Entrepreneurs Aged Over 60 Urged to Plan Exit Strategies

Business directors have been warned that it could take years to make a business ready for a trade sale, rather than a few months

Entrepreneurs Aged Over 60 Urged to Plan Exit Strategies

With a third of UK business directors now aged 60 or over, Moore Stephens has issued a report urging older entrepreneurs to plan their exit strategy.

Surveying 403,000 directors on the boards of 83,000 small enterprises, the accounting and advisory firm found that the average age of small enterprise directors today is 54 – suggesting that many will need to consider retirement plans in the near future.

The report flagged that there is a misconception among business owners when it comes to exiting; many business directors said that they estimated it would only take a few months to get their company ready for a trade sale, when in fact it could take years.

Moore Stephens has advised business owners to set up a trust well in advance of retirement, as well as looking at potential tax reliefs such as Entrepreneurs’ Relief and Business Property Relief.

Steve Wheeler, a partner in the private client services team at Moore Stephens, said:

“Small business owners often find it difficult to plan ahead for their exit from the business, but with retirement now imminent for such a large number, it’s vital that they do so. For those who have spent a lifetime nurturing their companies and watching them grow, it can be very hard to let go. Their businesses are like their children.

“Company owners frequently either don’t feel ready to address this issue until it is almost upon them or they are too busy with day-to-day operations to worry about it. If they take a forward-thinking approach, they can control the process to make sure that when they step down, they do so on the most advantageous terms for them.”

Are you planning an exit for your small business? Here’s what you need to know.

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