Business Succession Planning

Atkins Dellow > Wills, Trusts, Probate > Business Succession

Business Succession Solicitors

Business Succession can be a difficult topic to discuss and present even harder decisions to make. Our expert team of Solicitors can help guide you to make the best decision for your company and beneficiaries. Get in touch with our team to arrange an obligation free consultation.

Business Succession planning is one of the most important things a business owner can plan for because of the impact that not having a plan in place would have on others. Both family members and employees that rely on your business could be left high and dry if a plan isn’t devised to secure the future of your business.

For guidance on how to create a comprehensive Business Succession plan, contact our Wills, Trusts or Probate team today on 0330 912 8338.

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Business Succession Planning Services

Our team of expert Estate Planning Solicitors can provide a range of services for business owners who are planning on how to leave their business if they were to die. These services include:


  • A properly drafted Will to ensure wishes followed on death (and avoids intestacy rules applying);
  • Implementing plans now so a business can continue running properly if the current owner loses capacity or dies;
  • Ensuring that Partnership Agreements, Shareholders’ Agreements, Articles of Association dovetail with the business owner’s Will and Lasting Powers of Attorney;
  • Creating Lasting Powers of Attorney, a usual staple of any business continuity plan.
  • Helping you decide whether your family is best placed to continue running a business, or is someone more independent better placed who might then be appointed in the Will as business executor.
  • Inheritance Tax (IHT) planning for business owners – advising on reliefs that can potentially mitigate against tax bill; Utilising Business Property Relief.
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Business Succession FAQs

What is Business Succession?

Business successions is the process of planning what should happen to your business if you pass away both in terms of immediate practical issues and ultimate passing on of ownership. There are many things to consider when making your plan. All situations are different and require a lot of attention to get right.

Who should consider Business Succession?

Every business owner. There are many forms of business ownership and all of them require a business succession plan to secure the best future for everyone involved. Whether you are a:

• Sole Trader
• Partnership
• Joint Venture
• Cooperative
• Limited Liability Company

There are so many things to consider and because no two circumstances are the same, things like: the interests of the business, employees, beneficiaries, co-owners and customers have to be taken into account in order to figure out what the best action to take is.

Orderly Sale, Business Closure or Continuity?

What happens with the business is ultimately the biggest decision to make regarding the succession of your business, but there are 3 primary options.

  • The first is selling the business and splitting the proceeds amongst the beneficiaries named in your Will.
  • The second is to close the business upon your death, having its assets sold and the money either given to beneficiaries or debtors depending on the financial state of the business.
  • The third and final option is for the business to continue to run as it currently does, but with someone else at the helm.

Deciding on the right selection, order, and implementation of some or all of these options requires careful consideration.

What are Business Succession Trusts?

In England and Wales, a Business Succession Trust is a legal arrangement designed to transfer ownership of a business, while ensuring that the business can continue to operate smoothly. The Trust is typically set up by the current owner of the business, who transfers the business assets into the Trust and designates beneficiaries who will eventually receive the assets.

The purpose of a Business Succession Trust is to provide a structured and tax-efficient way of transferring a business to the next generation, while minimising the impact of Inheritance Tax and other taxes. By transferring the business into the Trust, the current owner can retain some control over the business, while gradually transferring ownership and management responsibilities to the beneficiaries. Here are some common types of business succession trusts in England and Wales:

  • Family Trusts – Family trusts are a type of trust that is designed to benefit multiple family members, such as children or grandchildren, who may eventually take over the business.
  • Employee Ownership Trusts – An employee ownership trust (EOT) is a type of trust that allows employees to gradually acquire ownership of a business over time, often through a share ownership scheme.
  • Discretionary Trusts – A discretionary trust is a flexible type of trust that allows the trustee to distribute assets to beneficiaries at their discretion, based on the needs and circumstances of each beneficiary.

Setting up a Business Succession Trust can be complex, and it is important to seek the best professional advice. The right structure will depend on a variety of factors, including the size and complexity of the business, the goals of the current owner, and the needs of the beneficiaries. For more information about Trusts, click here to check out our Trusts page.

Can I use Business Lasting Powers of Attorney as part of my Business Succession plan?

Although the term business succession implies the death of a business owner and Lasting Powers of Attorney only apply while someone is living. It is worthwhile thinking about what would happen to your business if you lost mental capacity in the same way that you would if you were to pass away. Find out more about Business Lasting Powers of Attorney.

Can Wills be used to plan Business Succession?

Although a Will alone can’t deal with all of the complexities that come with the succession of a business when the owner passes away, it is always important to have one in place to deal with any simple business or personal matters and to ensure that your Will works in harmony with the documentation which governs your business, not in conflict with it. Find out more about our Will services here.

Business Succession is important for a variety of reasons depending on your situation, which is why you need the opinion of an expert Solicitor near you.

We have offices in Bury St Edmunds, Sudbury and London while acting for clients all over the country.

For more information about Business Succession Planning, and more importantly what is right for you, get in touch with our team today on 0330 912 8338.

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Call 0330 912 8338 to have a chat with our Business Succession experts.