Some 54 per cent of Scottish company heads plan to remain at the helm and hand over only the daily management of their business, either to a candidate from the wider industry (32 per cent) or to an employee already working in the firm (22 per cent), according to the study by Rathbone Investment Management.
Just under a third (29 per cent) have a family member in mind to take over when they step down.
Meanwhile, about one in ten (12 per cent) will make a clean break on retirement, with a plan to sell and exit the business.
Angus Kerr, head of Scotland at Rathbones, said: “It’s encouraging to note that only 3 per cent of Scottish business owners don’t have an exit plan for their business.
“Succession planning is rarely urgent, but it is always important, and continuity and contingency planning is particularly critical while markets remain changeable and skills shortages are appearing.
“The last thing any successful leader wants to see is all their efforts go to waste, and by mentoring individuals and solidifying structures and ways of working, that risk can be largely mitigated.”
Re-investing is one of the biggest priorities for retiring business owners, as some 42 per cent will invest the money they make from any sale into the stock market and 35 per cent will look to invest in property. Just under a third (31 per cent) plan to donate a portion of their windfall to charity.