Archives: Growth & Exit Strategies

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Event Recap: The 12 Most Common Mistakes to Avoid in Selling Your Business

Funnel flow flat line style concept illustration

DWT recently hosted “The 12 Most Common Mistakes to Avoid in Selling Your Business,” a seminar examining the common challenges affecting owners of family and closely held businesses on the subject of succession and estate planning. The seminar was led by a team of panelists, including DWT attorneys Keith Baldwin and Matt Loftin, Kristofer Gray with I… Continue Reading

Top Ten Seller Mistakes

Funnel flow flat line style concept illustration

In his recently published book, Perfect your Exit Strategy:  Seven Steps to Maximum Value, Seattle investment banker Thomas Metz highlights what he sees as the top ten mistakes made by sellers of businesses.  Family-owned businesses are not immune from these mistakes.  We present a brief summary of the list with Mr. Metz’s permission:

  1.  Confusing Pr
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The Difficulty of Succession Planning

Choosing the right person from a group

Andrew Keyt is an internationally known family business strategist and succession planning expert.

On June 1st, 2016, the Wall Street Journal published an interview with Mr. Keyt that highlights some very honest difficulties of succession planning for businesses.

Mr. Keyt answers questions on how Millennials could impact the future of America’s … Continue Reading

Family Business in China – Is There A Succession Crisis?

Blog Post 10.27 Succession in China

In September, Gary Locke, former U.S. Ambassador to China, Secretary of Commerce and two-term Governor of the State of Washington, returned to Davis Wright Tremaine as a Senior Advisor.

Ambassador Locke’s return sparked a question among our attorneys about family business in China and how it compares to family business operations in the United States… Continue Reading

Valuing Interests in the Family Business


Let’s say…Eli Jordan founded Jordan Family Farms.  He now runs the business and each of his three children, Chris, Megan and Mark own a minority interest.  Chris decides he has other opportunities and wants to remove himself from the family business.  To do so, he must sell his interest.  What should Chris expect to receive for his interest?

On one l… Continue Reading

Deferred Payments and Earnouts – A Potential Source of Family Discord

third party analysis of business purchase options

Let’s assume you are selling the family business.  In order to get the best terms and price, you may not be able to negotiate the full purchase price in cash up front.  More likely, some portion of the purchase price will be placed in escrow for a period of time to secure any potential post-closing claims a buyer might have.  Also, some of the purchase price … Continue Reading

Leading the Family

Lessons in selling the family business

Selling or transitioning a family business can be a daunting task – especially for those individuals trying to lead the process on behalf of their family. The challenges can result from the multiple owners and stake-holders of the business, the family dynamics that run through all conversations, and the greater or lesser psychological connection cert… Continue Reading

Guide to Company Exit Strategies

PriceWaterhouseCoopers transition

Our frequent partner in assisting family businesses, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, created a series – Realizing Shareholder Value: Private Company Exit Strategies – to help guide privately-held business owners in the development and execution of effective exit strategies. In this first installment of the series, the authors introduce some of the ba… Continue Reading

How to Exit Your Business Successfully

Successful exit worksheet

Family business owners all want a successful “exit,” but often fail to take timely action to ensure a successful transition. All too often, a lack of planning leads to less than desirable results, many times jeopardizing the continuation of the business. The comprehensive worksheet below is an excellent starting point for planning a successful exit… Continue Reading