There are plenty of things to think through in business planning.Below is a really good article on businesses and what to think about when going through your business and succession planning.  There are multiple things to think about other than just who is going to run the business (although that is a HUGE consideration).  There are also issues around who is supposed to own the business and then how you divide up the business among your heirs. Take a look. See more at: Estate planning for business owners: What happens to your business when you leave? Stephen J. Lacey and Brooke M. Benzio As technological advancements and globalization continue to change the workplace, many individuals are changing careers or starting their own businesses.Owning a business can allow control over financial success, expanded creative freedom, and an ability for growth that may be stifled in large corporations. However, when you own a business, you feel the pain of every loss.Because you have employees and family relying on the decisions you make, one task no business owner can afford to ignore is ensuring a proper estate plan is in place, which includes business succession planning. Many people start their own businesses so they can control their own destiny – so why would you want to rely on the Florida Statutes and probate courts to decide the fate of your business, your employees, and your family if you are incapacitated or deceased? Just as an estate plan answers questions about where your property will go when you die, and who will oversee carrying out your wishes, a business succession plan provides mechanisms for control if you are incapacitated or deceased, whether the business will continue or be sold, and how your family will benefit. Be prepared to discuss the following with your Estate Planning counsel in designing your business succession plan: Control and Management It is vital to the survival and marketability of your business that you provide for control and management of the business, especially in situations where you are the sole owner and manager. If there are multiple owners, it is important to have a written agreement that covers situations such as buyouts and devise of interests to family members.Your Family (and Employees)Even if the business will be sold – perhaps because the owner is truly the value of the business, or there are no family members or employees who are interested in inheriting or purchasing the business – consideration must be given to how the business will be maintained until it is sold (to obtain the best price), and how the owner’s family will benefit.Although family members and employees may get along while the owner is alive, the massive change that occurs when a business-owner dies or is incapacitated can be terrifying to employees and family members that rely on the business and owner for their financial security. If plans are enacted before death or incapacity and regularly communicated to family and key employees, all parties will be better equipped to handle changes and prevent them from destroying the business. Special Considerations The corporate structure of your business can affect your planning. Additionally, certain businesses have heightened liability concerns, such as legal or medical practices, and asset protection planning may be more important than in other fields. Estate Planning Documents If you have no Estate Planning documents at all, the Florida Statutes determine how your business is managed and sold after your death. If you have a Last Will and Testament, the probate judge will appoint someone to run the business, and the probate court will have continuing administrative control over the business until it is sold. Management of the business via the probate court can be time-consuming and expensive – meaning it may be a long time before your family receives any financial benefit.If properly utilized, a trust can ensure you select the individuals who will control the business after your death and provide guidance about your wishes for the continuation or management of the business. The correct trust-based plan for your business may include revocable and/or irrevocable trusts and must be developed with the advice of legal counsel with expertise in Estate Planning and business succession planning. The Eastman Law Firm(913) 908-91137450 W 130th St Ste. 145Overland Park KS 66213Hours: Mon-Sat 8am – 5:30pm See our directory page here and here and our profile here.