Preparing Your Business For The Unexpected In Minnesota

Sep 22, 2014 | Minnesota Business Planning, Minnesota Estate Planning

For many small business owners in Minnesota, typical business planning centers on where you are now and how to ensure growth in the future. What often goes overlooked, however, is how to properly protect your business after you are gone.
Sure, you may have thought about who will take over in the event of retirement, but have you thought about what would happen if you became incapacitated or unexpectedly pass away?

For many people, their business is their greatest asset. Certainly you want the peace of mind knowing your business will stay protected and produce income to support your family if the unthinkable happens. Planning now can help ensure your business will go on to survive without you instead of falling apart because you’re no longer at the helm.

Here are four easy steps which will help you create a plan to protect your business now, as well as into the unforeseeable future:

Step One: Choose a Successor for Your Business
Again, you’ll need a successor for retirement, but other unexpected situations can arise, too. By having someone you trust lined up who is prepared to take the reins should it become necessary, you can ensure your business stays running during an otherwise chaotic time.

Step Two: Share the Knowledge
All too often, the business owner is the only person who is privy to the information and details necessary to make your business run. If you’re keeping everything “in your head,” then how can your employees keep things running in your absence?
It’s time to gather up all this information and put it into a format which others can use should they need to step in and fulfill your role. This doesn’t mean you need to share trade secrets with every employee; it just means you should create a good outline of how things work and make it accessible to someone you trust.
If your business requires a licensed professional to run it, such as accounting, real estate or law, make sure you have a backup if your employees don’t have the required license.

Step Three: Know Your Assets
It’s a good idea to understand the overall value of your business. Creating an inventory of assets is a good start in this process. In today’s age, many assets are not even tangible items but are digital in nature—such as web properties, online accounts, and more. Talk to a business attorney in Minnesota if you need help with the inventory and assessment process.

Step Four: Work with an Attorney
To solidify your ideas and ensure you are planning within the confines of the law, you’ll want to sit down with a business planning attorney here in Minnesota who is familiar with local laws and regulations.

Your Minnesota business lawyer will help you draw up legal documentation which provides direction for your business when you are no longer able to retain control. It also helps to establish your true intentions and limit the amount of challenges others may face later on down the road.

If you’re ready to get started creating such a plan for your business, please feel free to call our Monticello business planning law firm at 763-244-2949 and ask to schedule your Business Strategy Session.