Professionals say that the planning process needs to begin years in advance. A well-planned transition is more likely to go smoothly, enabling an owner to find the right buyer that’s a good fit for the business, and improving the chances of achieving the desired financial results from a transaction.

“Rather than doing it just in the last few months or the last year before they want to retire, really starting several years ahead and having that longer vision for it, that’s a big thing,” said Doug Bajor, a senior wealth management adviser at Greenleaf Trust

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