Transferring Ownership of your Business – What are Your Options?

Are you ready to retire and travel the world, or have your children take over the family business? There are many reasons that people decide to transfer ownership of their business. A trusted advisor can help you decide which option is the best for you and ensure that the transfer is smooth sailing.


Transferring Ownership of your business- your options


Where do I begin?

Plan your exit strategy ahead of time. When you’re ready to sell or close your business, having a plan for the succession or transfer of ownership will not only benefit you, your family, business partners and employees; it will also help to create stability if unexpected circumstances like financial hardship, injury, disability or death occur. A business succession plan is often included in estate planning for this very reason.


Most business owners have several options when it comes to transferring ownership. There are several ways to do this:


Outright Sale

Selling your business outright is the best way to make a quick exit and get cash. When you sell a business in full, ownership is transferred immediately and you receive payment for your assets right away.


Gradual Sale

A gradual sale is a flexible option that is useful when selling your business to partners or employees. After transferring business ownership, you no longer have to worry about running the business but will still receive a monthly income from the sale. This option benefits buyers who cannot afford an outright sale but are able to finance a long-term payment plan.


Lease Agreement

If you want to take a leave of absence from your business, a lease agreement will allow you to transfer ownership for a set amount of time. When you transfer business ownership through a lease, you commit to a contract that outlines its conditions and the payments you’ll receive during the time someone else has rights to the business.


Transferring a Family Business

Again, proactive succession planning can ensure a smooth transfer of your business to family members. Tax implications such as estate and gift taxes can often arise.  Seeking the counsel of knowledgeable lawyers will help to ensure all bases are covered to your benefit and the benefit of your successors.


Creating a Sales Agreement

One of the keys to a successful sale of your business is a well-crafted sales agreement. It is important that the agreement contains all the terms of the purchase. Have your contract lawyer create an agreement that includes the specifics of everything you intend to sell, which can include assets, customer lists and intellectual property. The agreement will also outline any contingencies or conditions that must be met to complete the sale.


Type of Business

Your type of business will affect the steps that are required to transfer ownership. The tax implications of your transfer will differ as well.  Rules for sole proprietors, partnerships, LLCs, and corporations require different actions that are specific to the circumstances of the transfer.


Whatever your final decision may be, Carosella & Associates’ knowledgeable, experienced lawyers in West Chester, PA can help to make the transfer of ownership of your business a straightforward and low-stress process, allowing you to focus on new endeavors that may lie ahead.

Legal Help for Small Businesses in Chester County – Carosella & Associates


Chester County Lawyers, Legal help for businesses in Chester County, CarosellaProtecting and helping your small business grow can be vital when it comes to its future prosperity. Whether you need a simple contract or are considering a complicated merger, Carosella & Associates’ experienced and knowledgeable attorneys can help your business thrive.

Business Lawyers

We have decades of experience in assisting business clients with a multitude of legal issues. If you plan to retire, sell or pass your small business on to your family, our attorneys can also help you create a business succession plan that will protect your interests and help to make your exit plan successful.

Business Entity Formation

The structure of an organization can have long-term consequences throughout the life of the business. Personal liability, company liability, tax implications and future management decisions such as succession or dissolution will vary depending on the type of entity you choose.

Our qualified attorneys can help you determine which type of entity formation will best fit your needs.  After your business entity is formed and registered we can also assist with the drafting of bylaws, stockholder agreements and other common business agreements. Our business attorneys can help with the formation of:

  • S corporations
  • Joint ventures
  • Limited liability companies
  • Nonprofit corporations
  • Partnerships
  • Professional corporations
  • C corporations
  • Mergers and acquisitions

Intellectual Property Protection

Depending on the type of business, protecting your intellectual property rights often play a vital role in the success of an organization. Our lawyers have extensive experience in drafting license and royalty agreements, trademark and copyright registration, and the sale and transfer of intellectual property.


Our business attorneys are well-versed in bankruptcy law and the types of bankruptcy that are out there. We can help you understand and determine whether bankruptcy may be your best option.

Real Estate

The purchase, sale, development and leasing of real estate  can affect your bottom line in many ways. Our experienced attorneys can help to facilitate a smooth transaction and ensure that the interests of the buyer, seller, lessor, and/or lessee are protected.

Litigation Avoidance

One of the most important elements of business planning is to incorporate litigation avoidance strategies that can stop problems before they start. Our creative and experienced team of business lawyers will work hard to negotiate and settle disputes before they become court cases.

Contracts Lawyers

Contracts have formed the legal basis of business transactions for centuries. Our qualified and knowledgeable contracts lawyers can negotiate and draft enforceable contracts that appropriately cover all aspects of your transaction.

The types of contracts our attorneys may draft include:

• intellectual property licensing agreements

• buying or selling shares in corporations

• buying or selling a business or corporation

• loan and financing agreements

• real estate sale, purchase and investment agreements

• letters of intent

• non-compete agreements

• separation/severance and release agreements


Whether you are a plaintiff or defendant, if a business deal goes south our skilled attorneys can negotiate a fair termination of the agreement to ensure your interests are well protected.


 If you are in need of legal services for your business, please contact one of our convenient locations in West Chester, Delaware County or Montgomery Country for a complimentary half-hour consultation.