Business owners have a lot at stake when it comes to passing down their business. How will you pick the right successor? How will you ensure that your goals and values get passed down properly? Though you may be tempted to sit on it for some time, it is actually better to handle succession matters immediately.

Inc.com takes a look at why business owners should start their succession planning as soon as possible, regardless of current plans for the future. First of all, you, unfortunately, can’t predict every twist and turn that life will take. While you may intend to wait until you’re well into retirement age to relinquish ownership of your company onto the next successor, there is no way to tell when life will get in your way. Business owners who find themselves incapacitated through illness, accidents or other big life events will need to already have that business succession plan in place.

In fact, they suggest having it in place “from day one.” It is better to be prepared than caught unaware. Due to the unpredictable nature of running a business, it is a good idea to be prepared for every situation. Therefore, consider things like:

  • Who you want to succeed you
  • How you want your company to function after your passing
  • Key values and other points you want upheld
  • How you wish for matters to be handled if your successor chooses to pass it on

Creating a business succession plan takes time and an experienced legal eye, so also keep that in mind as you consider the right time to start drafting yours.