As a business owner, you will likely eventually sell your share of the business. This can happen due to other obligations, health reasons, or a simple wish to retire and move on to different ventures.

Once you reach that point, what are your options? How do you pass your business down? And which option will work best for your needs?

Selling your business

Fit Small Business discusses five potential ways to pass on ownership of your business. Many revolve around selling the business or your share of it. For example, you could sell to a co-owner or key employee. If you choose this, you get the advantage of knowing the buyer on a personal level. You have worked with them and know their work ethic and principles. But a co-owner or key employee may not want the responsibility and pressure of running the entire business on their own.

You could thus sell to the company itself if there are multiple owners. Once you share your interests to the company, the remaining owners can redistribute them. Barring these options, you can also sell to an outside party. This guarantees you get your money. But you do not get to know what type of business owners will take over in your stead. This is a risk many people do not want to take.

Passing your business down

Finally, you can pass ownership interests to a family member. This allows you to keep the business family-run, to which there are many benefits. It also lets you avoid the kerfuffle of selling and buying. But a relative may not want to take the reigns, so you must prepare for this possibility, too.