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After years of grafting to build the business up, it’s hardly surprising that business owners might struggle to retire. All that work can translate into a serious emotional attachment, especially when it’s your name above the door.

Hollywood would have us believe that passing the business on to a family member is the ideal solution, though sadly it’s not always realistic. There might not be anyone available, or willing to take on the job.

Fortunately, there are a few options which might help when the time to retire from your own business comes round.

Sell it on to a worthy buyer

One of the most obvious and sensible options is to sell the business – otherwise known as ‘disposal’. This will ensure that it continues to run even in your absence, as well as making some money for the retirement fund.

You might even consider selling your business to a competitor. If the fight for market dominance has been fierce then take a minute before dismissing the idea out of hand. They finally get your market share, and you get its cash value.

Pass it onto somebody ‘in the biz’

By ‘in the biz’ we don’t mean Liza Minnelli or Kanye West, unless of course showbiz is the nature of your business. Instead, this might be an existing partner who already knows the ins and outs of the business well.

Failing that, members of your staff might want first refusal, whether you plan to gift it or sell.

There’s always voluntary liquidation

Voluntary liquidation is the closing down of a business that you no longer wish to keep running. It involves dissolving all assets and paying off all employees according to legal regulation, so can end up being quite a costly process.

Retiring from your own business

Whatever road you choose to go down, the relinquishing of ownership can be a real emotional challenge. A succession plan usually works better, and certainly feels better, if it’s a well thought out process over many years – not an emergency response or knee-jerk reaction.

It could also be worth considering the option of staying involved as a mentor or consultant. That way, you won’t have to cut ties altogether and can feel the benefits of a more gradual departure, whilst passing on your legacy.

However you decide to retire from your business, having your finances in order is essential. If you’d like to speak to one of the team about our accounting and bookkeeping services, get in touch. Call us on 020 3355 4047 or send an email to

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About The Author

Stephanie Whalley

Serial snacker, compulsive cocktail sipper and full time wordsmith with a penchant for alliteration, all things marketing and pineapple on pizza.

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