Business owners sell their businesses for a variety of reasons, from an opportunity presented by a competitor to retiring in stages. A company can be sold as a whole or it can be broken up into divisions that can be sold individually. When deciding to sell a percentage of your business, you should consult with a professional who can provide a full valuation and determine the best way to maximize value.
One option is a sale of a specific percentage of the overall company, called a recapitalization. This type of sale is often used by business owners that have a large portion of their personal wealth concentrated in the company. It allows them to get a cash infusion and then continue working at the company while creating liquidity.
Another option is to sell a division, unit, or product line. This is usually done in an asset or stock (also called equity) sale, depending on the structure of the entity being sold. A buyer may only want to buy a specific part of your business because they see it as a good fit with their resources or know-how.
When buying a business, it is important to review financials for the past 12 months and be sure that all of the information has been verified and approved by a certified public accountant. This will include a look at revenue, expenses, net earnings, and the owner’s salary. You will also want to understand if the company has any contracts or agreements with customers and vendors that will change post-closing.