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business transfers
The Business Transfer Spectrum

Most brokers offer just one or two ways to sell a business. These intermediaries typically recommend the business should be sold to outside, unknown buyers, regardless of the owner's goals. This advice hurts many owners, because they are not made aware of the dozens of options available to transfer part or all of their business.

The business transfer spectrum depicts the various transfer alternatives. Transfer channels represent the highest level of choice for private owners. Owner motives are the basis for selecting transfer channels. Transfer methods, the actual techniques used to transfer a business interest, are grouped under transfer channels.

An owner has seven transfer channels from which to choose. The channels are: Employees; Charitable trusts; Family; Co-owners; Outside - retire; Outside - continue; and, Going public. The choice of channel is manifested by the owner's motives and goals. For instance, owners wishing to transfer the business to children choose the Family transfer channel. Owners who desire to transfer the business to an outsider then retire choose the Outside - retire channel, and so on.

Each transfer channel contains numerous transfer methods. A transfer method is the actual technique used to transfer a business interest. For example, grantor retained annuity trusts, private auctions, and recapitalizations are methods by which an interest is transferred.

Robertson & Foley considers and delivers the entire business transfer spectrum. We believe owners should choose the transfer method that best meets their goals, rather than limit their options because of an intermediary's lack of knowledge or experience.

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