How to Sell a Business

Selling a Business Guide Image

Author: Franco Pardini

If you’re thinking of selling a business we have answered your frequently asked questions and provided an overview of the selling process.

How do I sell my business?

Do you do it privately or via an agent?  If you do it privately it will require a lot of your valuable time when you will simultaneously need to be running your business. You will have to value it, advertise it, arrange your own viewings and negotiate the deal as well as a multitude of other tasks that you haven’t even thought of yet. As a business agent, we will take care of all this for you and will aid in the speed of the sale by targeting the right kind of people who may be interested in buying your business.

How long does it take to sell my business?

That depends on a number of key issues. Firstly the price, the value of the business will be in part determined by the speed of the sale and vice versa. A quick sale will either mean having a low asking price or it will mean your business is highly sought after, and the price is right. Hopefully your business will be successful or have the potential to be and with the right preparation, the sale should be straightforward.

How do I prepare my business for sale?

A potential buyer will want to view a number of key documents. Having all these ready and in one place will show you are prepared and are providing all the information possible. This enables the buyer to do their due diligence easily. The more comfortable and easier it is for the potential purchaser, the more likely they will be to buy.

In addition to the preparation, you need to remember a buyer wants your business’ unique values. Think about a few key factors and write them down. Is your business easy to replicate? Are there many competitors? And lastly, will the buyer want your intellectual property? Knowing the answers to these and having them ready will demonstrate to a buyer that you know what you are doing. View more information on preparing your business for sale.

What types of buyers do you have?

The normal assumption is that a competitor will want to buy your business, however in reality there are many options. It could be someone wanting to expand their current business, someone wanting to own their first business or it may be someone not even in the industry but can see the potential in it.

Do I sell the business and its assets?

For certain businesses, stock and equipment are one of its major assets. If you wish to sell these separately that’s no problem, however it will mean that the overall value of business will be reduced as the new owner will need to invest to sustain it. If you do wish to sell the assets separately there are many prospective buyers, from people opening their own business in need of equipment to established businesses needing newer or more equipment for expansion. Obviously the condition and price will affect the sale, but you already knew that. The majority of businesses with saleable assets are listed for sale with the price of the business plus stock at valuation (SAV), which is figure agreed on between you and buyer.

If you're looking to sell view our selling a business page or see more of our how to sell a business guides.