There are many reasons to sell a business. Most often a business is sold when the owner wants to retire or relocate. The sale process is often complicated and requires a lot of parts to align perfectly to get the best value from the transaction. The best way to ensure a successful sale is to have the proper guidance from professionals like business law attorneys, brokers and valuation experts.
The first step in selling a business is determining what the company is worth. This will require access to financial records including profit/loss paperwork, payroll information and expenses. A valuation expert will look at all of this and determine what the company is worth in the market. This will provide a solid starting point and protect you from being low balled by potential buyers.
Once a fair price has been determined it is time to start preparing to sell the business. This includes getting the tax documents in order and having a plan for transferring the lease to a new owner. If the current owner is staying on as an employee then a non-compete agreement may need to be drafted.
It is also a good idea to check public records for any information about the company’s history such as city, county and state licenses, permits and previous owners. Depending on the industry there could be additional legal requirements to meet. It is important to investigate these issues so that there are no surprises after the sale.