We turn the calendar and we face the unknown. For some, it is a time of excitement and anticipation while for others, a source of uncertainty and foreboding.
What will the New Year bring for you and your business? More importantly, are you taking charge to make 2023 your year?
If selling your business is top of mind for 2023, there are three points to consider:
- Your business COVID-19 story
As the saying goes, nothing is certain, but death and taxes. As we look ahead, it is certain that tax rates will increase as tax laws are set to expire. This includes the expiration of tax laws that promoted business deductions (e.g., Section 199A) for select industries, directly increasing tax liability of businesses in the coming years. Additionally, the Massachusetts Millionaires Tax went into effect this year.
If you are thinking about selling this year or prior to the expiration of such tax incentives at the end of 2025, now is the time to review and revise plans for your business including tax and estate planning. Gifting shares is an effective way to transfer ownership of your business to the next generation or to trusted employees, while effectively managing tax consequences.
Your Business COVID-19 Story
We now have enough data to tell your business COVID-19 story. Just like back in 2001, 2003 and 2007, there is sufficient evidence to determine which of the following five categories describes your business COVID-19 story:
- Wounded and will die
- Wounded and will recover
- Not affected
- Temporarily did better and then levelled off. (e.g., restaurants that pivoted to focus on take-out)
- Did better and then turned success into a strategic advantage, gaining market share.
What category represents how your business did? As business valuation professionals, we now have enough data from the start of the pandemic through today to tell your COVID-19 story. Sufficient data of nearly three full years supports presenting the impact of such unusual times while reporting how your business performed as the months continued. The data will tell your COVID-19 story and the business valuation will present the objective details of your businesses performance over time.
As we know, the pandemic was the last straw for many baby boomers, who sold and retired at a record setting pace. Understandably, the pandemic was a reality check; a vivid reminder of the fragility of life and the importance of aligning values and priorities with one’s work life. This priority remains important which leads to the third consideration: demand.
The most common concern of a business owner is often, who would be interested in buying my business? If you are considering selling your business, you can assume there is interest in your business. Demand is there and it falls into two primary categories:
- Buying a job: many buyers are looking to buy their next job. The pandemic raised the focus of achieving that elusive ‘balance’ and where businesses are forcing a return to the office or ramping up travel or other demands, individuals are balking and seeking to buy a lifestyle that suits their priorities.
- Private equity firms: there is a lot of money held by private equity firms seeking to acquire businesses.
For most business owners, the process to sell does not happen within a 12-month period. It is a longer process to address and improve the balance sheet, develop a succession plan, and focus on driving value. However, that does not mean that this cannot be your year. Three key considerations, briefly described above, all point to the favorability of making 2023 the year to act. Taxes will increase so you have a window of opportunity. Your COVID-19 story is known, and there is likely demand.
Should this year be your year, contact us if we can assist you in achieving your goals by developing a business valuation.
When Values Matter.