Succession Planning: Ways to Transfer Ownership of Your Women's Health Business

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Succession Planning

Part 1: Ways to Transfer Ownership of Your Women’s Health Small Business

By Mark Higley, VP of Regulatory Affairs, VGM Government Relations

Note: “Part I” of this article was originally posted by Essentially Women (and follows below) in 2020.  By request, we have included additional important – and detailed - information to assist women’s health small business owners create an appropriate succession plan.  

Business succession planning is a series of logistical and financial decisions about who will take over your business upon retirement, death, or disability. The first step is to identify the ideal successor to take over your women’s health business, then determine the best selling arrangement.

There are 4 common ways to transfer ownership of your business:

  1. Co-owner — Selling your shares or ownership interests to a co-owner(s)
  2. Heir — Passing ownership interests to a family member.
  3. Key Employee — Selling your business to a key employee.
  4. Outside Party — Selling your business to an entrepreneur outside your organization.

The “Succession Plan”

Succession plans are commonly associated with retirement, although they also serve an important function earlier in the business lifespan: If anything unexpected happens to you or a co-owner, a succession plan can help reduce headaches, drama, and monetary loss as your business grapples with a transition.

A succession plan makes it clear who will take over the business, reducing any potential disputes between parties. If a purchase is involved, the sale price and purchase terms are also clearly outlined, relieving some of the stress for the departing owner’s family.

In other words, a well-crafted succession plan aims to benefit everybody— the departing owner, their family, the business, and the successor.


The full succession planning guide is available to EW members under resources in the myEW portal. 

Part 1: Ways to Transfer Ownership
Part 2: Steps to Write a Succession Plan
Succession Planning Template

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