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At ORBA, and through our subsidiary Next Plateau, we work with closely-held businesses, their owners and executives in many areas of tax and financial planning.  Below are just some of the areas where the ORBA team can assist you.


At ORBA, and through are subsidiary Next Plateau Consulting, LLC, we work with you to improve and grow your business, prepare your business for sale or transfer to employees or within the family.  Some of the services include:

  • Comprehensive Exit Planning
  • Business Valuation Services
  • Value Enhancement Strategies
  • Business Structure & Tax Planning Services
  • Executive Compensation & Bonus Plans
  • Business Plans & Financial Forecasts and Projections
  • Benchmarks & Industry Comparisons
  • Due Diligence & Secure Electronic Records Management
  • Merger & Acquisition Representation

Comprehensive Exit Planning

We can work with you to develop a comprehensive exit plan that will fit your specific needs.  Exiting a business means different things to different people and exit strategies can vary significantly.  An owner’s goal may be to simply free up time, energy and resources to explore other interests, or they may want to walk away from the business completely.  Most likely, an owner’s goals are somewhere in between.

Choosing the best exit strategy involves a careful assessment of your personal, family and business goals and circumstances.  While financial needs are certainly an important factor, there are many other considerations that need to be factored into a well-planned exit strategy.

If you know these strategies and decide in advance which one is best for you, then you have a better chance of leaving your business under terms and conditions you choose.  Without planning, you are more likely to settle for terms and conditions beyond your control.  A comprehensive exit plan should consider your personal financial, retirement and estate planning along with business planning and your personal goals and dreams.

Business Valuation Services

The valuation of a closely held business requires special financial expertise and a thorough understanding of the business and its industry.  The value of a business interest can vary dramatically based on its ability to control the business operations, if there is an identified buyer and other important factors.

There are three traditional approaches to determining the fair market value of interests in closely held entities:  The income approach, market approach and cost or underlying asset approach. The true indication of value is the price and terms received upon a sale.

Our valuation professionals can identify and apply appropriate methods for a particular business and help you understand the factors affecting value.  Our reports are designed to ensure readability by clients and their advisors.  We are knowledgeable of the tax issues and adjustments related to financial statements making us adept at determining and supporting the capitalization and discount rates used to calculate the value of a business.  We consider many factors when determining value, such as the value of non-operating assets, the additional cash flow generated by reducing owner and family member salary, etc.  We can also calculate discounts to value based on the purpose of the valuation and the interest in the business being valued.

Value Enhancement Strategies

Sophisticated business buyers consider a number of factors in their evaluation of a company.  We have identified more than 50 important factors that buyers need to consider in determining the value of a particular company. These factors are divided into personal, business operations, industry, legal/regulatory, financial and economic/M&A market.  Each factor should be rated as an area of strength, an area of potential improvement, or as neutral meaning it has no major effect on the value of the company.  The company should then focus on highlighting strengths and mitigating weaknesses.

Value enhancement focuses on improving the profitability and cash flow of the business while attempting to mitigate the risk involved in the ownership of the business, making your business an “excellent” performer in the industry.  This involves all aspects of the business to include facilities, production and personnel, as well as financial performance.

Business Structure & Tax Planning Services

Our experts can help businesses, families and high-net-worth individuals develop optimum tax strategies that address all aspects of their financial situations.  We focus on a wide range of advanced tax services, which include entity structuring, transaction consulting, family wealth transfers and others.

Tax Structuring/Choice of Entity

A company’s structure can significantly affect the tax planning opportunities available to its owners. The type of entity determines liability, tax rates and procedures, available deductions and other tax opportunities available to the business owner.  Our professionals can help explore the advantages and detriments of various entities and help establish a more tax-efficient structure if the current one is not ideal.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Clients considering the purchase or sale of a business must consider the various federal and state income tax ramifications and potential tax planning opportunities.  Considerations may include structuring alternatives, as well as different federal income tax provisions.

Our team can help you decide if the transaction should be structured as a sale of assets or as a stock sale.  We will help determine the optimum sale price and consider the tax treatment of related expenses and payments maximizing tax deductions to the purchaser, or minimizing tax burden to the seller.  We can also help determine the allocation of the purchase price of the assets being acquired.

Employer/Employee Benefits

Many companies offer some form of qualified retirement, cafeteria, tax-free fringe benefit or employee stock ownership plans (ESOP) as a way to protect individual income from taxation.  Our professionals can help you to understand the requirements for various plans and explain the various options available.  We will also suggest ways to utilize these plans as part of an overall financial strategy.

Executive Compensation & Bonus Plans

In many businesses, employees are the key to overall success. As a business owner, you know that satisfied employees result in increased retention and production.

Our specialists can offer suggestions to determine an appropriate employee incentive program for your business.  We will work with your current advisors or suggest strategic partners that have successfully helped many businesses establish and maintain qualified benefit plans, non-qualified executive compensation plans, incentive stock option plans and other employee incentive programs.

Business Plans & Financial Forecasts and Projections

A business plan defines your business and outlines its goals through basic components such as a current and projected balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow analysis.  A good business plan explains the business’ growth plan and provides detailed information about the financial results expected from operations.

We can assist you in articulating your business plan, applying the plan to financial projections, and implementing and updating the plan over time.

Benchmarks & Industry Comparisons

Benchmarking gives management an understanding of how the company performs against industry standards and other competitors.

We can provide internal and external benchmarking services, looking at past performance and the overall industry. Generally, we recommend a combined approach that highlights your company’s strengths, as well as areas that need improvement. Our benchmarking services also measure your company’s results for financial trends that affect overall performance.

Due Diligence & Secure Electronic Data Records Management

Pre-transaction due diligence is the proactive preparation of a business for a transfer of ownership and is a crucial step in protecting the value of your company. The goal of a pre-transaction due diligence review is to identify and fix any perceived problems or issues so they do not affect a future transaction.

Pre-transaction due diligence involves two major types of analysis -– a financial audit and a legal audit.

The financial audit involves a third party review of the quality and depth of the financial information that will be presented to a potential buyer, banker or investor.  In addition to a pre-transaction financial due diligence, business owners need to conduct top-to-bottom legal due diligence to ensure the legality of the business.

Your advisor group will work together during the pre-transaction due diligence process to assemble a “due diligence chest.”  It contains copies of all of the records and documents that a buyer, banker or investor will request when they come in to perform due diligence.

Merger & Acquisition Representation

We recognize that the sale of a business is an emotional, time consuming, and technically complex transaction.  Our in-depth experience relieves business owners of much of the burdens and pressures associated with a sale, while maximizing shareholder value and bringing an experienced, objective perspective to the process.

We work with business owners and their advisors to manage the total sales process – from clarifying the owners’ goals through closing the transaction.  We provide comprehensive management of the entire process or handle specific areas to create the largest number of alternatives for the seller, achieving the maximum benefit for the owners.

We are comfortable working directly with investment advisory firms, attorneys, and other advisors on your behalf.  We can be directly involved in negotiations or provide assistance with document review, tax structuring, or the due diligence process.  Whatever the situation, we can work as needed to complete your advisory team.

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