Selling a business can be an exciting yet stressful time. The idea of handing off something you’ve worked so hard to make successful can be a little daunting.
If you’re considering selling your business, there are a few steps you can take to help make it a smooth sale:
Willingness to sell
This is the first step towards selling any business, and it’s the most important. Are you, as the business owner, willing to sell?
You need to be honest with yourself and take some time to assess what life looks like after the sale. While the prospect of not having to go to work is tempting, can you handle letting someone else direct your business?
It’s easy to discount this first step, but a thorough examination of your willingness to sell will save you a lot of hassle later on.
Review employment contracts
One of the most important aspects of any business is its employees and yours is no different. Before a sale, review contracts of key employees. Determine if they will continue working under new ownership.
If there are any who may be unwilling to work with new owners, address the issue with them. If you cannot reach a resolution, make sure you inform the buyers. This way they can plan the best way to move forward.
Examine the business’s legal structure
Will your business, as currently structured, be the most attractive option for a sale? What about tax implications of the sale itself?
Finding the answers to these questions before you put your business up for sale is important. There shouldn’t be any surprises when you complete a sale. Understanding the current business as structured can help make the sale easier.
Assemble a team and trust them
Selling a business is a complicated affair. It takes more than one person to make sure things are progressing and that all bases are covered.
Hire the right people to help you throughout the sale, and then let them do their jobs.
The transaction will involve lots of moving parts. As the owner, you may try to do too much which will only hurt your transaction and slow things down.
It’s hard, but resist doing too much.
Selling a business is a massive undertaking. Don’t try to do it all yourself. An attorney with experience negotiating business transactions can help guide you through every step of the process.