Business planning tends to revolve around where your business is right now and where you want it to be in the future. However, there is one aspect of business planning that many Orange County business owners overlook – what happens if you die unexpectedly.

For a lot of people, a business is their biggest asset. Certainly, you want to make sure it’s protected for future generations.  By planning now, you can make sure that your business will go on to survive without you instead of falling apart if you are suddenly unable to run it.

Step One:  Choose a Successor for Your Business

Business owners often think of a successor in terms of their own retirement. But, what happens if you pass away suddenly? Would this be the same person? Having someone you trust lined up who is prepared to take the reins quickly, should it become necessary, will 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 all the information it really takes to make the business run.  If you’re keeping everything “in your head,” how can your employees keep things running in your absence?  It’s time to gather up operational information that others may need should they be forced to step in and fulfill your role.  This doesn’t mean you need to share trade secrets with every employee; it just means that you should at least have a good blueprint for how things work that is accessible to the person or people who will need it if the time comes.

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 professional if you need help assessing your assets.

Step Four:  Work with an Orange County Business Attorney

To solidify your ideas and ensure that you are planning within the scope of the law, you’ll want to sit down with a business planning attorney here in Orange County who is familiar with local laws and regulations.  Your attorney will help you draw up legal documentation that provides direction for your business when you are no longer able to retain control.  It also helps to establish your true intentions and limits the amount of challenges others may face later down the road.

If you’re ready to get started creating such a plan for your business, call our law firm at (949) 260-1400 and ask to schedule a complimentary business planning consultation.