How to create a business continuity plan
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's business continuity plan2 template includes several steps for evaluating the impact of various risks on your business — and developing a strategy to recover from those risks.
To develop a plan that also addresses what will happen when you die or if you're suddenly unable to run your business, SCORE, a network ofbusiness mentors, suggests the following steps:3
- Create a written buy-sell agreement to protect all business partners in the event of an accident, illness, or death. A buy-sell agreement4 is a legally binding document that controls how the shares would be sold or transferred if you die or become incapacitated.
- Create a document – and keep it updated – with account numbers and contact information for resources such as lines of credit, financial accounts, vendors, customers, file sharing access, passwords, email, and social media accounts relevant to the business. In your absence, your business partners and heirs need complete access to all of these to effectively continue to manage your business.
- Consider backing your buy-sell agreement with a life insurance policy5 designed to be used by your partners to buy your share of the business from your estate if you die.
- Develop a clear succession plan. (See above.)
- Revisit the business continuity plan regularly to address changes in the business or personal life of partners, heirs, and potential successors.
With proper advance planning and appropriate documentation, your business can thrive even when you're gone and be a source of support for your heirs — whether they end up running or sell your portion and use the cash to better their futures.
Contact Synovus Private Wealth to begin your estate plan.