Selling vs. Closing a Practice: Which Is Right for You?

Let’s face it: retirement is on the horizon for all of us. And whether we plan ahead or not, it will come one way or another. Planning simply protects your legacy, your family, and your clients as you draw closer to that horizon.

Of course, you could choose to "die at your desk," and completely avoid the headache and hassle of either closing or selling your practice. That may sound appealing, but after you're gone, your practice still has to be closed by someone. Do you really want to leave a mess for your spouse, children, or some unlucky colleague, not to mention your clients? They all deserve better. And so do you.

Given the choice between selling your practice and closing up shop, you might (like many attorneys) think that just winding down the practice is the easier path. If that is your motivation for closing your doors rather than selling, there are some things you should consider when selling vs closing a law practice.

Closing Your Practice Isn’t Necessarily an Easier Option

Neither selling nor closing your law practice is easy. In fact, both processes require most of the same steps such as:

  • Notifying your clients of your decision to leave practice
  • Transferring active clients and cases to other counsel
  • Storing, returning, or destroying old files
  • Closing out trust accounts, vendor contracts and equipment leases
  • Considering malpractice coverage
  • Disposing of assets such as office equipment

The bottom line is that there is no “easy” button for exiting your practice. So, you might as well get a return on the time you’ve put into building your practice if you can.

The Benefits of Selling Your Law Practice

After you retire, your clients will still hope to receive the same level of quality service they experienced with you. Selling your law practice to a trusted successor guarantees that each client is well taken care of.

Selling your practice will also help you regain the years of hard work and sweat equity you’ve invested while building your successful practice. You’ll enhance your financial security so you can enjoy your retirement. You shouldn’t leave hard-earned cash on the table when retirement is right around the corner.

Get an Exit Strategy Customized to Your Needs

No two practices are the same, and what’s best for another attorney or practice may not be best for you. Your exit strategy should be based on your unique needs and goals. If you choose to sell, you have options, including an associate buyout or a third-party sale. You could even downsize without leaving your practice at all. Having a variety of options is a good thing, but that can also make it harder to choose. An experienced, objective professional can help you decide what’s best for you.

Get Answers to Your Questions About Selling vs Closing a Law Practice

You don’t have to figure out how to exit practice on your own. Roy Ginsburg has successfully helped dozens of attorneys who faced the same challenges, and he will help you develop a custom law firm exit strategy that fits your retirement goals. Let Roy answer your questions and work with you to identify your next steps. Roy works with lawyers nationwide. Call him today at (612) 524-5837 or connect online to learn more about selling vs closing a law practice.