Selling a Business

Selling a business is a complex process with many steps and requires extensive planning and research as each business is unique and finding a qualified buyer takes time and experience. Qualified business brokers make this process seamless for the seller. Business owners work hard and invest money to build their business over time. Many business owners are the operators as well. Selling a business on their own is difficult when the seller is both an owner and operator. Most business owners neither will have the time or experience to sell a business.

The value we provide in selling a business is key as you can continue to run the business and keep growing - after all that is what a potential buyer desires for “Growth”. Many important steps described below is to better understand what it takes to sell a business. The selling process combined with our experience, accurately represents you and your company to the buyers. We will make the process very confidential, ethical, and honest guiding you along the way and generate the highest amount of market exposure to achieve the desired outcome of selling a business.

HERE ARE THE BASIC STEPS TO SELLING A BUSINESS

Planning a Business Sale

step 1

Planning

Many sellers assume that a business sale starts with a contract and listing it for an agreed listing price, that is true if the planning phase of the business sale has already been completed but most business owners are not aware of this fact in selling a business. If a business owner is planning for a business sale there is a lot of pre-work which needs to completed : three years of accurate financial statements (P&L) ,Tax returns for the business, List and cost of equipment, Inventory, agreements(Leases, Equipment, Franchise & Loans) .Many individuals and family owned business use their business accounts for personal expenses which we add back as these expense are not the cost of doing business , the books need to reflect this and all the cash received needs to be accounted and validated/taxed. It is not unusual for a lot of business on sale to not account for the cash and might be doing very well with the business, but if the taxes are not paid for un-accounted income, it cannot be proved to the buyer that the business has an abundance of cash income and will not be sold for the desired price (top dollar). Buyers applying for a loan need to prove to the lender that the business for sale has a good cash flow, or they might not be granted a loan. Selling a business with a dedicated business broker guides you in planning and selling the business when ready for a sale.

Business Analysis & Valuation

Based on the information gathered from step 1 for selling a business, we can analyze the: finances, operations, profitability, current market analysis, growth potential etc. Using this information, which is based on facts, we can value the business for sale and provide a price range that you can expect the business to sell in the current market conditions. The valuation techniques we use for selling a business ensures that the business is priced appropriately. This is a key step in a business sale process because if the valuation of the business is higher than the market value, the business will not sell and if the valuation is under market value there is a very good chance of the seller leaving the money on the table.

step 2

Business Analysis & Valuation

Marketing & Confidentiality

For a selling a business, a detailed, innovative, and attractive business profile will be prepared / marketed using latest techniques such as online listings, publications in the vast industry and buyer database to provide maximum exposure. This proven method has been used in several industries. We ensure and understand that confidentiality is very important for selling a business, therefore we create blind ads without listing the business name and location. Initial details we provide include- type of the business and the attractive aspects of it such as the selling price, Gross revenue, Cashflow and Real estate details. We control the flow of information in selling a business yet aggressively market the business ensuring your confidentiality.

step 3

Marketing & Confidentiality

Buyer Screening & Pre-Qualification

Once the business is listed for sale using the techniques briefly discussed in step 3, various business brokers and buyers will contact us. We begin to screen them as it is very important to understand - if they qualify to buy a business, their desired business type, their financial ability, and many other factors. Selling a business requires the buyers to execute a confidentiality agreement before releasing any information regarding the business for sale other than the basic listing information already provided. We always need the current operational and financial information to keep our marketing information updated for the buyer /buyer’s broker in a business sale.

We answer the buyers’ questions as per the information gathered during the analysis phase of selling a business and we contact you only when additional significant questions arise allowing no disruptions to your day-to-day business.

step 4

Buyer Screening & Pre-Qualification

Qualified Byer/Seller Meeting & Offer

step 5

Qualified Byer/Seller Meeting & Offer

For selling a business most qualified/financially able buyer(s) are selected. Buyers that are interested in purchasing the business request a meeting with the seller and typically like to visit the business location. These meetings/visits are usually done after hours or during the weekends to avoid any premature disclosures of a business sale to employees and customers.

In most sales this is the first time a potential buyer will be looking at the facility and meeting the seller. As part of selling a business, we as the business brokers schedule all the appointments and meeting, and we are usually present at the meeting as a mediator. During and after the meeting, buyers may have additional questions regarding the business and operations which will be handled by us, and this can continue for weeks and months based on the complexity and type of business. After all the questions are answered the buyer can make an offer. Appropriate negotiation is very crucial for selling a business and to get the best possible price and terms, that is where we thrive, we have the expertise and right negotiation techniques. It is all about finding the right balance between the buyer and seller, so it is a win-win situation for both parties.

Due Diligence for Selling a business

Due diligence is a crucial final step in selling a business. The process starts once a price is agreed upon and a contractual agreement is finalized. Due Diligence can take time as the buyer and their parties like CPA, lenders, Tax Professionals, and attorneys review and audit all the documents necessary to ensure the seller has provided accurate and factual information. Additional documents and meetings can be requested for selling a business, we will assist you in every step of the way to supply the information to the buyer and representing parties. Monitoring and managing due diligence is very crucial as this is a stage where the deal can take a wrong turn while selling a business. We always ask and inform the seller to represent the business facts as-is during the inspection because if the buyer and their agents are not convinced with the business information they can walk out of the deal. We are there at every step to make sure they understand the documentation and facts properly while coordinating the sale of business with you simultaneously.

step 6

Due Diligence

Closing

step 7

Closing

As they say in selling a business - finding the right qualified buyer is one half of the work and the other half is getting the buyer to the closing table. In this stage of a business sale, most of the work is handled by the attorneys of both parties: Lien searches, non-compete agreements, closing documents, bill of sale, license transfers, utility transfers and many other processes as every business is unique. After the closing documents are approved for selling a business by the buyer and seller, a closing date will be set for the closing to take place. Funds and ownership will be transferred at that time. Now the process of training the new owner begins as per the pre-decided agreement. We help manage all administrative procedures, licenses, inventory counts and lease assignments that may be required in selling a business. We work closely with you and your advisors to ensure a smooth transition.

The bottom line

These are the basic steps involved in selling a business, we will be there to assist you in every step of the way answering additional questions which may arise during the selling process hence a business broker like us can be helpful in many ways and are a trusted source of information about the selling process handling all the details of the business sale to guide you in the right direction with the consultation of other professions as discussed above .You will discover that with our assistance you can have a seamless and successful experience in selling a business.

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