there is time to plan. Often the business is closely tied to the founder who has a significant bank of knowledge which should be documented and communicated during the planning and handover process.
There are many issues to consider when preparing a succession plan:
– Will the owner leave completely or will the owner have some future involvement with the business?
– Who is to be the successor? This doesn’t matter if the business is being sold at arm’s length
– How will the owner conduct discussions with the preferred successor? Is there a backup successor?
– Will the owner appoint an independent person to lead the discussions and to chair meetings?
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The Importance of Record Keeping


As commercial lawyers we understand that in this electronic age it is tempting and we are often encouraged not to print documents. However it is often a good idea to have a printed copy of some records, as well as an electronic copy.

Good record keeping may sound rather Dickensian but here are a few pointers to make things easier for you as the years roll on, people move on or retire and memories fade. Nobody may remember what happened to that beige filing cabinet in the corner outside Jim’s old office and sometimes you will need is not the current document.

Insurance policies

Particularly if you shop around for the best insurance deal from time to time do you have a copy of your policies in one spot? This is very important for workers compensation policies where a claim would be handled by the insurer at the time of the injury and not the insurer at the time of the claim.
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