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Succession Planning for the Small Business Owner: Finding the Exit Ramp


(Check-In 7:30am)

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Fairmont Hot Springs Resort

1500 Fairmont Rd
Fairmont, MT 59711

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4.00 Credits

Member Price $150.00

Price will increase by $25 after 10/18

Non-Member Price $175.00

Price will increase by $25 after 10/18


The life cycle of the small business can be summed up in three segments:  1) starting the business; 2) operating the business; and 3) getting out of the business.  This course focuses on getting out of the business. The most elusive element of owning a small business can be finding the proper exit strategy.  This course is designed to provide the business consulting practitioner with tools and concepts to advise the small business owner and assist them in developing the right exit strategy.  The course covers exit strategies related to third-party sales and succession planning within a family.


  • How to find unrelated buyers of a business
  • Maintaining control of the business succession process
  • Turning over the reins to family members: when to give up control
  • Finding the right team to sell a business
  • Options for selling a business to an unrelated party
  • Options for selling a business to family members
  • Options for selling a business to employees
  • Overcoming the emotional attachment to a business
  • Selling to family members for a life annuity
  • Using family partnerships and trusts to transfer a business


A basic understanding of business entity types and taxation of sales of businesses.

Designed For

Practitioners with small business clients that will eventually sell that business to third parties or family members that need advice regarding exiting the business


After attending this presentation you will be able to:

  • Understand the process of selling a business from finding a buyer to completing the sale
  • Understand how business brokers operate and the fees that they charge
  • Discuss the difference between selling the business and leaving the business: the transition period
  • Protect the seller's interest in a seller-financed sale
  • Understand how estate planning and family succession of a business interact
  • Understand the use of discounts in transfers of ownership interests to family members
  • Discuss when to turn over operations while maintaining control of a family business: drawing distributions from the business for retirement and receiving a step-up in basis at death
  • Understand various structuring options for family business succession




Leader Bios

Don Cochran, Nichols Patrick CPE Inc

Don Cochran, JD, CPA, CFP®, CRC® has twenty-nine years experience as a lawyer and CPA adding financial planning in 2008 and retirement planning to his areas of expertise in 2008. He has developed and presented seminars and training for financial professionals and the public, including technical presentations on recent tax law changes and advanced planning techniques for wealthy individuals and closely held businesses. Don is a member of the Minnesota and Iowa State Bar Associations, the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants.

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Non-Member Price $175.00

Member Price $150.00