Transferring a company

The process of transferring a company encompasses all the activities involved in handing over the managerial reins or ownership of the company to one or more third parties who are not necessarily from the same family as the seller. This includes finding a suitable successor, setting transfer conditions that are acceptable to the old and the new owner alike, and managing the transition and post-handover phases with a view to guaranteeing the company's continued existence and protecting jobs.

This is a long, complex, multi-disciplinary, generally expensive procedure, with major consequences for the company, its owner and the successor. This sensitive process demands good planning in order to find the best possible answers to the various questions that it raises.

This planning should be done in good time: at least five years before the handover, depending on the company's legal form. The person handing over control of the company should also be prepared to train up his successor and pass on his knowledge and expertise.

For the successor, the transfer frequently entails a major financial investment. So he needs to have a good knowledge of the company that he is acquiring, its actual potential, its development prospects, its market, its customers, its staff and its competitors.

The following link (currently available in French only) outlines the key elements of a successful transfer in the canton of Vaud for company directors and buyers alike.


Chambre vaudoise du commerce et de l'industrie (CVCI)
Avenue d'Ouchy 47
Case postale 315
1001 Lausanne

Tel : ++41 21 613 35 35
Fax : ++41 21 613 35 05
E-mail : cvci(at)