You only sell your business once – so it’s vital that you get it right. Selling your business is a complex and involved process, and you’ll need the right experts on board to advise you on everything from financial transactions to legal matters. But first, you need to work out what kind of business sale advice you need.
Selling your business
It’s time. You’ve made the decision to sell your business.
The same business that you started from scratch. The one you worked tirelessly for eighteen hours every day to get off the ground. The business that grew and continued to grow, in reputation and in profit.
Handing it over may seem like a daunting prospect. But with the right support, you could finally be reaping the fruits of your labour. Congratulations!
Which business sale adviser?
It’s likely that you already have a trusted accountant who knows you and your business. This is a good place to start; this person will become one of your key advisers when you come to sell your company.
I would also recommend that you speak to a tax advisor, although you may decide you don’t need to pay for this extra service as your accountant can help you cover this.
You’ll need a good solicitor – someone who specialises in acquisitions.
Then there’s a business broker. All good brokers should know about the business sale process, but you might want to find one who is a specialist in your industry. There are a number of reasons for this, which are discussed on my blog.
How much do business sale advisers cost?
You should always get the best advice that you can afford. Speak to a few different advisers to get a feel for the market rate.
Your chosen advisers will take a big chunk of the money you get for selling your company, but they’re worth their weight in gold. Remember that these people are on board to help you get the best possible sale.
That said, selling your business can be an unpredictable and frustrating process, and it doesn’t always go according to plan. If your business sale grinds to a halt – for whatever reason – you need to make sure that you can still afford to pay the advisers’ fees.
Worst case scenario – your deal falls through
Make sure that any commercial arrangements you have with your advisers are structured in the right way. If the deal does fall through, you can minimize your risk. Some of the most important practices you can put in place to protect yourself are listed on my blog.
Go for it!
In 2010, I sold the majority stake in my company, although I remained as managing director to take the business to the next level.
Whether you choose to stay involved, or cut your ties and move on to other projects, selling your business can be a satisfying and lucrative experience.