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Business Succession Planning Certificate

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Best For

Professionals seeking succession planning expertise to serve their clients.


< 9 Months


Your tuition includes all required self-study materials, access to convenient online learning tools, and your examination.

100% Virtual


Starting at   

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Certificate Program at a Glance

Admissions Requirements

There are no prerequisite courses required to begin the Business Succession Planning Certificate. To earn the Business Succession Planning Certificate, you must: 

1. Successfully complete three courses and receive a minimum of 80% on course final exams

2. Agree to comply with The American College Code of Ethics and Procedures

Tuition & Scholarships

Program tuition is paid on a per-course basis. Tuition covers your course fees, all required study materials, access to convenient online learning tools, and your final examination.

Individual course: $1,995

What You'll Learn

Selling a business can be an emotionally and physically demanding experience. A business owner may choose to sell their business beyond retirement for many reasons. Gain the specialized knowledge needed to help business owners make important decisions relating to the sale or transfer of their business.

Your learning outcomes include the following: 

  • The "language of business" accounting and how to analyze financial statements 
  • Ownership and taxation of transfers of property during lifetime and at death 
  • Family business entity planning and buy-sell agreements 
  • How to facilitate business succession planning objectives through charitable transfers

Course Delivery

Complete the three-course curriculum at your own pace with state-of-the art online learning experience. 

Our program features: 

  • Elite faculty of nationally-recognized academics, researchers, and practitioners 
  • Up-to-date curriculum covering current regulations, trends, and realities 
  • Modern e-learning with easy anytime, anywhere access to your courses
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This Certificate Program is Right For You If:

Two business professionals working at the table

You Want to Serve Business Owners

Attract a Niche Market

72% of business owners do not have a completed, written succession plan.1 Differentiate your practice with advanced knowledge in business succession planning strategies to attract successful business owners.

Financial team working together to bring firm success

You Want to Elevate Your Firm’s Services

Gain a Mastery of Critical Succession Planning Strategies

In a world full of generalists, ensure your team has the advanced know-how to respond to the complex and specialized needs of business owners.

Confident financial professional prepared for their clients

You Want to Ensure You’re Prepared

Financial Advisors are also Business Owners

Learn proven tax-efficient strategies to assist business owners, like yourself, with selling or transferring their leading nonfinancial asset — their business.

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Inside the Business Succession Planning Certificate

MSFP 589 Fin Statement Analysis and Small Business Valuation

Examines a broad set of business finance skills and concepts to help serve small and family business clients.

Upon completion of this course, you'll be able to:

  • Understand the basics fundamentals of corporate finance
  • Cover the numbers language that is required for a business
  • Understand the connection of a firm owner’s personal assets and their business assets
  • Use financial measures to understand a company’s strengths and areas for future focus and development
  • Guide clients in navigating how a major concentration of their personal wealth contained in the value of their business impacts their financial future
  • Help firm owners achieve their personal financial goals along with their business goals

MSFP 615 Advanced Estate Mgmt. and Planned Giving

This course is an advanced gift and estate planning course which presents an overview of the basics.

Upon completion of this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Understand gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer tax law and tax computation processes
  • Identify key considerations related to the ownership and taxation of transfers of property during lifetime and at death.
  • Provide charitable giving planning advice
  • Evaluate the role of life insurance planning in estate planning

MSFP 543 Business Succession Strategies

This course covers advanced topics in business succession planning and includes a comprehensive case study.

Upon completion of this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Understand gift and trust taxation
  • Maximize charitable transfers to facilitate business succession planning objectives
  • Understand family limited partnerships and limited-liability companies
  • Apply discounting techniques to the sales and gifts of business interests
  • Utilize retirement planning strategies to facilitate succession planning
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Earn Credit Toward the MSFP

Start Here Toward Obtaining an Advanced Degree

Completion of the Business Succession Planning Certificate Program may qualify you for up to nine credits toward the Master of Science in Financial Planning (MSFP) degree if you are subsequently admitted to the degree program.

Learn More
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Learn from the Leaders in Business Succession Planning

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Jeffrey Hatchman


Adjunct Professor of Estate Planning

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Timothy Belber


Adjunct Professor of Estate Planning
Charles E. Drimal Estate Planning Professorship

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Chia-Li Chien


Associate Provost, Undergraduate & Graduate Programs
Associate Professor, Succession Planning

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1 MassMutual. The right business successor: Key to retirement. 2022.