A good entrepreneur always has a backup plan. Businesses are hard to manage with constantly fluctuating stock markets and external factors that are out of your control. Just as you would create an emergency exit in the construction of a building, your business plan should also have an exit strategy in place. For your convenience, here is a guide to the top 10 best startup exit strategies.

What Is An Exit Strategy?

An exit strategy is a contingency plan that business owners put in place to ensure that business ownership is transferred to other companies or investors should the need arise. This is usually done when the business owner is facing consistent losses or the business is not generating enough revenue.

However, there are various other reasons why business owners may consider implementing an exit strategy. For instance, certain market conditions, liability lawsuits, or legal disputes could arise that may force the business owner to cash out.

If the business was profitable, the owner may be able to make a substantial profit by selling their ownership. On the other hand, if the business was experiencing a downward slump, the owner would want to sell it off quickly to minimize losses.

In addition, an exit strategy can also help business owners plan for their retirement. By implementing an exit strategy, business owners can ensure that they can retire comfortably and that the business they built can continue to thrive under new ownership.

Overall, it is crucial for business owners to have an exit strategy in place to ensure that they are prepared for any unforeseen circumstances that may arise.

Top 10 Startup Exit Strategies

Here are the 10 most popular types of exit strategies used by entrepreneurs today. Use reasoning and logic to figure out the best strategy for your business.

Sell Off To Your Family Members

One possible exit strategy for a business owner is to sell their business to a family member or close friend whom they believe would be a good successor. This can be an appealing option for some entrepreneurs who value keeping their business within the family. Many startup owners, for example, choose to sell their businesses to their children once they are old enough to take over the reins.

However, before making this decision, it is important to carefully consider the implications of turning a personal relationship into a professional one. It is possible that your chosen successor may implement policies or make decisions that you would not have agreed with. In such cases, you may find it difficult to challenge their authority over the business, as doing so could harm your personal relationship with them. It is therefore crucial to tread carefully and thoughtfully when considering this exit strategy.

Additionally, it is important to note that selling your business to a family member or friend does not necessarily mean that the transaction will be simple or straightforward. It is still important to ensure that the sale is conducted in a fair and legal manner and that both parties understand the terms of the agreement. Seeking the advice of a lawyer or financial advisor, or even a pitch deck agency, can be helpful in navigating the complexities of this type of transaction. Finally, it is worth considering the potential tax implications of selling your business to a family member, as these can vary depending on the specifics of the sale and the tax laws in your jurisdiction.

Startup Liquidation

Liquidation is an exit strategy that businesses may choose when they want to close permanently instead of transferring ownership to someone else. This strategy is often preferred by business owners who do not want to sell their businesses for various reasons.

The process of startup liquidation involves using the revenue generated from the previous quarter to reimburse employees, managers, and shareholders. This step ensures that everyone who has invested their time and effort into the business is compensated fairly. The remaining assets and cash are then handed over to the owners, who can use these resources to make a profit from their business before shutting down.

However, it is important to note that liquidation is not always the best option for all businesses. In some cases, it may be better to seek other strategies, such as selling the business or merging with another company. These alternatives may offer more benefits to the business and its stakeholders, such as better financial returns or more opportunities for growth.

Therefore, before deciding on liquidation, it is essential to evaluate all available options and consult with experienced professionals who can offer expert advice on the most suitable strategy for the business. By doing so, business owners can make informed decisions that will benefit them and their stakeholders in the long run.


Mergers and acquisitions can be two different exit strategies for businesses. In the case of mergers, two existing businesses will combine to form a single business. This is usually done to increase market share, expand into new markets, or reduce competition.