14 August 2000

Keeping it in the Family – SME Family Business Succession

FEE has published Keeping it in the family with the assistance of ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants).

The purpose of this paper started because all too often business thrive on the energy of founders who make no plans for the future. When they retire, the new generation of owners may be totally unprepared or unsuited for its new responsibilities, or just not interested. As a result, a viable business may be sold at a low sale price to a competitor or may drift from growth to survival to failure. Employees’ jobs may be lost; many of the rest will see the warning signs and leave, taking key skills and knowledge with them.

Effective succession planning will minimise the threat posed to the business and to family wealth by generational change. By thinking ahead pitfalls can be avoided.

The study focuses on the way of keeping the SME Business in the family from a legal, financial, fiscal, and psychological point of view.

This guide is ideally intended for accountants to give to their clients as part of a process of a structured review of succession issues.

The study includes several examples in order to clarify and show real practicalities of its contents.

There are useful checklists in each chapter in order to not forget key issues during the succession plan and the succession process.

Position Paper


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