21% of SME Directors over retirement age

According to recent research, over a fifth of SME directors are now over the state pension age of 65, with 12% over the age of 70. For many this will be a conscious and positive choice, however for those with alternative retirement plans, it is important to start at least considering exit strategies in good time. The process can often take far longer than anticipated and rushing can jeopardise potential options and returns.

Fewer business owners want or expect their children to step into their shoes with more family members increasingly working outside the family business and not intending to take over from their parents. Young entrepreneurs are often more interested in building up their own business with a view to selling it on once it has become established.

Disposal options

With family succession becoming less of an option, business owners are faced with the problem of how to extract themselves from their business when the time comes for them to retire or move on to another venture.

Other than passing your business interests on to members of your family, the principal options for disposing of them are:

  • Selling your share in the business to your co-owners or partners
  • Selling the business to a third party
  • Public flotation or sale to a public company
  • Selling the business to the management or entire workforce
  • Winding up the business

Exit strategy

Each of these options requires careful planning. Besides the complexities of the legal arrangements, there are important matters such as valuing your share of the business and timing the disposal to minimise your tax liabilities and maximise your gains.

Lentells are able to offer advice on all aspects of implementing an exit strategy. For more information please go to http://www.lentells.co.uk/guides/business/selling-your-business/leaving-your-business.

For an informal chat on the best options for you, your company and your future call us for a no obligation meeting.


Jo Fursman jo.fursman@lentells.co.uk  Tel 01460 64441


Mike Griffiths michael.griffiths@lentells.co.uk Tel 01297 20584


Adrian Stallard adrian.stallard@lentells.co.uk Tel 01823 286274