Medium-sized companies in particular are often faced with the decision of how to deal with a company succession. In the process, the question quickly arises: “How do I even approach the topic?”
While the core business is familiar territory for many entrepreneurs, the decision and structuring of succession is completely new territory. We have briefly summarized some of the most important questions here:

Why is it necessary to plan a succession at an early stage?

Important reasons that may trigger a succession are: Emergencies, due to illness, accident or death as well as reasons of age.
These account for 90% of all succession cases.

With how much advance notice to go into succession planning?

In the case of emergency-related immediate handovers, it is important to have prepared an “emergency kit” in good time. In the case of a planned handover, you should plan at least 5 years for the entire handover process.

What problems can arise in the handover process?

  • 80 % of transferors do not deal with the issue in time
  • 78% of transferors are unable to let go emotionally
  • In 75 % of the cases, the transferor and the transferee have diverging purchase price ideas
  • 72 % cannot agree on the determination of the company value
  • 67 % of the transferors do not have a clear objective
  • and many more

What are the succession options?

A) Traditional: Company stays in the family
Just under half of all businesses up for succession are handed over to family members. The succession options:

  • Step-by-step transfer against payment or free of charge through participation in a partnership or corporation
  • Anticipated succession or donation
  • Intended succession by will or contract of inheritance
  • Legal succession
  • Consideration of usufruct or compensation payments

B) Transitional solution: Separation of company ownership & management

  • Use of an outside director (from outside or inside)
  • Formation of a corporation
  • Lease of the company

C) Complete purchase of the company

  • Asset deal
  • Share deal
  • Management buy-out (MBO)
  • Management buy-in (MBI)
  • Leveraged buy-out (LBO)

As you can see, even in this brief overview, there are many different options for planning a business succession and setting it up correctly. That is why we have addressed the most important questions with our ACCONSIS experts. Our experts will be happy to provide you with advice based on their many years of experience.

The right time for business succession?

The right time – if there is one at all – is determined by a variety of indicators. In addition to the business and economic environment, the family and personal situation of the entrepreneur must also be taken into consideration. Basically, however, it can be said that one can never deal with the topic early enough.

When should business succession planning begin?

In principle, every entrepreneur should have “Plan B” (e.g. the emergency case) in his or her pocket. Unforeseen events should be taken into account in advance to the extent that every entrepreneur has a solution ready for his or her company. This also or especially applies in difficult times.

When planning succession, the business environment and the structure of the company must be examined. If necessary, adjustments must be made to the upcoming succession. Only with a clear concept can the search for a suitable successor be started.

The succession options are manifold. Both within the family, but also from outside.

The choice of a suitable successor very often determines the process of company succession. If the successor can be found within the family, the succession must also take into account inheritance and family law aspects. Under certain circumstances, aspects of professional law are also decisive.

If the suitable successor is a third party – possibly also a deserving employee, the correct value of the company is a decisive parameter. A market value assessment is the basis for structuring the sale process in a tax-optimized manner.

Is the provision for the entrepreneur secured?

The central concern of every successful company succession is the provision for the entrepreneur handing over the business.

Both the financial parameters and the social standing play an important role in the handover of the company. Letting go and yet perhaps continuing to participate determine the many variants of corporate succession.

The right course must be set here.

Your ACCONSIS contact person

Christoph Zelaskowski


Christoph Zelaskowski
Geschäftsführer der ACCONSIS

+49 89 547143
or by e-mail

Our recommendation:

We accompany you during the business analysis in the run-up to the decision of the company succession. We then work with you to structure the legal and tax requirements up to the successful handover of your company.

We will be happy to advise you individually and work with you to find the solution that suits you best. So that your life’s work is well positioned for the future.

Please feel free to contact us – we look forward to talking to you.