Course Description

This course is designed to aid business owners and managers in their approaching to planning for retirement or career change after they have begun a successive business. Data from 2023 indicate that the majority of business owners do NOT successfully plan for their retirement, and often miss the most opportune time to sell or step back from their business. This class discusses, compares and contrast the various methods for business owners to exit from their small business. The choice of exit determines whether a retirement will be successfully funded, or whether a business will continue or be sold.

Course Outline

I. What is the retirement you seek? (Goals for one's life and career after exiting the business.)
II. Who to assume helm? (Methods of leadership transfer, succession training, slow or immediate transfer, family).
III. Why you desire an exit at all?
IV. When and how to sell a business - the basics.
V. How to avoid future problems by preparing, then letting go.

Learner Outcomes

Participants will:

  • Understand the importance of planning their exit/retirement well in advance.
  • be able to better comprehend the various methods of exiting their business.
  • be able to design comprehensive exit strategies and succession training for the business leadership.
  • be better able to analyze the financial impact of business transfer, business sale, or business closure.
  • be able to judge potential risks in staying on as advisor, verses leaving immediately, and considering the cost-benefit analysis of proceeding  with the business continuing, the business being cold, or the business being terminated.


A Public Service and Outreach Unit of the University of Georgia. Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All programs of the UGA SBDC are open to the public on a non-discriminatory basis. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance.
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