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I Want To Sell My Business – Where Do I Start?

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Many entrepreneurs and business leaders establish businesses with the primary aim to create a strong income generator which can later be sold off for a lucrative sale price. By building a business with the view to one day release the efforts of your investment, you can direct your efforts towards areas which are likely to attract prospective buyers. Company directors with no desire to sell their business when incorporating the company may choose differently down the line due to several mitigating factors.

If the business owner no longer wishes to operate the company due to other interests, as a result of owner retirement, health problems or to simply generate funds, selling shop may provide an ideal solution. If you are intending to exit from your company and wish to preserve the fruits of your labour, selling to a buyer actively searching for their next business venture in your industry can provide an ideal exit route.

There are a handful of routes you may wish to take to sell your business, from enlisting the services of a business transfer agent, turning to a business sale broker or acting independently. Each path differs in the level of support on offer, including services provided, such as a business valuation and one-to-one support from a dedicated agent.

Using a business transfer agent to sell your business

If you are new to this path and wish to maximise your chances of securing a competitive asking price, a business transfer agent skilled in your industry can help further your search for a suitable buyer. This route typically consists of preparing your business for the sale process, advertising your business for sale, negotiating with creditors and completion.

A reputable business transfer agent will typically conduct a business valuation as part of the service to help you determine how much your company is worth. This information can help you plan for life after the sale of your business, establish a buyer profile and the value of your company. When selecting an agent to act on your behalf, examine previous successful sales to gauge if your strategy is realistic, ambitious or strikes an ideal balance.

Using a business sale broker to sell your business

The line between a business broker or business transfer agent is fine as both function as intermediaries for the seller, it’s typically only the title which separates them. A broker is responsible for sourcing a buyer for your business through industry connections, online marketplaces, word of mouth and extensive advertising activity to market your business for sale. This route may be expensive, and, in some cases, a broker may require an upfront payment, whereas, a business transfer agent may allow instruction on a no-win, no-fee basis, requesting funds only after matching your business with a proceedable buyer.

Selling your business independently

A business owner may decide to direct the sale of the business privately if they are familiar with the process or have a buyer readily available. Taking this route independently will require a thorough understanding of the process and a business valuation to be performed by an external provider. Your role will consist of mediating with multiple parties to negotiate a competitive sale price which reflects market value and directing the procedure from start to finish.

The route you take will be personal to you depending on the level of support you require. Departing from your business can be a sensitive time so handling the process with care, understanding the intricacies of the procedure and taking an informed approach can help achieve your goal and maximise returns.

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