Finn Mauritzen's Blog (34)

The Role of Values When Selling a Business

Price and capital gains tax avoidance are the biggest concerns for small business owners, right? Yes, until they realize that personal value also matter. Converting to  worker cooperative practically guarantees that the new owner will not change everything, move production elsewhere or lay off all the workers. Don't sell your…


Added by Finn Mauritzen on October 15, 2019 at 10:19am — No Comments

Who really decides the value of your business?

Lots of small business owners have almost all their assets tied up in the business and most of them have no idea how much it is worth. That could mean trouble when it is time to retire. What is your business worth?

Added by Finn Mauritzen on October 8, 2019 at 11:11am — No Comments

What Kind of Business Are You?

Exit planning for small business is different depending on what kind of business you own. Solopreneurs and serialpreneurs rarely need to worry about this. Their exit is more or less built into their business model. For the thousands of small business owners who may have a few to a few dozen employees, it is another matter. They need exit planning. Here is how:…


Added by Finn Mauritzen on September 30, 2019 at 2:33pm — No Comments

Do not start a business alone

Have you ever thought about starting your own business? You are not alone. Lots of people have, but never did. The most common excuses are that it is too hard or they don't have the skills and those are valid points if you have to go it alone. How about joining with others to share the responsibilities of ownership? We call that a worker cooperative.

Learn more about…


Added by Finn Mauritzen on September 17, 2019 at 12:00pm — No Comments

How to exit a small business

You spent a lifetime building a business. How do you exit when it depends almost completely on your presence? You create an exit plan. Most small business owners don't know how and don't have time to learn, so they don't do it. Hire an exit planner. 

There are basically three kinds of business owners. Which one are you? Check my latest blog post to find out:

Added by Finn Mauritzen on September 11, 2019 at 10:23am — No Comments

Food Co-ops

You may know that Stop & Shop recently bought all the King Kullen stores. One has already been closed and two others will close soon. This means that residents of Mount Sinai, Lake Ronkonkoma and North Babylon have to find alternatives for their grocery shopping needs.

For me, the obvious solution is to start member owned and controlled food co-ops to replace them. The purpose is to provide groceries to members the way they want, not to make a profit for investors. 

If you…


Added by Finn Mauritzen on August 19, 2019 at 12:39pm — 1 Comment

No Regrets

Many business owners regret selling their business within the first year. Why? Because they failed to plan for their exit. Almost no business owners have a formal eit plan so they end up with limited options. Most think they will sell to a third-party and many actually are able to, but regret it when they realize how the new owner changes it.

A proper exit plan begins with setting goals for the business owner, spouse, children and other stake holders. These goals are the foundation…


Added by Finn Mauritzen on August 5, 2019 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Worker Ownership - What is it?

This article describes in-depth the difference between Employee Stock Ownership Plans and worker cooperatives as well as the difference between worker cooperatives and unions. In addition, it details how worker cooperatives function and how they are different from traditional companies. The example is about breweries, but the concept applies to any industry.…


Added by Finn Mauritzen on May 13, 2019 at 10:30am — No Comments

What to do with the capital gains when you sell your business

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 provides a new way to shelter capital gains when you convert your traditional business to a worker cooperative. Actually, it works for any realized capital gain.

Qualified Opportunity Zones

Added by Finn Mauritzen on May 3, 2019 at 2:47pm — No Comments

Financing for Startups and Conversions

Forbes has provided a great primer on Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). They are not just for startups. They also work when you want to convert your traditional business to a worker cooperative.

When Banks Say No, Where Do You Go?

Added by Finn Mauritzen on May 3, 2019 at 2:43pm — No Comments

False Assumptions Kill Deals

The assumptions you make about the value of your business are far more likely to kill your sale than a lack of buyers. Buyers want to buy businesses but only if they have value. Does yours?

False Assumptions About Your Business Value and Retirement Readiness

Added by Finn Mauritzen on March 26, 2019 at 2:53pm — No Comments

Colorado Launches Initiative to Boost Employee Ownership

This article mentions a dry cleaning business that had to be closed and jobs were lost. The initiative would have provided up to $10,000 in incentives to convert it to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). For such a small business, even a $10,000 incentive may not have made an ESOP feasible. A better choice may have been converting it to a Worker Cooperative or an Employee Ownership Trust both of which are less heavily regulated and therefore easier and less costly to set up and…


Added by Finn Mauritzen on March 22, 2019 at 12:48pm — No Comments

Management Buyout Alternative

From a seller perspective, converting a business to a worker cooperative is similar to a management buyout. Instead of just one or a few of the employees, most of the employees will become owners. This presents a few advantages over the simple buyout. First, with more buyers, a greater portion of the purchase price may be provided by the buyers directly. Second, more financial stakeholders increases their overall commitment to its success. Third, more committed buyers means safety of…


Added by Finn Mauritzen on March 18, 2019 at 10:05am — No Comments

A Case for Seller Financing

A management buyout is the most common exit plan for small business owners. Most want to sell to a third-party, but only one in five actually succeed. Management buy-outs will almost always have to be financed somehow and traditional owner financing will be subordinate to all other financing. Why not consider financing the whole deal if you can? A Case for Seller…


Added by Finn Mauritzen on March 11, 2019 at 9:58am — No Comments

Four Fundamental Retirement Questions

Retiring business owners have some challenges in common with other retirees. In other ways retirement planning is very different. Retiring is not as simple as giving notice at work. Exiting a business takes careful planning and that takes time. Start with these Four Fundamental Questions.

Added by Finn Mauritzen on March 7, 2019 at 10:53am — No Comments

Prepare to sell your business

Even if you convert your business to a worker cooperative, you still need to do some fundamental things as when you sell the old fashioned way.

How to Prepare to Sell Your Business

Added by Finn Mauritzen on March 4, 2019 at 11:30am — No Comments

Don't sell your business. Convert it.

Who are the most motivated buyers when you want to sell your small business? It's not who you think. I'm talking about your employees. They literally have everything to lose when you sell or close. Preserve your legacy. Get fair market value. The process is non-adversarial and collaborative. 

Convert your business to a worker cooperative

Added by Finn Mauritzen on February 27, 2019 at 2:23pm — No Comments

Is Your Business Salable? Is it Profitable?

It is not enough to want to sell your business. Someone is actually going to want to buy it. Is it salable? Is it profitable? Will it continue to be? That's what all buyers care about.

Sell Your Business to Your Employees

Added by Finn Mauritzen on February 21, 2019 at 4:36pm — No Comments

Interview with David Barnett

Yesterday, I was invited to talk to David Barnett, author of How to Sell my Own Business: A guide to selling your own business privately and not pay a broker's commission. We talked a little about what cooperatives are and how you convert an existing business to worker ownership. 

Interview with David Barnett

Added by Finn Mauritzen on January 11, 2019 at 1:43pm — No Comments

Employee Owned Companies Perform Better

It makes sense that employee owned companies would perform better, but there was no real proof - until now. The National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) created the Employee Ownership Index on the trading platform. The Index beats the S&P500 decisively. Take a look: Employee Ownership Index

Added by Finn Mauritzen on December 31, 2018 at 10:27am — No Comments


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