Selling your own business requires specific skills and resources; a licensed business broker or commercial real estate agent can assist you.
If you decide to sell your own business, here are a few matters to consider:
Use your immediate networks of competitors, clients, employees, friends and family to promote the sale of your business; you never know who could be interested.
Your accountant may have clients looking to buy an established business.
Advertise the sale of your business using:
- websites dedicated to the sale of businesses
- local, state or national newspapers
- industry publications, trade journals, or specialist publications.
TIP: Use general terms to advertise your business and don’t disclose the business name.
Ensure potential buyers sign a confidentiality agreement
When selling a business it is common to receive applications from non genuine buyers. They could be competitors, suppliers, employees or clients trying to find out who is selling. Before giving your business information pack to potential buyers make sure they sign a confidentiality agreement first.
Negotiate the sale
Once a potential buyer has conducted due diligence, they may want to discuss terms before making a formal written offer. Prepare yourself for negotiation by considering:
- What conditions do you want from the sale?
- What are you prepared to compromise on?
- At what point would you stop negotiating and walk away from the sale?
Finalise the sale
It is a good idea to involve a professional business broker, settlement agent or lawyer in the sale of your business. This will prevent problems and make sure the sale is valid. A contract for sale of a business as a going concern should include all the details, and terms and conditions, negotiated and agreed with the buyer.