When you are ready to sell your house or your vehicle, you understand that you have a complex process ahead of you. First, you must decide if this is really what you want. It is important to prove your legal ownership through a title or deed, and you must also establish the value of your property. Then you have to find the right buyer and start the long, involved process of transferring ownership of your house or vehicle.
An even more complex process is the sale of a business. Similar to the sale of a house, you will want to be certain that selling your business is the right thing to do. The successful sale of a business takes meticulous planning and preparation, so it is not something you should decide to do in a hurry. In fact, you may want to organize a team of advisors to guide you through the complicated steps so you achieve the most positive outcome possible.
Don’t skip the prep work
Why are you selling your business? The answer to this will establish your goals, which will determine the most appropriate course of action. Are you retiring? Is your health failing? Perhaps your business is not thriving or you simply want to try something new. It is important that you are honest about your purpose and begin preparations as soon as you have firmly decided to sell. Some important steps in the process include the following:
- Take the time to improve your business’ finances, such as paying down debt, organizing your records and building a client base to make the business attractive to buyers.
- Consult with a lawyer early in the process to ensure you do not overlook important legal matters.
- Hire a reputable appraiser with experience in business valuations to obtain a detailed analysis of your business’ worth.
- Gather your most recent tax returns, inventory your business’ assets and review your financial statements with a professional.
- Learn whether you can transfer to the new owner any of the special licenses or permits your business has.
- Prepare a written summary or manual for the daily operations of the business to share with potential buyers.
- Prepare the business’ physical space, such as cleaning, repairing, replacing and organizing.
Only then should you start advertising the sale of your business although you may have put out early feelers in the business world and even among your competitors. The keys to a successful and perhaps even profitable sale of a business are making careful preparations and following knowledgeable advice.