You have been working hard for many years as a single owner or husband and wife team. Perhaps your hard work has become too much of a habit or perhaps it is just a good time to sell up and move on. Whatever your reason, you will need our top seven tips, based on our forty years’ experience as a solicitors firm in selling and buying businesses for clients.
THE TOP SEVEN TIPS
1. Establish a profile of a buyer for your business; would an ideal buyer operate locally or nationally? Are there any competitors or contacts that have ever expressed an interest in your business, however casually? Talk to these first.
2. Find a good business selling agent experienced in your field. Will you want a regional agent or a national one? How much experience does the prospective agent have in your field? Do not be shy in contacting a number of agents and then finding the one that suits you the best. Before you sign up to a selling agent, check the terms and conditions with your solicitor.
3. Appoint a solicitor, making sure that he or she is experienced in selling businesses. Go through the structure of the business you are selling of it before you put it on the market. There may be changes that are advisable and these should be made before the business is offered for sale. If you sell your business to a large company which already owns a number of other businesses, there is likely to be a certain amount of “cleaning up” that will have to be done to make what you are selling acceptable to the buyer.
4. Be aware of the applicable taxes when you sell. Check these with your accountant at an early stage to avoid an unpleasant surprise later. See if any mitigation work should be done now.
5. Accounts are very important to the buyer and a seller will normally have to warrant their accuracy. Are your accounts up to date and in good order?
6. Take advice as to the price. You are retaining selling agents, solicitors and accountants. Each will have different experience as to the worth of your business. Seek out their views but you will know better than them the true worth of your business. Set a realistic target price range.
7. Take advice before accepting or rejecting offers. Offers may be confusing with terms like “earn outs” “EBITDA” and “normalised working capital” and you need to be sure you understand the implications of the detail and not just the headline figures.
We can advise and guide you through all the pitfalls of selling your business or buying a business. Our firm was founded in 1978 and since then we have been providing commercial law services to many people and companies.
For an initial free no obligation consultation click on the button below, or contact us today:020 7637 3289.