Succession Planning for the Small Business Owner: Finding the Exit Ramp


The life cycle of the small business can be summed up in three segments: 1) starting the business; 2) operating the business; and 3) getting out of the business. This course focuses on getting out of the business. The most elusive element of owning a small business can be finding the proper exit strategy. This course is designed to provide the business consulting practitioner with tools and concepts to advise the small business owner and assist them in developing the right exit strategy. The course covers exit strategies related to third-party sales and succession planning within a family.


How to find unrelated buyers of a business Maintaining control of the business succession process Turning over the reins to family members: when to give up control Finding the right team to sell a business Options for selling a business to an unrelated party Options for selling a business to family members Options for selling a business to employees Overcoming the emotional attachment to a business Selling to family members for a life annuity Using family partnerships and trusts to transfer a business


Understand the process of selling a business from finding a buyer to completing the sale Understand how business brokers operate and the fees that they charge Discuss the difference between selling the business and leaving the business: the transition period Protect the seller's interest in a seller-financed sale Understand how estate planning and family succession of a business interact Understand the use of discounts in transfers of ownership interests to family members Discuss when to turn over operations while maintaining control of a family business: drawing distributions from the business for retirement and receiving a step-up in basis at death Understand various structuring options for family business succession

Designed For

Practitioners with small business clients that will eventually sell that business to third parties or family members that need advice regarding exiting the business


Michael Reilly

Michael E. Reilly, CPA, is a sole practitioner with offices in West Chester, PA.

In addition to maintaining his practice, Mr. Reilly has been an adjunct professor at several colleges and was a visiting professor of Economics and Business at Lafayette College. He was also the CFO for a large insurance agency in Delaware County, PA, and was a licensed insurance agent in Pennsylvania.

Mr. Reilly earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration with an accounting concentration from Temple University and his master of taxation degree from Villanova University School of Law. He also holds the Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) certifications. In 2016, he received the Surgent Outstanding Discussion Leader Award because of his consistently high evaluations for knowledge and presentation skills.