A succession plan is something all business owners should have from the very beginning. Having your affairs in order is important in case of an unexpected change in plans, and it may even help attract potential buyers.

Iwona Albrecht, a lawyer in the Ottawa office of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, says "If you keep accurate and up-to-date financial and business records, you'll be able to proceed with whatever comes your way."

Iwona also recommends business owners ensure employees have signed formal employment agreements, create shareholder agreements if multiple owners are involved, and hold all business properties under the company's name.