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Small and Medium Enterprise Agency Business Succession Guidelines Formulated

In light of the growing number of aged business owners in the field of SMEs and other factors, the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency (SMEA) recognizes the importance of revitalizing the business of SMEs through promoting smooth business succession. As one of the efforts to achieve this goal, SMEA has formulated the Business Succession Guidelines, a compilation of key points concerning succession, including the importance of early and well-planned preparation, measures for overcoming challenges, and future directions for enhancing systems for supporting business succession.

1. Background

As the number of business owners nearing retirement age in the field of SMEs has been growing, over the coming five to ten years many will enter the period where transfer of business management to the next generation takes place. In this situation, smooth succession is an extremely important challenge that SMEs must overcome in order to transfer business value that they have accumulated, including knowhow and skills, to the next generation, and to further revitalize SME business through such generation change.

Against this backdrop, SMEA established a Study Group for Revitalization of Business Focusing on Business Succession and a Subcommittee for Revision of the Business Succession Guidelines, as opportunities to discuss ideal approaches to smooth succession, bearing in mind changes in recent business conditions surrounding SMEs. The study group and the subcommittee held meetings to make concrete discussions and compiled the results into the guidelines.

2. Outline of the guidelines

The highlights of the guidelines are the following three points:

  1. Importance of early and well-planned preparatory actions for business succession (introducing a diagnosis for business succession)
  2. Presentation of five steps that SME business owners should take for business succession
  3. Enhancement of regional systems for supporting business succession

SMEA expects SME business owners and supporting organizations with a close relationship to such business owners, e.g., associations and financial institutions, to utilize the guidelines and ensure the transfer of valuable businesses to the next generation.

For details, see the Japanese language news release.

Release date

December 5, 2016

Division in Charge

 Corporate Finance and Tax Affairs Division, Business Environment Department, Small and Medium Enterprise Agency

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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