If you work with business owners - no matter their age, the industry or geographical location – they will inevitably exit their business for one reason or another. If they are going to plan for that transition successfully, they deserve to work with advisors that know how to help them. As a Certified Exit Planner (CExP), you will be able to ensure your clients can sell their business when they want, for the money they need, and to the person they choose.
By gaining the necessary Exit Planning expertise, you will be able to help your business owner clients navigate this complex transition while accomplishing their goals.
What is a Certified Exit Planner? And, what do they do?
A Certified Exit Planner (CExP) is an advisor with the industry's highest certification to perform Exit Planning services. Exit Planning is the creation of a strategy that allows owners to exit their business on their terms and conditions. A CExP uses an established and proven process that creates a written roadmap, or Exit Plan. They facilitate the efforts of several participating professionals, make recommendations, and oversee the timely execution of the Exit Plan.
Want to learn more? Download the one-sheet PDF below.
Who can become a Certified Exit Planner?
How do you know if you or your practice is suited for Exit Planning? A simple way to find out is if you can answer "yes" to any of the following questions:
1. Do you represent business owner clients?
2. Do you want additional knowledge to engage in planning and problem solving?
3. Do you enjoy learning about and incorporating new planning techniques in your practice?
4. Are you a thought leader in your profession?
What Does it mean to have the CExP designation?
While the CExP certification does not necessarily deem special privileges to advisors, there are many advantages to earning it. Above all, Certified Exit Planning advisors actively show a willingness to learn and implement Exit strategies for their clients. Exit Planning has many benefits as an added service to your core practice area. To name a few:
- Get more referrals
- Bring in more revenue
- Build brand awareness
- Differentiate from your competition
- Realize personal fulfillment & satisfaction
For over 25 years, BEI has helped thousands of advisors have deeper, more technical conversations through the knowledge gained in BEI courses. The path to becoming a Certified Exit Planning advisor begins here:
Step 1: Exit Planning Boot Camp
- Effectively market Exit Planning services to existing & prospective clients
- Engage business owners using tools supported by factual next steps
- Create comprehensive, owner-centric Exit Plans
- Lead or participate in Exit Planning Advisor teams
Step 2: Advanced Exit Planning Series
Completing the Advanced Exit Planning Series is critical to providing comprehensive Exit Planning services to the business owner community. The primary goal of the program is to provide you with information that will serve as a solid foundation for your professional Exit Planning endeavors.
The training includes eight virtual calls where you will discuss concepts and case studies with other participants. There is an online exam upon completion of each of the modules.
There are 14 modules in this series that cover the following topics:Module 1 - Setting Goals
Module 2 - Gap Analysis
Module 3 - Cash Flow & Business Value
Module 4 - Growing Value & Minimizing Taxes
Module 5 - Developing Key Employees
Module 6 - Minimizing Risk
Module 7 - Third-Party Sale Transactions
Module 8 - Selling to an ESOP
Module 9 - Transferring Ownership to Insiders
Module 10 - Transferring Ownership in a Family Business
Module 11 - Business Continuity for Co-Owned Businesses
Module 12 - Business Continuity for Soley-Owned Businesses
Module 13 - Estate Planning Techniques for Business Clients
Module 14 - Putting Together a Comprehensive Plan
Step 3: CExP Certification
The final step in the Exit Planning education process is obtaining the industry's highest certification, the Certified Exit Planner (CExP) designation. Developed in 2009, the CExP designation has set the industry standard in distinguishing professionals who have attained advanced expertise in Exit Planning through study, testing, and ongoing education. Becoming a Certified Exit Planner gives you the ability to provide capable and professionally executed Exit Planning Services.
The certification isa a 45-day program of two online case studies. Case studies must be submitted within 12 months of completing the Advanced Exit Planning Series.
Check out a recent podcast featuring Corwin Davidson, one of BEI’s newest Members, on the topic of how the BEI Certified Exit Planner Designation (CExP) established the foundation of Corwin's estate planning and Exit Planning Practice!
The path to CExP comes with a few costs in terms of time and money.
Exit Planning Boot Camp:
- $1,495 for Non-BEI Licensed Members & $1,095 for BEI Licensed Members
- 10 hours (2 per day for 5 days) via Zoom livestream
Advanced Exit Planning Series:
- $4,000 for Non-BEI Licensed Members & $1,785 for BEI Licensed Members
- 4 months access to full-service resources, 8 virtual calls, & multiple-choice exam after each of the 14 training modules.
- $1,795 for Non-BEI Licensed Members & No Cost to BEI Licensed Members
- 45-day program of two online case studies, to be completed within 12 months of completing the Advanced Exit Planning Series, which by estimate should take 100 - 120 hours of study.
Once accredited, CExP holders must take 30 hours of continuing education every two years to maintain their certificates.
Becoming a Certified Exit Planner and following the path to CExP certification allows you to expand the scope of work you do with clients and uncover untapped potential within your practice. Not only does Exit Planning add value to your work, but it allows you to help your clients add value to their business as they work through the strategies that will help them accomplish their ultimate exit goals.
Still wondering if a partnership with BEI is for you? Download the following PDF to learn how we can work together.
Getting Started with BEI
As you begin down the path of CExP designation, there are several ways you can get involved with BEI in the meantime:
Although I have grown to expect high caliber materials and support from BEI, the CExP program far exceeded my own high expectations. The content, the presentation format, the challenge of the test, the case studies, all flowed together to enhance my own knowledge across every step of the Exit Planning Process.
Being affiliated with BEI adds significant value to an advisory service and planning capabilities, significantly enriching my experience as a financial advisor. When you participate as a BEI Member, you deepen your planning capabilities by being able to offer business Exit Planning services for your clients and you are a part of a network of advisors that spans across the county and is backed up by the tremendous support of the BEI team. The result is a deeper, more unique planning role for the business owner and the benefit is building a stronger, more meaningful relationship with those clients that last a lifetime.
I believe BEI to be the preeminent organization of its type. The quality of their training, education, and support that advisors need to assist business owners in successfully exiting from their business is second to none. There is a growing need for advisors who can provide the kinds of products and services that aging baby boomer business owners will be looking for to accomplish this. BEI has, and continues to be, the leader in providing up-to-date and relevant education and marketing assistance that is crucial to any advisor who wants to be successful in this marketplace.
The Exit Planning Boot Camp and CExP course helped me tremendously - and that’s an understatement. When I attended the Boot Camp, I already had considerable experience working with business owners’ continuation and succession plans but the BEI Exit Planning Process and formal training is exactly what I was looking for.
After the Boot Camp, I immediately started studying and got my CExP designation in the six months that followed. This training gave me the confidence to provide even better solutions to my clients, giving me a proven process and method that will help owners on their planning journey.
BEI is a great partnership.