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University of North Dakota’s official press release archive.

ND SBDC launches new exit and succession planning guide

GRAND FORKS, N.D. — The North Dakota Small Business Development Centers has launched a brand-new exit and succession planning guide, which will help with transitioning out of a business.

Currently, 66 percent of the American business market is owned by Baby Boomers. Transitioning ownership of those businesses – either to the next generation or by selling to a new owner – is a vital part of maintaining critical services in communities across the state.

“We know that a very large segment of the small businesses in North Dakota have owners that will be looking to retire or sell in the coming years. We want to both keep these businesses open and serving their communities, and maximize the value that the seller can receive from the sale,” says Tiffany Ford, ND SBDC state director.

The 5 D’s

Of businesses listed on the market, alarmingly, only 20 percent will actually be sold. The steps in this guide, along with the no-cost assistance of the ND SBDC advisors, can help change those odds for small business owners. Getting started three to five years ahead of a planned exit is just one of the key pieces of the process.

“It’s important to have a plan whether or not you are ready to retire or sell,” Ford said. “Every business owner will exit at some point, nearly half of them involuntarily. These reasons are called the 5 D’s – death, disability, divorce, disagreement, and distress. We want to help business owners be ready before they are forced to make difficult choices, so that they are prepared and successful in the next phase of their life.”

The new exit and succession planning guide is available in hard copy at all eight ND SBDC service centers across the state. It is also available on the program website,

About the ND SBDC

ND SBDC is a statewide outreach program of the Center for Business Engagement & Development within the Nistler College of Business & Public Administration at the University of North Dakota. Since its inception in 1986, the ND SBDC network has helped business owners and entrepreneurs start, manage, and grow their small businesses through confidential, individualized, professional business advising and training workshops. Services are provided at no-cost to clients thanks to funding from SBA, ND Department of Commerce, UND, and local supporters across the state.

For more information on the ND SBDC programs or services, call (701) 777-3700, email, visit or find us on social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn).


Press Contacts:

Tiffany Ford, 701.777.8700,
Marnie Schuschke, 701.777.6825,