According to a survey by Unizo and UCM, a third of Belgian companies are unable to find a good buyer for their family business.
The research, conducted on more than 1,400 companies, was presented by Unizo, UCM (the French language counterpart of Unizo), the Federation of Enterprises in Belgium (FEB) and the Institute of Company Auditors (IBR). All insist on thorough preparation of the takeover or sale. And an auditor can play an important role here.
"Belgium is a country of SMEs, which above all is supported by the power of family businesses", says Christine Darville of the FEB. Of these family businesses, 40 percent do not know the value of their company. "An auditor is an advantage when preparing for business transfers. With their expertise and neutrality, auditors are able to assign an objective value to a company."
50 and older
The number of entrepreneurs older than 50 has risen sharply: in Flanders from 32.6 to 38.3 percent in ten years. Consequently, Unizo expects that the number of transfers will only increase and has taken a number of initiatives, such as the Entrepreneurs Academy, the 'Family Transfer' sponsorship project and the online site www.overnamemarkt.be.