Selling a business – When to get personal wealth advice?

September 26, 2022

The best time to seek personal wealth advice – When should you start planning your financial future?


When the time comes to sell your business, it’s sensible to surround yourself with the best professionals. After all, most individuals will only ever sell one business, and you’ll want your trusted “deal team” to have a strong track record with similar sales.


At the forefront will be your corporate finance partner (like the good people at Bluebox Corporate Finance), who will value the business and find a buyer. You’ll also rely on an accountant (to keep the numbers straight) and a lawyer (to make sure that the contracts are watertight).


But have you considered your personal wealth planning?

With these key players in place, have you also considered who will help you with your personal wealth planning? If not, why not? Most commonly, it’s due to time.


We understand that your time is a precious resource. Once the transaction is underway, there are many plates to keep spinning: you must ensure the business continues to thrive, keep key staff onside, negotiate the best possible financial deal, and respond to data requests from the buyer. But planning your financial future is one of the most valuable uses of your time.


When should you speak to a personal finance professional? 

Ideally, laying the foundations for a sound financial plan would start before the formal sale process begins. At this stage, your adviser would start by:

  • Reviewing the corporate share ownership structure
  • Aligning your finances with your future aspirations
  • Using cash flow modelling to determine how much income you’ll need to support your desired lifestyle
  • Evaluating which tax-efficient investment wrappers (such as ISAs or pensions) might be most useful.


Once negotiations begin, there will be further key questions to answer to feed into your plan:

  • How will the purchase be paid for: on completion, or in instalments?
  • Will the proceeds be received in cash, or are other financial instruments included, such as loan notes or company stock?
  • How can assets be sensibly allocated for the future?
  • Is this an opportunity to provide financially for others?


Is it ever too late to seek financial advice?

If these early steps have been missed, there’s no need to panic. In the months leading up to the sale, there are still plenty of opportunities to review your financial situation. A good adviser can work quickly and efficiently with your other professional service firms to prioritise objectives such as:

  • Replacing the income you have been taking from the business
  • Meeting immediate capital requirements
  • Retirement, estate planning, and other long-term considerations.


If you wait until after the sale, some planning opportunities may have been missed, but there is still plenty more to do, including:

  • Setting long-term financial goals
  • Considering where to hold the cash from the sale (or shares if this was part of the deal)
  • Determining a sensible investment mix based on your financial objectives and risk appetite
  • Managing your future tax liabilities
  • Considering lending and foreign exchange arrangements to help fund asset purchases based on immediate and future pay-outs.


So, when is the best time to speak with a private wealth professional? The simple answer is: as soon as possible. Even if you feel like the ideal moment has passed, remember that it’s never too late to seek sound financial advice.


Dan Hall, Senior Investment Director at Investec Wealth & Investment UK


Important information

The information contained in this publication does not constitute a personal recommendation and the investment or investment services referred to may not be suitable for all investors; therefore we strongly recommend you consult your Professional Adviser before taking any action. Tax treatment depends on the individual circumstances of each client and may be subject to change in future. All statements concerning tax treatment are based upon our understanding of current tax law and HMRC practise and can be subject to change. Opinions, interpretations and conclusions represent our judgement as of this date and are subject to change. The value of investments can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount invested.

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